Originally I wrote this post as a comment in response to yet another article about the “Seattle Freeze” in the Puget Sound Business Journal:
This concept of a Seattle Freeze is BS. The Seattle freeze is either a myth, or only happens to people who are focused too much on what others can give them rather than what they can give others.
Saying it’s true because of how people in Seattle use a networking app versus how San Franciscans use it is also not proving the articles premise that it’s ‘killing our startup culture.’ Dramatic headline and angle used to write a story to promote an app, true. Factual, false.
And by the way, every city has people who are warm and people who are cold. Get over it, move on, and make things great in your own life rather than wasting time whining about what others aren’t doing for you.
By hustling, helping others, and hoping for good things to happen, I’ve experienced more amazing experiences and deep relationships than I have through years of living in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Boulder.
I’m an evangelist for the Seattle anti-freeze. I moved to Seattle in September 2012 knowing 5 people from high school and college from Las Vegas who had moved here. When I chose to move to Seattle I reached out to my extensive network (who I’ve been helping and giving to for years) and asked for connections to anyone they knew in Seattle to help me build a professional and personal network here.
Through asking, I began to actively build my Seattle network, and my conversations began with asking how I could help my new connections, not how they could help me.
The first 6 meetings I had with with people I reached out to in Seattle were awesome, and 5 of the 6 refused to let me pay my bill or the bill for both of us when we met for coffee, lunch or dinner. Six out of six repeatedly said “welcome to Seattle!” and verbally acknowledged that they actively welcome new comers to the city because of of the negative “Seattle Freeze” hype.
In less than two years of living in Seattle, I’ve co-founded the fastest growing event in Seattle history , which is currently the largest monthly event in Seattle (Seattle Tech Meetup). I also just joined Project Bionic as a partner and finally found my dream job. In both cases, my partners are warm (some would say ‘hot’ in the startup community) Seattleites that I did not know when I moved here.
My success in Seattle has happened partially through my efforts and ideas, and mostly by everyone I’ve met in Seattle supporting me, my ideas, and sharing their resources openly with me. The majority of people I’ve met in the startup community have been immensely helpful to me, love this city, and are dedicated to making the community better for everyone.
I encourage everyone, especially the Seattle media, to look for positive examples of Seattleites helping each other and new comers rather than perpetrating this “Seattle Freeze” negative concept. It’s a tired headline that does an injustice to the people of the warmest city I’ve lived in. (Boulder is a close second though).
This is the most heartful, intelligent, civilized, humanist-driven city I’ve experienced, and I’ve spent time in most states across this country. There are other great cities, though none I’ve known offer this level of both opportunity and people honestly supporting the innovation and dreams of others.
If you think you’re a victim of the “Seattle Freeze” I invite you to continuously ask yourself “How can I help everyone I meet to get what they want?”
The more you help others get what they want, the faster you’ll get what you want. That’s how you melt any concept of a “freeze” – be the warmth, do not blame anyone else for not going the extra mile for you before you do it for them, live with an open heart, be actively grateful for what you have, and you’ll attract the warmth.