While maintaining a good reputation is important, it can also hold you back if you're not ready to step out of your comfort zone.
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3 min read
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Your reputation is a big part of who you are as a person. A good reputation makes you feel better, while a bad one can leave you with sleepless nights. There's nothing worse than having a customer posting negative comments about you on social media or other channels, especially when the claims aren't true.
If you are unwilling to do things and get additional business because it could damage your reputation if you fail, you may be missing out on massive opportunities that your competition is ready to jump at.
Remember that the calculated risk equates to a higher reward. If you avoid reputational risk, these three elements can help alleviate your discomfort while making decisions.
1. Be optimistic
It's simple: optimists get opportunities, pessimists don't. Consider yourself lucky to have encountered your opportunity or idea. The reason many people don't get what they want from their business and even their life is because they don't see the opportunities that are offered to them. There is nothing wrong with being critical – having a critical mindset is important in realizing the shortcomings that others overlook. However, if you keep finding reasons NOT to do something, you have a problem. Be a critical optimist.
Related: You must face your challenges with pathological optimism at every turn
2. Proceed to the final stages
You owe it to yourself to take your chances until the end. If you've completed your due diligence and your opportunity still doesn't make sense, say "no" or "not now". But don't say no until you have enough information to make an informed decision. The opportunity may go nowhere, but at least you've researched to the point that you won't kick your butt again afterward. One of the greatest regrets business leaders have is not pursuing an opportunity that crossed their path earlier in life.
Related: Easily distracted? This is how to stay focused when there are many options
3. Have an acceptable risk meter
How do you know how much reputational risk you want to take unless you have a way to measure it? The risk can be subjective and objective. The risk calculation is mostly done subjectively. However, taking an objective measure will give you more confidence in your decision. Having an actual measure of the impact can give you a clearer picture of what could go wrong and how much it could cost you in both brand confidence and dollars.
Know how to measure your reputational risk. You want a healthy measure of the risk you're about to take, but also the opportunity you're ready to leave on the table.
Related: Risk Literacy: Need of the Hour