What’s in a name?

A name in business is another term for reputation. Does the name have a good reputation or a bad reputation? In business, the name is everything. If the name is known for honesty and doing what you say you will do, then the reputation is a powerful thing.

I get calls from time to time from clients that I sold hotels for 20 years ago to talk to me about selling a hotel. I would like to think they called me because they were treated with honesty and I did what I said I was going to do. I know other hotel brokers and other business leaders who have the mentality of doing whatever it takes to make a sale. These guys don’t usually last long. It is because their reputation precedes them and they have lost the trust of their clients. I have never liked slick talkers. Anyone who knows me knows that I am anything but a slick talker. Ha. In fact I stutter and there is nothing slick or impressive about a salesman who stutters.

I think in life you have to do the best with what you have. You don’t have to wear the best suit or the best dress, drive the best car, and have the best look or anything of the sort. People can read your eyes and know who you are. Some of the best business people I have ever known where not flashy and in fact were the opposite. I knew one guy that drove the same Cadillac (1980) until he passed away a few years back. It was an old yellow car that was worn out but exemplified who he was. It is said that Sam Walton still drove his old truck every day well after he was a billionaire.

In business, your name and your reputation is the most valuable thing you have. I have been approached many times over the years to take kickbacks, side money or fancy vacations in payments for doing something that is either illegal or immoral or both. I have always turned it down and I always will. Wouldn’t it be great if our representatives in Washington would do the same thing? They let themselves meet with lobbyist and before you know it, the lobbyists have their hooks into them.

I believe it is never too late to start being who you are supposed to be. Your name and reputation will last past your lifetime and your children and grandchildren will remember you with pride or embarrassment. A name in business will outlive its founder and future employees will either have a high regard for the name or not. KT

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