You’ve Got to Show How Much You Care

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I teach in the Management Department at the University of Denver.   We have several Graduate Assistants.  All of them are quite helpful.  But one of them, Muguna, is especially helpful.

As soon as I arrive at my office Muguna is there – asking if I have anything he can do to help me that day.  Usually I don’t, but I really appreciate his offer to help.  Muguna cares about his job.  He reminds me of the career advice in Tweet 100 in Success Tweets: “Care about that you do.  If you care a little, you’ll be an OK performer.  Care a lot and you’ll become an outstanding performer.”

I care about helping people create the life and career success they want and deserve.  I care a lot.  That’s why I wrote Success Tweets and I give it away for free.  That’s why I wrote a series of blog posts explaining each of the 141 tweets in more detail.  I care so much about this that I committed to writing 700 or 800 words every day for 28 weeks.  I do this because I care.  I care a lot about helping you achieve the career success you deserve.  And I know that this caring will pay off in me becoming an outstanding career mentor – somebody who gives really great career advice.

When you care you do your very best.  One of my favorite books, To Kill a Mockingbird, is over 50 years old.  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 read the book or saw the movie, you know that Atticus Finch really cared about what he was doing.  He lost, but he cared.

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 common sense point here is simple.  Successful people are proud of what they do.  It doesn’t matter what they’re doing.  Muguna labors for a ridiculously low wage as a Graduate Assistant, but he cares about his job.  Does your work show that you care?  Or does it reflect an “it’s good enough” attitude?  If you want to create the life and career success of which you are capable, 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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