Not all that glitters is gold. Yes, it’s an old saying, but it is a wise warning that not everything that grabs our attention or looks amazing is real, valuable and will stand the test of time.
This is an important rule when it comes to choosing who you should work with, work for or even be associated with.
Recently I was told that it was a ‘badge of honour’ to have been ignored at an event (snubbed more like it) by a very high profile person in the business and political world. Why was it an honour? Because that person actually has a poor reputation, despite their high profile. Being well-known or a high flier doesn’t automatically mean mean reputable — and neither does a fancy car or copious amounts of money.
Mind you, it wasn’t until this person DID ignore me that people were comfortable enough to tell me what they thought.
People don’t tell you to your face but they are watching who you speak with and who you do business with and if that person has a bad reputation it will directly rub off on YOURS.
If you have a quality brand that you have built up over many years, you will attract a new kind of potential client. The user who can see a huge value in being associated with you, to help lift their brand (even temporarily). But attracting those people comes at a price. And the price is that the value of your brand decreases at the same time.
How do you know who to work with or do business with?
Here are some guidelines:
- Allow time.
A quality client will take their time getting to know you. Quality business people don’t rush into things and don’t act impulsively. All my clients have known me for 1-10 years before we end up doing business together.
This is a big part of understanding someone’s brand and reputation. If there are questions not being answered and you notice discussions are conflicting with each other then something is amiss. You need to know exactly who you are dealing with before you can choose to work with them.
- Who are their friends?
We are the five people we spend most of our time with. So consider those that surround the potential business associate. Whose house do they frequent? Who are they speaking with at events?
- Google search.
Oh, how many times a simple Google search under the ‘news’ section has made my decision swift. The further you dig, the more you learn startling things about people.
- Gut instinct.
This is the most powerful tool to use in business. Your instinct will always tell you who to work with and who to avoid. Don’t let the idea of earning money, or the superficial image they project, persuade you to outrank your natural ability to protect your own reputation.
- Their reaction when you say no.
If you ever need to find out someone’s true colours then say no to them. It is very simple but very effective. On multiple occasions I have (politely) said no to people in business (for a range of requests) and some have come back with a level of rage, revenge and abuse that you only see in movies like the Godfather. That’s when you know you’ve dodged a bullet.
- If in doubt, throw it out. Simple.
Final remarks …
On the flip side, when you end up working with the right people, you will find a very strong bond that will help both brands catapult into the future and business world.