You Can’t Build a Reputation on What You Are Going to Do

Several years ago, I sat in a meeting and listened to some entrepreneurs discuss their new venture. They talked about all the things they were going to do as soon as they received their funding. They had big plans. My dad would have called them “air castles.”

A Man Laying on the Grass Dreaming  - Photo courtesy of ©, Image #5724729

Photo courtesy of ©

The problem was that they had not accomplished much of anything. Yet, they wanted us to trust them and invest in their future as though it had already happened. They were absolutely confident. According to them, the risk was minimal. The return on investment would be substantial.

I am all for vision. No organization can move forward without it. But planning is one thing; execution is another. At the end of the day, you can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do. You can only build a reputation on what you have done.

Building a reputation happens one action—one win—at a time. Do that consistently over time and your reputation will grow. Try to cut corners with hype and you will actually end up further behind.

Plan. Execute. Rinse and repeat.

Questions: What are you doing to build your reputation?