Tory Johnson: 'Can Do' Attitude Is a Must

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Every day I receive e-mails and phone calls from women and men who say they're having trouble reaching their career goals. They express serious doubt about their abilities to accomplish what they really want to do.

Each time I tell them an anecdote about a young Michael Gelman.

While in journalism school at the University of Colorado, Michael solicited a lot of advice from his professors. Most of them said that if he wanted a career in television, he'd have to start in a small market and hope to work his way up. He let it all sink in -- and then abandoned their directives.

Instead, armed with an abundance of energy and determination, Gelman headed to the Big Apple as an intern on an early version of what ultimately became Live!, the popular talk show hosted today by Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa. Gelman once told me he knew that "someone had to get those TV jobs, so why not me? I realized that these were ordinary people -- nothing to put on a pedestal -- and if they could do it, so could I."

That passion, guts and logic worked: In 1987, after freelance assignments and staff stints, Gelman became the youngest executive producer of a national talk show, and he proceeded to turn the program into a ratings powerhouse.

It could be argued that his talents in television are on par other people's skills in their chosen lines of work -- from administrative assistants to electrical engineers. But it's his can-do attitude that really sets him above and beyond many of us.

Instead of figuring out why you can't accomplish what you've set your eyes on -- there's way too much competition or you "just don't have enough time" -- turn the tables on that negativity. Figure out exactly what it'll take to get you where you want to go and start heading down that path. Get going today.

Tory Johnson is the workplace contributor for "Good Morning America" and the CEO of WomenForHire.com.

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