It is hard to really quantify what a reputation actually is. You can be classed as giving birth to it, but it is what others do that will determine, to a large degree, how it ends up developing. A reputation, as any reputation management company will tell you, has a life all on its own. It represents the views that people have about you, and what your personal view of you is, is basically irrelevant. Yes, your actions to a large degree determine how others will start to see you, but how other people see how others perceive you, is just as important.
The only thing you can truly do is influence your reputation. You cannot control it. Yet, your reputation is also your most valuable asset. So why does having a good reputation matter?
A Good Reputation Matters Because…
- People will see you how you really are. If someone were to attack you, or be unfair about you, you will have a network of people who will immediately stand up and defending it. Interestingly, you often won’t even know that this is happening. In reality, everybody is the safe-keeper (or destroyer) of everybody else’s reputation. Everybody is also in the court of public opinion, and each individual is a judge. If we all learned to be more gentle and kinder, we would all have a better reputation as well.
- You know what to aim for. Sometimes, people have a reputation that they feel is actually better than the reality. This may make you feel like a cheat, but why not see it as a challenge instead? Use it to motivate yourself to actually achieve that reputation for real, so that you don’t let people who believe in you down.
- Your reputation is a marketing strategy. You need to have a reputation that is bigger and better than your competition. In so doing, they will come to you, instead of the other. It has been shown that people are willing to pay a little bit more for the same thing, if they trust the company’s reputation.
- You can inspire others. This really goes back to the first point: being just a bit nicer and more gentle. You can inspire others to do this as well, turning yourself into a positive role model that people can look up to. It’s a big responsibility, but one that will make you more deserving of a good reputation as well.
Some people continue to think that reputations aren’t really important, and that we should try our hardest regardless of what other people think of us. The last part is absolutely true: we should all do our best at all times. But thinking that a reputation doesn’t matter is absolutely false. Whether you are a business or an individual, you will quickly find that having a bad reputation affects all elements of your being, and will lead to a very lonely existence. Work on that reputation, and happiness will also follow.