© Wonderful Illustration borrowed from the super talented @krsextonart

What I’ve learnt from #CrossCreative

It’s OK To Blow Your Own Trumpet

I’ve been selected for a training programme (the excellent #CrossCreative) that is full of incredibly talented people. People that have started innovative businesses. People that are making life-changing apps. People that create award-winning creative work for huge global brands. People that are among the best in their field.

And yet around the table, we are all almost apologetic for our achievements.
I’m one of the worst offenders. I remember, one time, my cousin asking me “What is this picture of you all dressed up with the headline ‘agency of the year’?”.

I remember I felt embarrassed because the truth is, I told no one outside of work (except my wife) that we had won this amazing accolade, Scottish Design Agency of the Year (for the 3rd time no less). I hadn’t even told my parents who happened to be there when my cousin asked me about this award.

I had countless opportunities to mention that we had won the award along with several other awards. I could’ve texted people if that was easier.

But I didn’t.


I think it’s something innate about our culture. This feeling of not wanting to look arrogant. It makes Scottish people uncomfortable.

But is arrogant so bad?

Usain Bolt is arrogant but he is one of the most popular athletes ever. Muhammad Ali took his arrogance to the extremes but he was an amazing person and loved by millions. And what about a certain Mr Eric Cantona? People find it entertaining. Endearing.

One of last year’s #CrossCreative delegates Nathan Fulwood from CreateFuture, who spoke to us at our first training session, set us straight on this topic right away. On a trip to Silicon Valley it became apparent, very quickly, any negativity is just not tolerated.

So my new resolution.

No more negative apologetic talk. It’s time to dust off the trumpet and make some noise.

Hopefully tuneful and tasteful noise.

Not like this bloke.