Career Advice From My First Choice for Carpet Cleaning

Tweet 100 in my book Success Tweets says, “Care about what you do.  If you care a little, you’ll be an OK performer.  If you care a lot, you’ll become an outstanding performer.”

I saw an example of this idea in action last week.  Jerry Kaitz runs a carpet and upholstery cleaning company called 1st Choice here in Denver.  We have been using him to clean our carpets and couches for several years.

Jerry is the epitome of caring about what he does.  When Jerry showed up to clean our carpets the other day, he wanted us to see the new residential paving doylestown pa since the last time he’d been at our house.  As I listened to Jerry talk about his new equipment and how it is better than his old, I thought to myself, “Here’s a guy who really cares about what he does.”

When Jerry left our house after a couple of hours, the carpets and couches looked as if they were brand new and our house smelled fresh and clean.  Jerry showed that he cared in two ways: 1) his excitement over having new equipment that would allow him to do a better job, and 2) and more important, the quality of his work.

I asked him for a card because I wanted to use him as an example in a blog post about the importance of caring what you do.  He reached into the pocket of his cargo shorts and pulled out a handful of cards.  He said, “if you like what I’ve done, please refer your friends,” another example of caring about what he does.

Just like Jerry, when you care you do your very best.  To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorite books.  There is a passage in that book that has always stuck with me.  It’s in Chapter 11 and is spoken by Atticus Finch, the father, played by Gregory Peck in the film.  He’s speaking to Scout, his daughter…

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand.  It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.  You rarely win, but sometimes you do.”

If you’ve read the book, or seen the movie you know that Atticus Finch really cared about what he was doing.

It takes courage to care. Because when you care, you put yourself out there.  You do your best.  And doing your best can be a scary thing.  When you care, when you consciously do your best and fail, it is heartbreaking.  But at least you have the satisfaction of knowing you did your best.

I remember when I applied to graduate school at Harvard.  I decided that I was going to demonstrate to myself how much I cared by writing the very best application I could.  I wasn’t going to let myself off the hook if I didn’t get accepted by saying, “I could have written a better application, but I just didn’t spend the time I should have.”

When I put my application in the mailbox – we still did quaint things like that back in the old days – I was proud of what I had written.  I knew it was the very best I could do.  I was also frightened because I knew that my best might not be good enough.  After all, both of my other degrees were from state schools.  Who was I to think that those kind of credentials would get me accepted at Harvard?

I cared about the quality of my application, so I did the very best I could.  The story in this case has a happy ending.  I was accepted and got my degree.  Even if I had not been accepted, I would have been proud of myself because I cared enough to write the best application I could, and I dared enough to admit it to myself.

The point here is simple common sense.  Successful people are proud of what they do.  They care.  Are you like Jerry? Does your work show that you care?  Or does it reflect an “it’s good enough” attitude?  If you want to create a successful life and career, make sure that how much you care shows through in every single piece of work you do.

Your career mentor,


PS: I write this blog to help people create the life and career success they want and deserve. Now I’m going one step further. I’ve created a membership site in which I’ve pulled together my best thoughts on success. And, as a reader of this blog, you can become a member for free. Just go to to claim your free membership. You’ll be joining a vibrant and growing community of success minded professionals. I hope to see you there.

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