Reputation Equals Profits

The power of your reputation can be a tangible business strategy

her. If customers turned her down, she would smile and graciously thank them for giving her an opportunity to bid on their business. Despite living in the toughest part of town, she was always cheerful, quick to pass on an encouraging word, and appreciative of the fact that she had a roof over her head, heat in the winter, food to eat, and good health.

Soon, Karen’s customers began to notice her positive attitude and unwavering spirit. Although they hadn’t given her a lot of business early on, they enjoyed her company because of her gracious spirit.

Karen hoped to build her business so that someday she could hire additional staff, move to a nicer office, and send her son to a private school. But she understood that she had to build upon her current achievements in order to make it to the next level.

About this time one of Karen’s prospects called her at home late at night. “Karen, I’m not supposed to tell you this, but we’re going to be listing a major contract for graphic design services. I think you can do this work, and the word around the office is that you’d be a great vendor to work with. Although I can’t make any promises, I, and others here, would sure like to see you win. I suggest that you watch the newspaper for the announcement of the bid and put your best proposal forward. Good luck!”

“Thank you so much for the tip, and God bless you,” Karen responded.

Karen kept a lookout for the official Request for Proposal. Two weeks later, the RFP finally hit the street. Karen responded with a well-researched and documented proposal. Although she had minimal resources, she worked overtime and used her special design talent to construct a strong, competitive proposal.

After a long wait and a series of starts and stops, Karen received word that she had been awarded the contract. Soon, she was able to hire five new employees; move to a bright, new office; and buy top-of-the-line computer equipment.

Karen used her positive reputation as leverage when the opportunity arose. Even in the face of hardship, she remained undauntedly gracious to those around her. Kindness and a positive outlook were clearly defined assets that Karen valued more than her financial statement.

Wisdom to take away
Average individuals, if asked for an honest personal assessment, would agree that they are not completely content with what they have and where they are in life. Most of us desire bigger and more — a bigger home, a nicer car, a better-paying job, more recognition, enhanced prestige, and power. “Constructive discontent” can be good, and indeed it is necessary if entrepreneurs are to push the envelope of opportunity. But if that attitude is allowed to get out of hand, entrepreneurs will lose sight of the wonderful assets they already possess.

Despite the difficulties of life, all of us are endowed with three types of assets: time, talent, and treasure. All of us are provided with 24 hours in each day to

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