Do you even care?

If you didn’t make it through my first post in this series, I don’t blame you. What was supposed to be a 300-word post turned into 2000. Long story short, I have an assignment to publish a blog a week for the next 14 weeks based on the readings in my Introduction to Entrepreneurship class at BYU-Idaho. Those assignments are being published on my blog.

This week I heard a bit of feedback that I have heard a handful of times before in my career. This feedback is the most frustrating piece of feedback I have ever received. The fact that it keeps coming up drives me absolutely crazy.

Before I share the feedback, let me start by saying how I tend to handle feedback. I love to learn. I love to learn how I can be better. I rely on the feedback of others to point out the places where I fall short that I can’t see for myself. If anything, I enjoy critical feedback that helps me see how I can improve.

So, what is this feedback? What feedback is it that sends me up a tree every time I hear it? It’s simple. “You care.” Those aren’t exactly the words, but that is the underlying theme. This last week, specifically these were the words:

“It’s always fun to bump into someone who takes this seriously enough to actually think it through! Sadly that is a rare, albeit refreshing experience”

It is a frustratingly low bar that is set by others that I routinely get this feedback. The concept that caring enough about the things I do is sufficient to be noticed by other people absolutely drives me crazy.

I think we all carry a bias with us that assumes everyone else sees the world just like we do. we use phrases like “common sense” and “it should be obvious” to refer to things that are neither obvious nor common to others who don’t share our world view.

This is probably the source of my struggle with this feedback. I always assume that other people care about doing a good job at least as much as I do. Maybe I listened to my grandpa telling me as a kid “A job worth doing is worth doing well.” But didn’t everyone else hear that too?

I always prefer to write posts with some sort of call-to-action for the reader. The CTA for this post is to beg you to care about what you do. If you find yourself doing things that you don’t care about, then don’t do them. Life is too short to waste your time doing a bad job at something you didn’t want to do in the first place. Whatever your ‘why’, find some reason to care about your work and do a good job at it. Your life will be better, and your work will too.

This brings me to one last statement that my grandfather said to me a few years ago. I was already some years into my career of which I have loved nearly every minute. He said, “Wade has never done anything he didn’t want to do.” One could take that to mean I am a difficult to work with unmotivated slouch. He and I both know that isn’t true. My key to being able to say that is that when I choose to do anything, once my mind is made up that it needs doing, I pour my heart and soul into that task until it is done. If I don’t want to do the task, or if I can’t find my ‘why’ that it matters, I merely move on to some other task.

That may not be good career advice for everyone, but with my ability to understand why things need ti happen it has served me very well up to this point.

Please, go out into the world and care about what you do. I never want to hear anyone praise me again for caring about what I do.

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