What’s your attitude? Are you the type of person that takes everything as it comes and thinks, “To each his own”? Or are you the sort to get indignant, light on fire and go around smacking people when they’ve insulted you?
If you’re in the latter group, you could be costing yourself work.
Reputations spread quickly, both good and bad. We create a mental image and carry it with us wherever we go. People take note and pay attention to this image. They act on it, too. Are you sure that the image you display is the one you really want to show off?
Sometimes, we unwittingly misbrand ourselves. A stray heated comment on a blog labels us quickly as a problem writer. Just one poorly worded sentence creates conflict, and we’re seen as an instigator.
It happens that quickly, and the reputation you create for yourself can have a serious impact on your business. The way people perceive you can affect your ability to succeed in life.
Are you funny and jovial? Then people will most likely cleave to you, from peers who look up to you to professionals who want to hire you. Are you high and mighty? You might draw in some people who share your beliefs and create a bit of debate, but you’ll also drive away plenty of people who could have helped you get ahead.
Those people could have been valuable assets to your writing career. They could have been great network contacts, partners for joint ventures or even employers. They could have provided you with the income you wanted or the projects that boosted your notoriety.
If they think you’re a problem writer, they’ll pick someone else. And you miss out.
Why waste these opportunities? Before you write that comment on a blog, before you hit ‘send’ on an email, before you interact with anyone at all, think of the image you want to create, and make sure you’re conveying the right one for success.
Because undoing a poor reputation involves far more work than creating a good one from the start.
It’s your turn. Have you ever said something you wished you hadn’t and then had to undo the damage? Did a heated moment ever cost you a gig? Did you ever meet someone that you didn’t like, only to find out that once you got to know them, they were a completely different person?