in life

Give A Damn.

“What is a requirement for success is that you, as a founder, give a damn about everything — even something as seemingly insignificant as a mascot. Remember, no one else will care about your website (your mom excluded) unless you do. That means that it’s up to you to think long and hard about the kind of brand you’re trying to create. The amount of “damns” your founders give will set the standard the rest of your company is going to follow, and that affects everything from product design to customer service to the copy on the website to, yes, whether or not you have a cute mascot. And so it’s really, really important to get this right and to get it right from the start.”

I give a damn. About the decisions I make. About the people I hire. About the clients I work with. About the lifestyle I’m able to create.

I give a damn about what I do – not necessarily each email I answer or task I complete – but how they contribute to the big picture: My big, hairy, audacious life and career goals.

I give a damn about the happiness of others. My wife. My family. My staff. My clients.

And maybe most importantly…I give a damn about myself – knowing full well that it can never an option to stop caring about myself. Taking time for myself. Listening to myself. Learning from my actions. They’re all critically important if you ever plan to “do epic shit”.

In the semantics of the quote I opened with above (taken from this great post on 99U) – the point is that, when starting a company – you must care. You must give a damn. Because if you don’t, no one else will.

The same can be true for anything – literally anything – you want to do. You must genuinely give a damn.

When you stop giving a damn – it’s a tell-tale sign that you should probably be doing something else.

But when you do give a damn. When you do care. When you are willing to give something your all. Nothing, nothing, will stand in your way.

What do you give a damn about?

Add Your Voice


  1. I give a damn about my clients, my staff, my family, my partners, my friends, the lives that get thrown into disarray when the inevitable health issue arrives and no one is prepared. As important about about what I give a damn about is what I don’t give a shit about: I don’t care what other people think of me; I don’t give a shit if someone says I need “more”: more credentials, more time, more time in an office under fluorescent lights, or I need a less global perspective because they have no idea what is happening elsewhere in the world. I don’t lack for passion & I have figured out more in less time than almost anyone I’ve ever met – and I make it my business to meet people whom I admire. Not giving a damn pushes me to measure myself against perfection – the last thing I dont give a damn about is someone else who thinks we are competing. We, most certainly, are not.

  2. Hey Matt

    My world revolves around my kids as I’m a stay at home dad whilst also being a blogger. I give a damn about my family, my extended family, my business, blogging, generally you name it, I give a damn!

    I’m building my business from home and as you say if you don’t give a damn nothing will happen. At the end of the day I don’t have to do it, we’re financially stable enough but hey, I want to do it!

    Thanks for sharing.


  3. Love the focus of this post – the more we care, the better our work will be, the more our clients will love us, the more success we’ll have. One tiny quibble…can we BAN the word “staff” from our collective business vocabulary?

    Personally, I hate the word – it sounds clinical, possessive, and intentionally hierarchical…instead, let’s talk about giving a damn about our TEAM. A team is one where everyone is working together toward a common goal, each contributing their part, and building off of and supporting each other’s pieces in the program, and good ideas are not identified by rank – they can come from anywhere. I know you embrace the TEAM philosophy naturally – that’s part of your success, just extend that in an intentional way into your writing!