I learned an important lesson when I left the safety and security of corporate life for the risk and reward of entrepreneurship: even if you have all of the money and success in the world, all you really have is your reputation. Most of us take our reputation for granted. We assume that we can always count on having a great reputation especially with family, friends, clients and colleagues and that we have to do nothing to establish and maintain it. You have better things to do with your time. Your reputation will just have to take care of itself.
Make time to focus on taking care of your reputation. What is your reputation? It is how you see yourself and how others see you personally and professionally. A good reputation is when you walk your talk, you meet your commitments, you can be trusted with confidential information, you can be counted on to be there and you can be counted in to get done what needs to get done. Your reputation can move from good to bad when you say yes then drop the ball, you agree to meet then cancel at the last minute, or you promise a prompt response and deliver one late or not at all. If these are one time occurrences your good reputation will remain intact. However, if these one-time occurrences grow into a habit then your reputation will suffer and before you know it someone will finally have the courage to tell you that it’s time to change your ways. This will usually happen after you notice that you are receiving fewer and fewer e-mails, phone calls, referrals and invitations.
Here’s how to take care of your reputation:
– Connect with at least three friends, family, clients or colleagues by phone or e-mail daily.
– Approach every individual and situation you encounter with kindness and understanding.
– Pay a compliment to someone whether or not you know them – you will make their day.
– Write a thank you note or e-mail daily to someone who has made a difference in your life.
– Make a real difference in a someone’s life daily – smile, offer to help or buy their coffee.
– Be committed to others, to yourself and to the pursuit of excellence in all that you do.
Self care is taking care of your mind, body and spirit as well as your reputation.