Always do what you say you’ll do

Always do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it. Screw up and your name is mud faster than you can imagine.

Always do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it. Screw up and your name is mud faster than you can imagine.

One time, we did a landscaping job and forgot to replace a dead plant that stuck out like a sore thumb. To rectify it, we returned, replaced the plant that day and planted several additional flowers. Take responsibility for screw-ups. Folks will appreciate it.

— Steve Griggs, founder and CEO of Steve Griggs Design; went from $200 and a lawnmower to seven figures annually

Cultivate your personal integrity before all

As long as your actions are aligned with your inner values, others’ perceptions of you won’t have a long-term effect on your personal and professional life.

As long as your actions are aligned with your inner values, others’ perceptions of you won’t have a long-term effect on your personal and professional life. If you focus on a high standard of inner integrity, everything in the outside world will eventually work itself out—even when you make mistakes.

—Nafisé Nina Hodjat, founder and managing attorney of The SLS Firm

Always own problems, then solve them

I’ve spent nearly 20 years building both my personal and company’s reputation to be impeccable. The key factor has been my willingness to take responsibility for my actions

I’ve spent nearly 20 years building both my personal and company’s reputation to be impeccable. The key factor has been my willingness to take responsibility for my actions, and for all of my employees and contractors. I work with multibillion-dollar public companies with stellar reputations. People make mistakes, but when you try to hide those mistakes, your reputation can be ruined. Don’t make your client find out from someone else you made a mistake. First, fix the error, train your people better, then provide your client with a solution, not a mess!

—Jim Mathers, CEO of North American Energy Advisory, Inc.

Look to your idols

Look at anyone you admire. Their personal brand or reputation is crystal clear and out there for everyone to see: They’re true to themselves.

Look at anyone you admire. Their personal brand or reputation is crystal clear and out there for everyone to see: They’re true to themselves. And because of this, they elicit an emotional response that creates a connection, then a relationship, loyalty, support, backing and even love.

—Adèle McLay, business growth consultant, author, speaker

Take control of your character

In today’s world, with a booming fake journalism economy, you have very little control over your reputation, especially as you gain more public exposure.

In today’s world, with a booming fake journalism economy, you have very little control over your reputation, especially as you gain more public exposure. But you do have 100 percent control over your character. Never compromise doing the right thing because you think your reputation will suffer. Instead, lean into transparency. Do the right thing and tell the world about it.

—Rafe Furst, entrepreneur, investor and co-founder of Crowdfunder

Protect your reputation like your life depends on it

Even if you are successful, you will still be the victim of attacks online. That’s a fact every entrepreneur needs to make peace with and prepare for.

Even if you are successful, you will still be the victim of attacks online. That’s a fact every entrepreneur needs to make peace with and prepare for. Protecting your online reputation doesn’t happen by accident. Dedicate a budget to strategically build your online reputation so that when a malicious competitor attempts to divert your clients away with negative reviews, they don’t ruin your business.

Too many successful entrepreneurs contact me to help repair their online reputation after the damage is done. It’s a lot easier to defend against an attack if you’ve started protecting your online reputation before things go south.

—Jerome Knyszewski, CEO of HeavyShift Marketing; protects and repairs the online reputation of celebrities, products and brands