Care more than you need to.

Coffee Shop

“Care. Care more than you need to, more often than expected, more completely than the other guy.” – Seth Godin

I spent one morning last week sipping a Cortado at my favorite local coffee shop, working through a stack of business cards I had collected from a recent conference I attended.

A few hours later and after more than 50 emails sent, I started getting some replies. Inevitably, as personal as my emails were, I received several responses that prefaced their response with, “I don’t have a budget to work with you right now”.

This wasn’t shocking, of course. I, too, have been “solicited” mightily over the years after attending an event. But it got me thinking about the way the “real world” works – and how transactions have jaded us from building valuable relationships.

Time is precious, to be sure, but if we’re only making time for conversations and partnerships that have a “return on investment”, we’re losing sight of the benefit in making real, genuine connections.

What if I told you I wasn’t emailing you to sign you on as a client? What if I told you I was legitimately interested in what you’re working on? What if I didn’t ask “how can we work together?” and led with “how can we support each other”?.

Caring forces you to tap into the raw emotion behind the “why” of whatever it is you do. As Seth Godin says, “Caring gives you a compass, a direction, and a reason to do the work you do”. 

You don’t need to care. You can make a lot of money and be ridiculously successful and leave “caring” at the door. But how empty would that success feel?

How much more meaning can you give to your work – to your life, if you take the time to care?

Care more than you need to. More often than expected. More completely than the other guy.