In case you didn’t know this by now, your reputation is everything. It is your brand. It’s how you are judged by your character and how you’re seen by people. When you have a poor reputation, you will find it difficult to keep a nice job, lead a start-up company or just be able to attract investors to your business. I’ve taken a few hits on my reputation as well during my sneaker industry days, and whether it was true or not, it did some damage to my reputation back then. Many big name superstars like Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods and even our own Manny Pacquiao have lost sponsorships because of damage to their reputation, regardless of the reason. There have been a lot of business leaders that had to resign from their work because of mistakes in judgements such as badly thought off social media posts to illegal acts within their chosen industry.
Building wealth means you’re able to work and connect with other people, and your personal brand opens up opportunities. Your colleagues know that if they back you up, their reputation is also connected with yours. Your success and failure is affected by them in some way. The people will always be there to support you, so be that person that they can bet on their reputation as well.
1 thing I can be proud of throughout my career is that, I’ve never had a reputation of putting one over my peers or my competition. I’ve always felt that I kept it as honest as I could with former and current business partners, including the people or companies I have collaborated with. If they have done me wrong, I don’t intend to do them wrong back. I would rather keep my reputation and character intact, even if it meant me losing or bowing out of contention for something.
The quote “It takes many years to build up your reputation, and one moment to ruin it.” That is why it’s imperative to protect your brand. Here some examples on how your reputation can always be good by watching every word and action you do:
1. Be honest – We all tell lies of some sort every single day. Studies have shown that we tell about a dozen of small and large lies every single day just to prove a point or try to convince someone. Aim for the truth and your reputation will be in a much better place.
2. Think before making any promises and big commitments. Ask yourself if you are confident that you can meet the expectations you’ve created.
3. Before making any casual remarks, think twice. Your comments could be misunderstood as being arrogant, sexist, racist, discriminatory or plain bullying? If you feel like you’re speaking your truth and you know it will ruffle some feathers, ask yourself if it is worth it or not. Before you post something a little on the negative side publicly, save it as a draft first and walk away from it for a few minutes before going back to it. Chances are, your mood might change after taking a walk or doing something else. Which brings me to number 4.
4. Before sending out emails, social media posts or text messages, pause and take 6 deep breaths. You need to ask yourself if you’re communicating what you intend to say, or could it be another reason for being misinterpreted. I’ve been there a lot of times during my younger years, and I’ve learned to minimize those situations by just pausing and taking deep meditational breaths before going back at it. It really helps I tell you.
Hey, I know it’s hard, but I want you to understand that it’s perfectly alright not to be perfect. Just be open about yourself to others regarding your mistakes, wrong judgements, weaknesses. It could be the start-up business you failed, the roles in the job you struggled with, or just simply admitting that you didn’t know all the answers. Whenever someone asks me about something that I have no idea about, I’d rather just be honest to say I have little to no idea about it, instead of agreeing to something I might just put myself in a bad spot in the end.
When I write things from my texts, emails, social media posts and even this blog you’re reading now, I read everything again and try to digest the message I’m trying to portray here. If I feel like it’s anything negative without any reinforcements, I try to change some of it to balance it out, without letting go of what my main purpose is of sending out that message.
Question of the day: What do you think people would say about you if I asked them about your reputation? Is it good or not?