Work Smart AND Hard Poster Signing Mania

I used to have an office. Now I have a space where I sign stuff and get in the way.

Apparently, several thousand of you have suddenly purchased our Work Smart AND Hard poster, which means that hundreds of glossy and full-sized representations of yours truly are being rolled and stuffed in cardboard tubes on a daily basis – labeled, stamped, sealed, and trundled off to the nearest post office, bound for parts unknown.

Not that I’m complaining. These posters are catching on, and popping up in schools and offices across the country. Very cool. They’ve raised nearly $40,000 so far for mikeroweWORKS, and more importantly, stimulated some fascinating conversations in high schools around the country. I can’t tell you how gratifying this is.

Earlier this week, I spoke with one of the guys who runs a trade school in Illinois that participates in our scholarship program. After presenting the concept of Work Ethic Scholarships to a local guidance counselor – and explaining that all qualifying students would first need to write an essay, submit a video, and sign the S.W.E.A.T. Pledge, the counselor frowned and said – and I’m not making this up – “Why? Why don’t you just give the money to the students who are interested? Why make them work for it?”

This is what we’re fighting against the presumption that a reward should exist without a sacrifice, the idea that a pulse and a passing desire to explore a career are enough to expect a free ride. What a crock. If we don’t start rewarding the kind of behavior we want to encourage, it’ll never change.

For those about to receive their cardboard tube, many thanks. Please remove the contents upon receipt, and see that it’s well-hung. (As an example, I give you this:  And to those that have already done so, many thanks.

PS. This week’s piece of C.R.A.P. just happens to be a poster signed and vandalized by Glenn Beck and me – Glenn Beck Defaces Mike Rowe’s Face Autographed Work Smart AND Hard Poster. The high bid is currently $3,400. Auction ends Sunday evening.

GET YOUR OWN POSTER: Profoundly Disconnected – The Shop

PPS. To Candice, Julie, and Kurt – thanks for rolling me all day, and sorry about the paper cuts.

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