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Column: Reputation is everything

People like to talk about the small-town atmosphere of Okotoks, even though our population is approaching 30,000. I think that’s due, in no small part, to the quality of our small business sector. Our town has a great reputation.
Dick Nichols 0020
Dick Nichols Business Beat

People like to talk about the small-town atmosphere of Okotoks, even though our population is approaching 30,000. I think that’s due, in no small part, to the quality of our small business sector. Our town has a great reputation.

Your reputation is the world’s opinion of your character. Your character determines the level of trust you inspire. And the trust you inspire determines how many opportunities you will receive.

Reputation is not the same as popularity, though many confuse the two. The proverb “popularity is what you do; reputation is what you are,” describes the difference

People with solid reputations inspire others to action without having any control over what they do, allowing them to get things done without resorting to wielding authority.

The first step in building a reputation is to create trust. Trustworthy people know who they are and what they stand for. You cannot expect others to support you unless you communicate, in words and deeds, what it is you want them to support.

In the entire universe there is no one else exactly like you. People with solid reputations know their unique qualities and consistently demonstrate how they, and the offerings their businesses present, are making a significant contribution to the community.

They are also selective about whom they choose to influence, recognizing that they can’t please everybody.

The Okotoks trading community, with its hundreds of businesses and professionals, includes many who can benefit from what your business has to offer. And the surest way to build a reputation in Okotoks, or anywhere else, is by investing the time required to get to know people. What are their goals? What motivates them? What do they need?

Building a solid reputation will make it easier to blaze new trails. The world will always be competitive, and success will not always come to the strongest, or even best financed. Most often, particularly in times like these, it will come to those who adapt best to changing conditions. Of course, the other side of that coin is you must be prepared to occasionally fail. Just don’t let it become a habit.

As you meet people along your journey, consider those you have come to respect. Ask yourself why these people impress you, and what it is about them that you find appealing.

Then imitate them. It’s the sincerest form of flattery, and when you imitate someone long enough, the characteristics you imitate will become ingrained in your own personality. You gain confidence and increase your belief in your own worth, and as you do, you enhance your reputation without even trying.

Our town’s business community has a great reputation, and it’s been earned over the years by thousands of individuals who have consistently been straightforward, honest, and accommodating.

 




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