On Reputation

The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear - Socrates

Ferzona's intro

As the entrepreneur that you are, you must understand why this topic is important. Entrepreneurship is about imposing your radical and novel ideas on the world. It is difficult enough trying to start anything new and different. A solid reputation built on good character makes it easier and smoother to achieve your entrepreneurial goals.

Ferzona has built a reputation in Cambridge for Creativity, Hard work and Getting It Done (some people have also said "a party animal" - But I wouldn't talk about that). It is these character traits that have made it possible to achieve many of the things that I have so far. A reputation is simply the widespread acknowledgement of your character by other people. Your reputation can be good, bad or non-existent. Whichever it is, you will have a good sense of what it is. And if you don't, a good place to start will be in the conversations that precede and succeed you. These conversations have the peculiar ability to tell you the public's perception of a person.

A good reputation is important for an individual and even more so for an entrepreneur. Because dealing with people is probably the biggest challenge we all face. Especially in business, because we are dealing with delicate things like strategy, game plan, ideas, secrets, etc. These things make or break a business and it takes enormous courage and risk to share them with other people. A good reputation is the cushion that allows trust to develop within an un-easy first-time business relationship.
And listen to this: You'll ONLY have access to meaningful and long-lasting relationships where there is trust. The beautiful thing about reputation is this: you are mostly in charge of building your reputation. Based on my experience, here is my two cents on what qualities you should develop as reputation to have a smoother entrepreneurial journey:

The 3 Important Character traits

CREATIVITY:
With this one, it goes without saying, you have to be creative to be an entrepreneur. If you don't have this skill, you're just as good as everybody else. Being the same with everybody else defeats the idea behind entrepreneurship. The good news is this: Creative ideas lie in your imagination and in the extent of your exposure. It is unique and personal. The most important thing? It is extremely subjective. I might not like mustard, but I know a few people that adore it. This is the same with creativity. It can be very polarising. (You might remember one of our business maxims - you can't serve everyone!) The best way to begin your creative journey is to ask this question at all times: "Left to me and my experience, how will I solve this problem?" You'll be amazed at how innovative you can be. Don't be too hard on yourself as well, creativity might take a few minutes or might take a lot longer than a few weeks. Be patient. With that being said: Go out, Build an Audience, Constantly Churn out Creative Ideas and you'll be rewarded massively...mostly with loyal fans. [Bonus: The Art Of Pastiche]

HARDWORK:
As an entrepreneur, you cannot be anything less than a hard worker. If your plans involve escaping hard work, you better quit right now, because you have zero chance of succeeding in the entrepreneurial world. The argument favouring working smart over working hard is a whole bunch of BS. And I quite understand the idea of working smart. It is built mostly around the concept of efficiency - meaning accomplishing more in the same or less time. For example, using a timed-automatic coffee machine to make your coffee every morning or listening to an audiobook at twice the speed while brushing your teeth. Without a doubt, these things will save you a few minutes even hours within your day as opposed to scheduling time to do them individually.
The perfect balance for an entrepreneur should be in marrying both smart and hard work. Why pick one over the other? You already have a lot of work to do. Use technology and work smart to gain extra time within your day AND work hard with the extra time gained to ensure you make the most of your day. This is the ultimate path to victory and success. [Bonus: From Alex TurnBull]

SINCERITY:
Sincerity, honesty and good faith, these things do matter. And they matter bigly. Without this character trait, your journey of 5 years will inevitably take you 10 years. The opposite of sincerity is lies, deception, fraud, trickery, bordering on the dark arts of manipulation. People do not forget these things. I remember quite vividly a few months ago. There was a guy who started his career in Cambridge by conning people, insulting others and devaluing anybody who was trying to do something for themselves. (To me he seemed very desperate to make some quick cash from every interaction regardless of how he made the other person feel - and his behaviour - lying, deceit and disrespect was a way to mask his terrible character.) He tried so hard to stop Ferzona Events from succeeding - Ofcourse I beat him to it. Last I heard, (because he didn't like the article I wrote after the successful launch of Ferzona Events), he is on a secret and malicious campaign to discredit the Ferzona Brand - Disgusting! 
(He won't succeed by the way - I will make sure of it)
The importance of sincerity cannot be overstated - It is necessary! There are a few people that will always try everything in their power to attack and disparage your reputation (You remember our Bullshit Artist?), sincerity protects you from such insidious characters.
This trait, I will argue is probably the most important character trait a person can have. Because once you lose your first opportunity with somebody because you lack sincerity, it is almost impossible to have a second one. And as entrepreneurs, you need all the opportunities you can get. Do not underestimate the power of sincerity - It makes or breaks your journey.  If you still don't believe my words, take lessons from Boeing's mistake on the importance of sincerity. [Bonus: Boeing MCAS Scandal]

Final Words
Many will argue that a good reputation is the single most important thing. I will say this, pay more attention to developing your character than your reputation. One is who you are, the other is what people think you are.
 
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Love,
The Ferzona Group

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