It's OK to give a crap

Ian Lurie

wake up! Its ok to give a crap!
This is pure venting. Just a warning – not much to learn about the nitty-gritty of internet marketing in this post.
Test out this scenario – tell me if it seems familiar:
You’re in a meeting. Your pulse is becoming audible as you try, for the fifth time, to explain why the company needs to venture into blogging, and how easy it is. Once again, someone in the room raises a legal/paranoid/outdated/technical or other argument and shoots it down. You answer, calmly, as your brain starts running around in your head, shrieking OH GOD LET ME OUT OF HERE. The blogging opponent sits back in his chair, smirking in a way that makes it clear HIS brain is rattling around in his head, saying LA LA LA LA I WONDER WHAT I’LL HAVE FOR LUNCH TOMORROW THREE HOURS ‘TIL QUITTIN’ TIME.
It’s OK. Take this opportunity to feel good about it. You’re in a shrinking population of People Who Actually Give A Crap About What They Do.
I, for one, am sick of people telling me I should delegate everything, find someone offshore to do SEO for me for $10 a day, take my own work ‘less seriously’, blah blah blah blah. Screw that. And you, if you’re one of those people.
I won’t bore you with platitudes about things worth doing. And I’ve already written about the fact that I’m angry, not mean.
What I’m talking about here is the fact that it’s OK to give a crap about the work you do, even if most others around you do not. This just means you’re one of the people who makes things go. You build the stuff that works, from cars to web sites to novels. More people like you around, and maybe Toyota doesn’t end up like, er, Toyota. Maybe Gourmet Magazine survives.
You’re the reason some nubwit can’t trademark SEO or pull other absurd shenanigans.
And yeah, that sometimes means you’re spending extra time figuring out how to configure Apache, or tweaking the last 20 title tags on a site, or get the best possible conversion rate on a landing page.
And no, the other people in that last staff meeting may not care – it’s OK.
Ian starts running out of breath
It’s OK if you acknowledge the fact that you are doing this for your own satisfaction. This isn’t a sacrifice on your part. It’s part of what keeps you happy. It’s part of what keeps me from teaching my kids new obscenities when I’m hold with the 4th utterly incompetent phone service person.
So please, continue to give a crap. You crazy people keep a lot of things going when they otherwise wouldn’t.
At some point, we’ll all get together and buy an island, build a bunker and play Civilization while we wait for the end times.

Ian Lurie
CEO & Founder

Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent and the EVP of Marketing Services at Clearlink. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). He's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Follow him on Twitter at portentint, and on LinkedIn at

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  1. Heh. I was recently told that I’m “too passionate” about my work. I was also told that I should not be studying SEO copywriting and conversion optimization, even though I do so **on my own time.** I was told this by my immediate superior. It was then echoed by the boss right above her.
    One of these days, Alice, POW, right in the kisser….

  2. Perfect timing!
    I had a conversation with one of my clients last night(he’s bit of a PITA) and he told me the reason he keeps coming back to use my services is because I actually CARE about my clients. I don’t nickle and dime them to death and I don’t come up at the 11th hour and say “oops, this is going to take longer than expected- send more money.”
    I am lucky enough to have built a team who feels the same way so, we may not make a million bucks a year but we feel good about what we do and our clients love us 🙂
    Love your blog Ian- keep giving a crap!

  3. ah, the frustrations revolving around SEO at all times… Confused clients and confused execs who read too many ill-informed white papers and attend too many webinars… my solute goes out to you.
    Ian, hats off to you, you’ve managed to sum up everything that causes me to tear my hair out.

  4. Thank you!! If I have one more IM “expert” tell me that I’m wasting my life by not writing an ebook and “trading my time for money” I’m going to scream. I write for others because I like it and (at least I feel) I am good at what I do!

  5. Do you have my office conference rooms bugged or something? While we finally wore them down on the blog issue (so long as it’s not on the corporate site, domain, or server that is) our current struggle is explaining the “point” of mobile apps to people who don’t know – or care – how to check email on their Blackberry!
    Gah – I leave every meeting feeling more burnt out & less interested in changing things. Thanks for showing me that I’m not alone.
    Let me know when the boat leaves for the bunker.

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