off, there is this concept of a“self-made” man. Or woman. Let’s see how it fits in the picture of reputation. Technically, there is no such thing as a self-made man. Or woman. When he wakes up to switch on the light, he didn’t create the electricity, the bulb, the plumbing and even the house itself.
You get the point. We are all connected one to another. Our advancement in life, the pursuit of our greatest goals and every desire we aspire to achieve will be realized through the involvement of others. That is where the necessary reputation what we have will come into play.
Generally, people will accord you initial respect because we all give people we just met, the benefit of the doubt. Even then, we are all cautious about doing business with them, or entrusting them with our lives and hearts. That is where the reputation we have comes in to bail us out and give us a seat at the table of people’s lives.
It, therefore, follows that if our reputation gets soiled one way or another, we stand to lose quite a bit in life. In the next article, I will share with you just what you can do in order to regain a lost reputation. In this article though, we need to understand the extent to which you will be disadvantaged by having a bad reputation.
Sportsmen and women have different streams of income. The same is true with celebrities of any kind. One of that stream of income is what I call "Reputation income". It is exemplified by one being a brand ambassador or by doing endorsements for products and services. Those two streams of income are estimated to bring in billions of dollars a year for personalities and entities.
It only happens as long as the reputation of the person involved or the product involved is intact. The moment there is a wreck on the reputation of a product or a service, a relationship is severed and we lose revenue. That is what happened to Volkswagen some time back. It is the same thing that happened to Samsung when their phones were exploding.
Recommendations and Reputation
Several years ago, I put my reputation with a professional coach and friend of mine on the line. I did this by recommending someone who was a mere acquaintance. As such, I hadn’t proved their worth and reputation in the business that they were claiming to be professionals in.
When he was tasked with the responsibility to present a prototype, he couldn’t deliver. When he did, the work was shoddy, unprofessional and embarrassing. When he was not given the contract to do the job, he sent text messages and emails calling my friend names.
What happened is that my friend was totally disappointed with me because I was the one who made the recommendation. My reputation with him suffered and I do not think he trusts my recommendations any more after that day. I lost his trust. Let us see just what you can lose by having a soiled reputation.
You can only be entrusted if you are trusted. And you can only be trusted if your reputation backs you to the hilt. That’s it. If you were trusted once and your reputation took a hit, that trust will be quickly eroded. Believe me, there is nothing as painful as not being trusted in whatever relationship that is beneficial to you one way or another.
The moment you realize that the trust you had and the confidence you had that gave you access to someone or some entity is gone, that is the moment you need to start making amends. It is a signal that it could have a ripple effect and not just cost you that particular trust, but also many others.
One of the greatest gifts in life that is much more precious than resources is the gift of access . In fact, there is a scripture that says, that if a man is skilled in what he does, he will not stand before obscure people, he will stand before Kings, princes and princesses. Believe me, there is no way that is happening to you if you have a wrecked reputation.
The moment your reputation is wrecked, that’s the moment the doors of access that you previously held will start being shut to your face. Nobody wants to get associated with someone with a soiled reputation. Why? Because a soiled reputation can easily extend its effects even to those who are not involved solely through association.
Ultimately, trade is a social act. There is a chance that the revenue streams you are having in your life are somehow connected to the reputation that you have. The greater a good reputation you build, the more the chances for you to trade more and thereby increase your revenue.
However, once you have a bad reputation in trade circles that is the time that your revenue streams start suffering. It happened to Tiger Woods when he had marital issues. Many of the organisations that were proud of him and had associated with him cut off their relationships. That increasingly reduced on his revenue streams.
The same can happen to you and I. If you look at your life and you see a constricted revenue flow, there could be a chance that the situation is being fostered by a bad reputation.
Perhaps this is the most direct disadvantage of a bad reputation. We exist in relationships of different kinds. However, every time there is a broken relationship whether marital, family, work or even celebrity, it will be because of a spoilt reputation. Technically, all the relationship wreckages are as a result of someone soiling their reputation in that relationship one way or another.
Relationships are very important in life. I am not saying that you should maintain all the relationships you ever formed. That’s not even practical. I am saying that you should not wreck the relationships that could be fostered and stay for long by ruining your reputation. Nearly every success you will ever mention would be because of a reputation.
Clout is the general goodwill or favour that you gained directly by having a good reputation. This clout gives you so much benefit in life as you relate to people. In some instances, you might not need to trade with cash or physical resources, but just with your clout. Once your reputation is lost though, you will be required to pay in cash or in-kind before you are afforded any service. The thing with clout is that it doesn’t just happen with transactions, but with life in general.
The next time you are considering having a bad reputation, please take note of what you stand to lose. I guarantee you that if you do maintain a bad reputation, it will just be a matter of time before your house of cards comes down. It might take a month, a year or even decades, but there is no way that you are succeeding and sustaining your success with a bad rap. Take that to the bank.