Entrepreneurship Etiquette Series: Volume II: Legitimacy Through Credibility

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Entrepreneurs should always be in search of one thing: credibility. Credibility garnerssupport for a legitimate operation, and we gain our legitimacy as business owners through our credibility. 

We all struggle daily in our attempts to establish credibility or remain credible. I always
say that if you can strive for the absolute truth, encourage righteous behavior and
business practices, and always stand for something positive, then you’re on your way
toward a credible lifestyle. The sad thing is that we make promises all the time that we
can’t or don’t intend to keep; we lie when we don’t have to or tell half-truths that lead
to exaggerations or selective information, far from the facts or reality. As the saying
goes, “People do business with folks they know, love, and trust.” So, when you are
constantly lying, making promises you can’t keep, and camouflaging reality in rhetoric,
you take away that trust, hurt the people who love you, and blemish your most delicate
asset, your credibility. Once your credibility is gone, it is very hard to get it back, and
your record has been tarnished. This makes it hard for you as a business owner to have
or maintain a legitimate brand.

To create a credible track record, an entrepreneur must master the art of straight
talking, or less talking the talk and more walking the walk. People, customers, colleagues, and associates appreciate straightforward communication that is completely
open, honest, transparent, and 100% accurate. Businesses live or die by the truth. In
most cases, the truth has set businesses free from potential lawsuits, damage, poor
reputation, and lack of credibility. As entrepreneurs, we have to resist all temptation to
exaggerate, stretch the truth, or embellish the facts. We should also only make promises
we intend to keep and admit to our mistakes and imperfections.

At the end of the day, a entrepreneur or business owner who reaps credibility, admits to
faults or mistakes, keeps his or her promises, and always delivers a good check that
doesn’t bounce is a person I want to do business with, make a deal by, or purchase
products, commodities, goods, or services from. Make your business legitimate by being
a credible one first.

If you missed last week’s post, check out Volume I: Chivalrous Courtesy in Business.

Next week, Volume III: Nonverbal Communication, or “What people tell you without
saying anything.”

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