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A Message to the Class of 2012

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GUEST EDITORIAL

Larry Winget is an international speaker and a New York Times/Wall Street Journal best-selling author of five books, including “Shut Up, Stop Whining & Get a Life." He has appeared on his own television show (“Big Spender,” on A&E), and is a regular contributor on many news shows on the topics of money, personal success, parenting, and business. His column is reprinted with permission.

Congratulations on earning your degree. But the truth is that the degree alone isn’t going to be enough to assure your success in the real world.
In the real world, employers don’t care much about your degree, your happiness, your income or really much of anything that has to do with you.
They care about what you can do for them. And from this point on, that’s how you have to think. Businesses exist to be profitable. It is your job to help make them profitable. If you know how to do that, how to be worth more than you cost, then you have value in the workplace.
If you don’t know how to be worth more than you cost, then employers will pass you over and find someone else.
Look at what it really takes to be successful in the real world.
You have to take responsibility. Your life, your results, your success, happiness, health and prosperity are up to you.
When it turns out well, you get the credit and when it doesn’t work out the way you wanted it to, you get the blame. It isn’t up to anyone else to make sure you are successful, it’s always up to you, so be responsible.
Others. Respect your employer enough to be on time and give them your personal best every day because that is what they are paying for. Respect your boss, even when you think he is an idiot, because he is still your boss and deserves your respect. Respect your coworkers so they will respect you and your customers because they pay you.
Clear priorities. Your time, your energy and your money will always go to what is important to you. If looking cute is important to you then you will spend all of your money at the mall. If being financially secure is important to you then you will make sure that you save, invest and live on less than you earn.
It’s about work and excellence. Regardless of what others may tell you, it’s not about your passion — as I know people who are passionately incompetent. It’s not loving what you do or being happy every day. You aren’t paid to be happy on the job, you are paid to do your job.
Success always comes down to hard work and excellence. And it takes both. Hard work alone won’t cut it. I know people who work really hard yet aren’t any good at what they do so it doesn’t matter. And I know people who are excellent at what they do but they don’t work hard enough at it to make any difference.
So work hard and be excellent at what you do.
And remember, if any one can do it then anyone can do it.