My wife doesn’t speak English natively. She speaks English very well but there are a lot of things she doesn’t fully understand. Reputation was a hard concept for her. It helped me a lot in explaining exactly what it is. I couldn’t even cheat. There is no translation of Reputation in Japanese on Wikipedia.
However, the definition of reputation doesn’t matter to me. What matters is what my reputation can get me. A good reputation can open doors and present opportunities. Conversely, a bad reputation can ruin everything. Reputation can get me a wonderful partner to work with or thrown out on the streets. It’s up to me to decide what I get. I control my reputation through what I accomplish.
The discussions on reputation have naturally led me to wonder about things I don’t have. What do I need to accomplish to get my reputation out there in the way I want? What can I do that will give me what I feel I need?
As a simple example, one thing we’re missing is a business-side partner. Someone who matches our zeal, except on the business side. The focus, the drive, the energy. Just on business development. Being our visionary. We need a Steve Jobs. We’re bad at that. It’s ok to be bad at that.
A very wise man once told me, “Don’t use your strengths to overcome your weaknesses. Use your strengths to make your weaknesses irrelevant.”
So why would a Steve Jobs caliber business person want to work with us? Reputation answers this. I can use my strengths to get there. Then my weakness in business is irrelevant.
It’s a heavy burden. I must be able to show my worth immediately. At any time. I failed at this recently and it hurt.
It’s fair for any business partner to demand this from me. It’s what we expect of any partner we would pick.