How are you doing in building a reputation? What comes to mind when people mention your name? In business, your reputation is your calling card. And everything you do, every interaction you have, contributes to this image.
A great reputation attracts great people. People want to get to know you, to share with you and connect. Respect is earned. It’s the product of going above and beyond, of putting others first, of demonstrated integrity and being true to your word. Building a great reputation takes time.
On the other hand, building a bad reputation is quite simple. A dishonest deal, looking out for “number one,” self-promotion at another’s expense, slithering out of paying a legitimate bill, arrogance and a host of other low activities will quickly brand you as, if not the scum of the earth, something close to it.
A great reputation expands your circle of friends, contacts and referrals. People talk about you, recommend you, and share anecdotes and testimonials. A bad reputation also spreads. Just one comment regarding how you mistreated someone poisons the well for everyone within hearing distance. And if you’ve been particularly active, others will chime in with their unflattering testimonials.
Your good name can be easily lost, but a poor reputation can have a life of its own. Your actions have consequences. Their consequences may not be evident immediately; your victim may not say or do anything at the time, and you might feel you have prevailed. But memories last a very long time, and stories never die.
Building a reputation is building your business persona. Regardless of how you think of yourself, your reputation is your image to the world. You may envision yourself a real mover and shaker, a powerhouse, a player. In reality, your image to the world may be that of a schemer, liar and cheat.
Everything you do builds your reputation. Build carefully – a good reputation is golden but a bad reputation can haunt you forever.