If you’re lucky, there are a handful of people in your lives that have really made a dent in it. OC photographer/videographer Eva Rovillos is one of those exceptional people. I’ve known her for eons but it was only in the last few years when we started creating a business ‘hive’ to pollinate ideas in pursuit of complimentary business goals that I got to know about her business prowess. Yet, she’s not the cut-throat entrepreneur you’d imagine. On the contrary, she’s the most humanizing face of business heart I’ve ever seen – and it’s exactly that trait which has made her so exceptional. However, aside from this one very special “thankful” series post, you’ll probably never hear about her because if there’s one thing that Eva doesn’t do, it’s clamor for attention. She’s one of those people where actions speak louder than words, and since she’s never going to try to get attention for herself, the only way I can share the generosity of her wisdom is through this post.

For one, Eva would really underscore the value of volunteering. Since starting her business (LuckLove Productions) a few years ago, she’s already volunteered with the Newport Film Festival and a local theatre. The goal: to learn more about those industries and sharpen her own business skills. There were times, especially during volunteering on such a large level with a regional film festival, that I thought she was absolutely mad. She’d spend so much time driving and so many hours in emails, and at pre and post events that I thought she was borderline sadistic. But Eva’s truly that generous with her time…and that patient. Every chance to talk to her about her experience or see her in action was worth its weight in gold. It not only motivated me to continue investing in my own non-paying projects, but I also learned how to deal with people with grace and diplomacy through her example.

Eva’s purpose in pursuing these volunteer opportunities was based in business altruism, but she also walked away from them with a wealth of contacts, portfolio samples, and inevitable future contracts from people who recognize how amazing her work ethic really is.

Her dedication to partnerships and collaboration opportunities is a longstanding one. Even before LuckLove Productions, she was part of a team of talented creatives who like all creatives pursue their art out of passion. Recently, they’ve had the chance to really come together in a way that is not so secret anymore. They’ve got an amazing Kickstarter project going to fund an independently written short film – a brilliant dark comedy written by one of their team members with a plot line so secret that even I don’t know of the outcome yet.

The secret knowledge of Eva Rovillos lies in the truth that giving is the greatest act of receiving. Whether you’re volunteering, investing in others through your own business ‘hive’, or creating meaningful partnerships, if you’re doing it with pure intention and the chance to “play” professionally, it is never an underestimated investment.

If you’re looking for a perfect time to volunteer or collaborate, then you should know that there’s really no perfect time. This is the not-so-secret knowledge that people who achieve great things know. There is a certain playful element and an important learning curve gained from throwing yourself into something. For one, the additional experience means you gain more confidence in what you’re really exceptional in – and there’s an honesty that comes out from that. Your experience becomes a backbone and makes it easier to stand up for yourself in business and be more confident with clients. It grants you the autonomy to weed out lesser projects for better ones and it keeps teaching you something new. When you’re being generous in business, you’re creating a place where you can learn or create something new; you’re teaching your brain to keep moving forward without the proverbial training wheels or safety net.

I am beyond thankful for Eva, for both her friendship and business guidance. As I say, she’s not only taught me to be a “human being” in business and to keep pushing forward to create new collaboration models, she has also inspired me to pay it forward and invest my time and expertise into other great projects.