There is a part of you that is wandering around out there going into places you are unaware of and doing things that you have no knowledge of. It is circulating throughout the investment community in the days and the evenings, on the weekends and in places where you have never gone before. This part of you that
It’s your reputation.
The kind of person you are and the way you treat other people socially and in business both follows and precedes you. It is about your morals and ethics, your sense of fair play and the eagerness or lack of in assuring that everyone profits in a deal.
You may hallucinate that you are operating in a vacuum and that what you did to or for person “A” will not become knowledge to person “B”. Whether you treated someone else fairly or cheated them, it will all be circulating around the investment community without your knowledge or consent. Over time, what you do and how you treat others will form your reputation in the community. Good or bad, it will follow you like a puppy, and like a puppy, it will race out ahead of you on the path you have chosen.
Building your reputation means building your future. It is about what you do, how you do it and the way you treat others. If you are the type of person who wants to squeeze every last dime out of a deal, then you will become known for it. If you are someone who wants to make a fair profit and treats the other people who are involved in the transaction as though they have a right to prosper as well, then that is the reputation that you will have in the future.
How do you communicate with others? Do you talk down to people? Do you keep your word? Do you respect them as human beings? Do you respect their schedule as if it were your own and show up on time? Do you return phone calls in a timely manner? Are you forgiving of the shortcomings of others? Do you treat them like you would like to be treated? Day by day, deal by deal your reputation is being built. What is your reputation based on? Is it based on trust or is it based on pounding the other person flat so that you can prevail at their expense?
Building a reputation based on respect for the people you are dealing with means building a foundation for a prosperous future. Your reputation will fling doors open before you, and just as easily close them. You’ll meet some investors who flourish in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds while others flounder no matter how easy the task. Often, their success or failure is determined by others people’s willingness to work with them. And that willingness is determined by that investor’s reputation.
So if you are going to have a part of yourself floating around out there, why not make it support you rather than hold you back? Be nice, play fair, and you can get anything you want. There really is plenty out there for each and every one of us.
Until next time, happy (and profitable) investing!