In my twenties, I listened to a lot of personal development seminars by speakers like Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy, and the best of the best, Jim Rohn.

Each had a unique formula for designing a good life, but on certain points, they all seemed to agree:

  • Take control of your attitude.
  • Focus on what you can contribute, not what you're owed.
  • Take the blame and give away the credit.
  • Remember that success comes from doing the little things right, day after day after day.

And here’s my favorite, a career philosophy in one sentence: Always do more than you get paid for.

Jim Rohn called this philosophy “an investment in your future.” Let’s talk about why this is true, and as we do so, I invite you to think of someone whose career you admire and consider whether this sounds like their approach to work.

When you do more than you get paid for, a few things happen.

  1. You get better at your job faster than most people, and you gain new skills along the way.
  2. You make other people's work lives easier. Your hustle reduces pressure on your colleagues and makes your boss look good.
  3. As a result of 1 and 2, your reputation improves. While you're asked to take on even more, your skills continue to grow, making you more useful as an employee and more valuable in the marketplace.
  4. Happy with your results and fully engaged at work, you begin the cycle again.

I’ve worked with a few superstars in my career—people who were extraordinarily effective professionally. They all seemed to subscribe to this approach, and it’s easy to see why.

Always doing more than you get paid for benefits you, your colleagues, and your entire organization. It’s not always an easy road, but the destination is worth it.