The Story of Adam, Zelda, and Ketchup Doritos

by Dan Gheesling



During a speaking event at Mohawk college, I had a chance to meet Adam, who was in attendance that night. After every event I stay after until I get a chance to meet and say hello to everyone. At this particular event it was a longer line than normal,  but Adam stayed until the end and we had a chance to talk. Here’s my recollection of the conversation:

Adam: “Hey Dan great to meet you, I’ve stopped by your Twitch channel a few times!”

Dan: “That’s awesome Adam, how did you find out I streamed on Twitch?”

Adam: “Well, I’ve been running a Zelda Marathon stream for Charity since 2009, so I’ve been familiar with Twitch.”

Dan: “WHAT?!? THAT’S AMAZING! That is so cool. If there is anything I can do to help you out, let me know!”

Adam: “Sure, it would be great if you could help us out on social media…”

Dan: “No problem, whatever I can do to help I will!”

Adam and I wrapped up our conversation on the way out of the venue, and I told him to email me more information about his event when it gets closer, so I can do my best to help spread the word.

After The Event

The morning after an event I usually sit down with my assistant, for a quick recap of what went well and not so well during the event so we can make changes to it. Here’s how that conversation went in regards to Adam:

Stacey: “Hey, you know the Zelda guy Adam is in charge of Marketing and Events at Niagara College right?”

Dan: “That’s cool, hey can you just make sure to remind me to record a video for him to help promote it when it gets close?”

Stacey: “Sure.”

Often times when I do a speaking event, administrators from other campuses will attend to see if I would be a good fit for their campus.

It’s my job to make sure everyone at the speaking event, learns something and has a good time in the process; it’s not my job to get new bookings, that’s my assistant’s job. There are always negotiations going on, and I stay out of the entire process until a contract is delivered.

My assistant is in charge of booking everything, so it is not something bizarre or out of the ordinary to have administrators there. Sometimes I’ll meet the administrators, sometimes they scoot out of the event because they don’t want to wait in the line. It’s always nice to meet them, but it’s not my focus when I’m at an event.

I just thought it was really cool and out of the ordinary to meet someone like Adam who is passionate enough to have a fundraiser for a worthy cause through video games. Because of that, I wanted to help him in whatever way I possibly could.

All the time I’ll get emails and tweets asking me to help promote things, but I never do, most of the time because I have no idea who the person or cause is!

In the conversation I had with Adam, he didn’t ask me for A SINGLE THING probably because he had never met me before. I offered to him to help first, because I could tell what he was all about after talking to him for just a few moments, and because the Zelda Marathon is a cool project.

When I got back home, a few weeks passed by, and we got an email from Adam about his Zelda charity stream. I shot a video for him, and tweeted about the event in hopes of bringing some more viewers and donations to his worthy cause. [They ended up raising $13,000!]

What You Can Take Away

A few weeks ago I ended up speaking at Niagara College because of Adam.

He didn’t book me at his campus because I helped him with his Zelda Marathon, and I didn’t take interest in his Zelda Marathon because I thought he could book a speaking event for me.

I helped him without any expectations of ANYTHING in return, because I had a genuine interest in his charity stream.

You can’t fake a genuine interest, but you can learn to help people without expecting anything back in return, especially in business.

How many opportunities in a given day do you have the chance to help someone?

What other businesses in your area can you reach out to help?

If you start to take advantage of the opportunity to help when you have the chance, or even better seek out opportunities to help, you literally have no clue how it will come back to you.

But it will come back to you in some way – guaranteed, but that’s not why you should do it.

Help others to just help others, and make things around you better, not because you will get something out of it.

You’ll find out when you start to help more, the feeling you get from actually helping is going to be better than anything you would expect in return anyway.

Although…at the end of my Niagara Presentation it was pretty awesome to get a bag of Ketchup flavored Doritos, and a poster of one of favorite video games from Adam:


  • Adam Maiolo

    It was an absolute pleasure to work together, man. Thanks for this piece, it really meant a lot :)

    • Dan Gheesling


  • Colleen Kelly

    I’m so glad you write. :) The poster is awesome. The post, is even more so. :)
    Thanks for taking the time to write it Dan :)

    • Dan Gheesling

      Thanks for reading!

  • Laura Dyas

    Great post Dan and very inspirational as always. We need more Adams in the world to promote the good work so many small non-profits do. BTW, I read the last book you posted about and have been using its ideas in both group and private practice. It works really well and is incredibly useful tips, very practical information for anyone. Helps to make a morning routine much more productive and the rest of the day more efficient. Keep suggesting more good books that can help. I appreciate the help.

    • Dan Gheesling

      Hey thanks for reading this post Laura! I will have to make the book recommendations a more normal thing! Hope all is well!

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