Success Tweet 8: Focus on Being Useful

My new book Success Tweets: 140 Bits of Common Sense Career Success Advice, All in 140 Characters or Less is turning out to be quite a hit.  Over 100 people have downloaded the free eBook version and several people have purchased multiple copies of the hard copy book.  I think it’s a great addition to my career success coach writings.  Check out and register to get a .pdf of Success Tweets for free. 

If you want to purchase a hard copy for yourself – or two or three to give to friends, associates, people you mentor, people you manage, your kids, your grandkids – send me an email at  I’ll send you pricing information.  Graduation season is fast approaching.  Success Tweets makes a great graduation gift.

Today’s post is on Tweet 8…

Don’t focus just on making money.  If you do, you’ll be asking too little of yourself.  Focus on how you can be useful in this world.

I loved the 1972 movie, Cabaret (I can’t believe it was that long ago).  If you haven’t seen Cabaret, rent the DVD.  It’s a funny and sad movie at the same time.  I bring up Cabaret here because one of the dance routines in it popped into my mind when I typed Tweet 8 just now.  It features Joel Grey and Liza Minnelli and is called “Money Makes the World Go ‘Round.”   

Yes, money does make the world go ‘round.  We all need money.  It is difficult to live with little or no money.  But I suggest that choosing a career solely on the basis of the money you can make is not a good idea. 

John D. Rockefeller, once the richest man in the USA, said, “If your only goal is to become rich, you’ll never achieve it.”

This is great common sense career success advice.  Your goals in life should be more than just making money.  Your goals should spring from your purpose in life, your passion.  This isn’t to say that you should choose a career in which you can make little or no money.  Choose your life’s work based on what you love to do, and you’ll find a way to make money.  The old saying, “Do what you love, and the money will follow” is true.

Michelle Schubnel is a coach to coaches.  She runs a program called Coach and Grow R.I.C.H.  Her R.I.C.H. acronym applies here:

R    Rewarded
I     Inspired
C    Confident
H    Happy

I think this is a great way to think about making money and being useful in this world.  You are rich when you are: Rewarded for your contributions; Inspired by what you do; Confident as a professional; and Happy with the way you spend your time.  Let’s talk about each of these.

Rewarded — We all deserve to be appropriately compensated for the work we do and the value we bring to others.  This means that you shouldn’t feel bad about making money, only that making money shouldn’t be your sole goal in life.  Some might say that the current financial crisis is the result of some people who valued making money at the expense of others.  Do your job, get good at it and the money will follow.

Inspired – You can find inspiration in the work you do every day.  If you’re a realtor like my niece, Morgan, you can be inspired when you help a person or a couple find the home of their dreams.  If you’re a pharmaceutical sales rep, you can be inspired by the fact that you’re helping doctors understand how the medicines your company makes can save lives.  My dad was a steel worker for 37 years.  He found inspiration in the buildings and bridge he helped build.  I find inspiration every time someone leaves a comment on this blog or tells me that one of my tweets made a difference in their life. 

Confident – Doing something you love, doing it well and being useful in this world will build your confidence.   Your confidence grows as your skill level grows and you begin to make bigger contributions at work and in the world.  A world of confident people would be a wonderful place to live.  Confident people see the world from a win-win perspective. 

Happy – When are you happiest?  I’m willing to bet it’s when you accomplish something – or help someone else accomplish something – not when you get your pay check.  When you do something you love everyday you can’t help but be happy.  I am happiest when I finish a book.  Writing a book takes a lot of time and effort.  And, I’m a perfectionist.  I want to make sure my books are the best I can make them, so I put in a lot of time and effort making sure they’re just right.  And, you know what?  I’m really happy when I first hold a copy of one of my books in my hand.  At that moment, I know the work was worth it.  I’m happy when I help others succeed too.  I love the moments when I can see the light go on in one of my career success coach client’s eyes.  I love it when I help other people get it.

I saw a young woman wearing a T shirt the other day that made a profound point.  On the front it said, “Wealth is not the opposite of poverty.”   On the back it said, “Enough is the opposite of poverty.”  This message goes to the heart of the message in Tweet 8.  Successful people know what “enough” is for them and their family.  They are happy with enough.  They pursue a life and career that fulfills them.  They know that being rich is more than having a lot of money.

If you read this blog with any regularity, you know that my mom passed away a little over a year ago.  She was one for schmaltzy cards.  I’m not.  But several years ago, she sent me a card on my birthday that I really liked.  I cut out the message and taped it to my printer.  I look at it several times a day…

“That man is a success who is happy with himself and gives happiness to others; who makes the world a better place simply by being a part of it.” 

My mother believed this about me.  I do my best to live up to it every day.

The common sense career success coach point here is simple.  Successful people see money as the byproduct of their work – not as their sole reason for working.  They follow the advice in Tweet 8 in Success Tweets.  “Don’t focus just on making money.  If you do, you’ll be asking too little of yourself.  Focus on how you can be useful in this world.”  Successful people know that being rich doesn’t mean you have tons and tons of money.  They know that being rich means that you are: Rewarded for your contributions; Inspired by what you do; Confident in your skills, and Happy with the way you spend your days. 

That’s my point on doing what you love and the money will follow.  What’s yours?  Please take a minute to leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always, thanks for reading.


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