I’d reached the end of an interesting lunch with a brand new friend. We both ordered the kale salad, so I knew it was going to be a good meeting. Why the man showed up, I’ll never know. I say this because his dog was sitting at home with more than forty-eight hours to live.
In fact, his dog could have passed away while he was having lunch with me – thankfully the dog didn’t. Given the extremities of the situation, I was respectful and let my new friend get home to his sick dog and spend the last few hours he had left with him.
This thought alone made be feel sad. It reminded me of what it was like when my own dog passed away. As we walked out of the café my new friend mentioned the name of a business and I said to him, “Oh that’s cool that your friend owns that company, my friend is a shareholder.”
He asked for my friend’s name, and I told him. What then occurred reminded me of the important lesson I’m going to share with you shortly; your credibility can be lost overnight.
What did my friend say that made him lose all of his credibility?
For the next fifteen minutes, we stood in front of the café, and my new friend explained what my other friend had done. He explained that my friend had told all sorts of people from various walks of life, extreme exaggerations.
To ensure I got the point, he pulled out his phone. On his phone, he brought up my friend’s personal website which I had never seen. The website had a description of my friend that made some big claims which I knew to be untrue.
The further we got into the bio, the more ridiculous it became. The bio was written as though the future had already happened. There was a description of a business that sold for a large amount of money in the future.
Everything was written in an oddly strange way, and there was even some highly inappropriate revenue streams that were mentioned in the bio. Even if it was supposed to be a joke (it wasn’t) it managed to close lots of doors for my friend that he probably wasn’t aware of.
While this man is my friend, I knew that from a business point of you he was not someone to be taken seriously. I didn’t hate him for that I just accepted it.
The conversation then went on further and as it turned out, my friend didn’t just talk rubbish on the internet, he did the same in real life. He had asked for lots of money from some very important people and did so in an idiotic way. He even asked for a car space at their office. (This may seem minor, but where I live, no one has a car space at their skyscraper office).
At the end of all of this strange and unusual demonstration of my friend’s shortcomings, I left feeling stupid even though the story wasn’t about me. That’s the power of doing something that can destroy all of your credibility.
Keep these 5 things in mind so that you don’t lose all of your own credibility:
1. It’s okay to dream big just don’t be a d**k about it
Having big dreams is what entrepreneurship and life is all about. My only caution to you is don’t be a d**k about it. There’s a way to position your giant goals and not sound like some drunken idiot who just did a line of coke and thinks their cool.
Outline your goals using your passion and purpose. Then, when you describe your big goals to people listening, they will see the real you and not some ugly moron.
2. Don’t makeup lies
This one’s obvious. If you lie then you will never have any credibility – forget about losing it. Lying makes you appear like a person that is not worth getting to know.
“Lies will destroy your success and cause everyone to lose faith in what your message to the world is”
Tell people how it is, and you’ll be surprised how your real purpose and success are bigger than you think. All of us know when someone is lying so don’t think you’re fooling anyone. Just like my friend, you will suffer the consequences and be locked out from every decent opportunity that has your name written all over it.
3. You won’t know the damage you’ve done
Doing something foolish like my friend and making false claims will cause people to run the opposite direction from where you’re heading. The unfortunate thing is that you will often never know this. When people know that you’re fake like the Instagram models, they disappear without you knowing.
In the story above, my friend caused lots of people to stay away from him, but he doesn’t know this. On the surface, he thinks his massive claims are helping him win. They’re clearly not. It’s hard to confront someone who has overstated themselves and told lies.
99% of people won’t go through the effort. What they will do, though, is become the unsung hero and warn everyone of your BS and lies. You’ll create raving fans in the process; it’s just these fans will do the exact opposite of helping you.
4. People remember drongo’s who talk about themselves too much
We’ve all been to that party where some douchebag keeps telling everyone how incredible they are at everything. Don’t we all wish we could be them (not)? To avoid losing your credibility, don’t make every conversation about you.
Instead, become like Larry King and be fascinated with asking questions and listening to the answer. Forget trying to be memorable if it’s for all the wrong reasons. I’ve found the more you wind back your ego, the bigger the magnet you become for meeting fantastic, sometimes famous, influential game-changers.
The one nightstand that is your ego is not worth the damage it does to your credibility. Don’t be like my friend and learn from his mistakes.
5. Visionary can sometimes sound ridiculous
There’s a fine line between visionary and sounding very stupid. I’m someone that likes to think big and talk about visionary ideas, so I am very susceptible to the fine line between success and failure. Visions can easily sound stupid (like my friends) if you don’t back it up with anything.
If you haven’t thought about how you are going to achieve your vision, and you’re the only one that believes it after five years, something’s wrong buddy. I’m not saying you shouldn’t dream, just make sure that you’ve nailed the building blocks of your dream and can talk about it with some confidence.
We’re all selling something to someone even if we don’t realise it. The more you pitch your vision with honesty and reframe from big claims, the larger the pool of positive raving fans becomes. Our BS radars are at an all-time high, and the internet has forced us to be more transparent than ever. Remember this before you are like my friend and makeup fantasies that can easily be proven wrong.