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How I got myself into Dribbble, a success story

01.06.10 - 12 comments

24 days ago, I managed to get myself drafted to Dribbble.

What the hell is Dribbble and why should I care?

Dribbble is an online platform for designers, developers and other creatives which allows members to showcase and publish small screenshots and sneak peaks of their work.

The thing that makes Dribbble great is that the main users of this platform are well-known, respected designers in the community, who fill it with creative and beautiful shots. But here is the catch: the website doesn’t allow users to register and relies on a closed invitation system instead. This way, they try to ensure that only quality designers can upload their screenshots.

Another great reason why Dribbble is a sought after scene to designers worldwide, is that when you publish your own “shots”, you receive constructive feedback and improvement tips from the best of the best in the web design business.

I decided it was time to have my share of Dribbble’s scrumptious pie!

When I truly discovered what it was all about, I had to jump in FAST! But I had to deal with fierce competition. Too many designers worldwide were begging, nagging and screaming to get Dribbble invites all over the internet. So I had to figure out a way to stand out from the screaming crowd, and get Dribbble users seeking me for an invite, instead of the other way around.

In the midst of stressful deadlines, random yet urgent tasks, and my girlfriend screaming for attention, I invented some free time staying up late from 1 to 5 am, sipping coffee like a total maniac!

At this moment of liberation and pure insanity, I bought the domain name pleaseinvitemetodribbble.com and invented the first ever one-page beg-for-an-invite-to-dribbble website! While designing the website, I was having the time of my life, having a blast with many insider designer jokes and finally coming up with a simple, yet effective website.

The results?

  • I got into dribbble! Only a few hours after launching the website
  • The website got into numerous design blogs, galleries and was instantly retweeted
  • By shamelessly plugging this blog and RunAddicts.net, they also received a great amount of click-through hits
  • I was congratulated by some of my greatest role models
  • My twitter followers tri-folded
  • Almost 20.000 pageviews
  • 3 Job offers (Sadly all 9-to-5: I kindly declined)
  • Inspired other creative designers worldwide to use the same approach

And the best part is that I only invested 4 hours and 30 minutes of precious time on the website.
Ain’t that a great return of investment or what?

This is one of the most impressive plea attempts I have ever seen. A well deserved invite in what looked like less than 24 hours. Nice design too, love the personal touches! Matt Hamilton

So, how did I crack this idea?

Well, it’s not rocket science! The secret lies in two magical words: Positive Thinking.
This is how I put these words into action:

“I will make it happen”

Whenever I aspire to accomplish something, I create an unshakable belief that I will make it happen. The word “impossible” does not exist in my dictionary. The story above is a living example of how this attitude is magical.

It didn’t matter how out of reach it seemed. It didn’t matter that thousands of designers worldwide have been begging for invites.  If I surrendered to the “crowd is right” mentality or “if they can’t do, I can’t do it either” crap, I would have gone nowhere! Instead, I ignored all these “external factors” and focused inwards. My starting point was an insanely confident inner voice screaming: “Davy you will become a Dribbble member!” and the rest is history.

“Ask and you shall receive”

Everyday I’m more and more convinced that this saying is a simple key to success. The problem is that most people don’t know how to ask! Some of them don’t have the faintest idea” what” they want at the first place.

However, the worst trap that most people fall into is that even when they unveil their big dream, they take no action, only because they don’t know “how” to make it happen. Life taught me that you can’t learn how to swim until you put your legs in the water. If you really really really want something, the “how” will reveal itself.

I absolutely wanted to join Dribbble’s “inner circle” and this burning desire ignited some creative and passionate hours, simply because “necessity is the mother of invention”.
Sometimes we are our worst enemies as we create imaginary blocks that hinder the success that we aspire to and deserve.

Not knowing “how” to reach your goal is not your real problem. Not wanting it STRONG enough is!

I have become a proud self-development addict

Not that long ago, but still at an early age I got addicted to self-development books. I devour them passionately and I realise that many untapped treasures lie there. But I don’t settle to reading what others write passively: I put their theories into application and since I started doing that, the results were staggering!

On my quest to become a happier person every day, I discovered that to find real happiness and fulfilment in life, you need to constantly challenge yourself by creating some insanely exciting goals and turning them into a living reality. Only then, you can feel real joy. (Even if the goal is as small as a simple website. What matters the most is how much it excites you!)

Stand out…Break the rules!

Early enough in my life journey, I realized that going with the flow and following the crowd is the shortest recipe to failure! So, when I decided to join Dribbble, I applied the “what if” creative thinking approach and asked myself: “what if I broke the rule and managed to get Dribbble members to reach out for me instead of the opposite?”

As crazy as this question may be, answering it intelligently was my ticket to Dribbble’s glory!

What’s your “positive thinking” version? I can’t wait to read your comments. To our success!

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12 Responses to “How I got myself into Dribbble, a success story”

  1. Gonzo the Great

    Hi Davy,

    great read, thanks! As you already know and have mentioned in your post, your site was my inspiration to do the same. I did it only a bit bigger, more social-media driven .. and a bit more time-consuming to make ;-P

    I knew that only you and an italian bloke had done this before (when I was working on my ‘beg-site’), but I hope not to be a shameless copycat and to have contributed a bit more ( – 4 more pages filled with bullshit to be precise ;-P) to an initial great idea.

    Nevertheless my goal was achieved in just under 26 Hrsafter publishing the site, okay it’s not the record but I’m happy anyhow, haha!
    ‘The making of’ .. costed me 14 Hrs, but I had a lot of fun doing it and my goal was achieved, so what counts more …?

    Also a big Thanks to you for getting my ‘beg-site’ in the open by tweeting about it, that also is important to have some people who actually share, tweet or bookmark your site! I’m also planning to send the URL to some web-galleries and hoping to get some click-trough traffic to my other sites?

    After this week I will honor my new personal friend and HERO (the gorgeous @Dashaluna, she drafted me) with some backlinks and some nice and lovely text!

    So Davy, I’m sure we’ll meet on twitter or dribbble soon again! Thanks for your help, very much appreciated, Cheers & Ciao amigo …

  2. Jan Luts

    Hehe, funny to see gonzo replying here also :)

    Although you told me some of the self-development theories, gave me books, movies, … to check. I don’t agree 100% with the article this time. The books were (so far) great reading stuff in which you find allot of very good things to apply and for sure this will get you what you want so badly if you act to it. But I don’t think being like that and constantly looking for cool projects is the key to happiness in life.

    I do believe you got to chase your dreams and act to them from the first second till the last but this will only make you get a stronger feeling of happiness. You somehow learned me to get this attitude but my life didn’t change that much after. The start now attitude is great and gave me much more free time in which I can now do even more of the stuff I did before. The things that make me happy the most in life, enjoying life fully with friends and family.

    Anyway, great article! Loved reading it and I think allot of people should read this, shows why this start now attitude is so important.

  3. Matt @ DVQ

    That’s a great philosophy if you ask me :)

    Thanks for the linking to my one ;)

  4. Tim

    Hey davy,

    Awesome article filled with facts. Most people have dreams but they keep on dreaming, making up excuses like risk or incompetence so they needn’t follow them and can stick to their current lives for a long time. It’s exactly THAT kind of mindset that will make them fail their dreams!

    Anyways, I was wondering if you could advice some good self-development books that helped you?
    At the moment I’m reading my first and that’s the 4 hour workweek. It totally blows up my mind, and have some projects already in mind. But now i want more books like FHWW but i don’t really know where to look.

    Cheers man, keep up the good work. You’re an inspiration to a lot of us.

  5. Sam Debevere

    Great article as always. They never seem to bore me! :)

    It’s nice to hear that your project turned into a huge succes, in just a matter of hours!
    This only proves that when you’re chasing a dream and put some effort into it, anything seems possible!

    Anyways, keep up the good work!

  6. Vivian Clark

    Davy, thank you again. Reading your articles is a such “inspiration” every time. Your fresh ideas, your “braveness” and passion for what you do are motivating. I truly rejoice with your success! Keep up the great work! And now you can invite “me” to Dribbble :D ahah. I’m following your advices!

  7. Heylen

    Wow! ik vind het fantastisch hoe jij initiatieven neemt en er gewoon helemaal voor gaat! Enorm goed artikel :)

  8. Elliot Ross

    Love it, I’m going to do the same thing now! How’s Dribbble working out for you? I’ve heard lots of good things..

  9. rahulfow

    dribbble is just great!

  10. Marcel Samyn

    Wow, that was one good article! :D

    You’re a great writer, and thanks for encouraging me to continue to do web design stuff!

    Good luck (from Belgium as well ;) ),
    Marcel Samyn

  11. Philippe

    Hey Davy, your articles are inspiring, you can just feel the drive, motivation and all the positivity.

    Keep it up !

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