This week’s Tip of the Week is about building a strong reputation for yourself and your business. Your reputation is vitally important to the growth of your business. Do you do business with people whose reputation you don’t trust? How much of your business have you given to others based on their reputation?
I am paraphrasing an excerpt from One Phone Call Away: Secrets of a Master Networker by Jeffrey W. Meshel and Douglas Garr. (Garr, 2005)
The one thing you go to your grave with is your reputation. Guard it as you would guard anything you love dearly. Wake up! Be aware of what you do or don’t do and how those affected will react. Leo Durocher, the legendary baseball manager, once said, “Nice guys finish last.” He had it wrong: Nice guys finish first. Now ask yourself these questions:
- How do people you know perceive you?
- How do new introductions react to you?
- Are you viewed as smart and sharp at what you do?
- Are you viewed as a giver or a taker?
- Do others think you are connected?
- Are you well liked by your peers; are you viewed as a good person?
- Do people respect your opinion?
- Are you honest and sincere?
- Do you follow through with what you say you are going to do?
- Do you take the lead in conversations?
- Are you ever overbearing or overanxious when making a point?
The perception may be wrong, but it doesn’t matter. Perception is reality. Drive yourself to be better – every day. Don’t change who you are, change the way you think. Follow up – and continue to follow up – after the event. Think big!! Get out more often. The view of the world from your desk is a narrow one. Stay balanced – contentment is success.
If you aren’t happy with your current reputation, work to make a change. First, you must be open and honest with yourself. Next, you need to allow others to speak with you frankly and allow them to tell you where you are falling short. Finally, you need to take action to make the change. Work to correct the things you must work on internally and work to correct the misperceptions that may exist around you. At the end of the day, your reputation is gold, so treasure it as such.