Becoming A Someone



Warren Buffett has a quote about reputation. It conveys the importance, the role of reputation plays in business. “If you cost me money, I will forgive you. If you cost me my reputation, I will be ruthless.” He did not say, “Mad, angry” or “unforgiving.” He said “ruthless.” Why? Because reputation, in business, is everything. Reputation is an unspoken language. In its purest and most powerful form, it’s a language based entirely on sight and beliefs. It dictates how people perceive you. By your stereotype you get judged (just think how politicians are perceived—can they be trusted?) In other words, your reputation precedes you. It’s how others judge you, BEFORE they know you. Whether or not you can be trusted, depends on your reputation too. It dictates your power, your influence, your authority. Even to the degree others respect you. This is why building a reputation that serves you is so important.


First, what is Authority? There is a misconception about this term. It is often thrown around casually. The dictionary definition though, is instructive: 1. The power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience. 2. A person or organization having power or control in a particular sphere. In other words, the ability to be perceived as Donald Trump, as he is perceived on Celebrity Apprentice. Or Warren Buffett in the financial world. You are the almighty. The supreme voice. What you say is believed. What you say is enforced. What you say is gospel and is passed around as fact, in regards to your area of expertise, simply because you are the one who said it.

How is this dominant reputation created? Because reputation is an unspoken language. It is not created through “talk,” or 1-to-1 presentations. It is created by symbols: A book. Authors are judged as authorities. Articles. Columnists are judged as authorities. Expert interviews. People who are interviewed, because of their knowledge on a topic, are as judged as authorities. The overarching theme here: Publish. True authorities, as perceived by the public, publish content. They convert their knowledge and expertise into some kind of documented work. Something that is tangible. A book. An article. An interview. Those, sadly, who refuse to understand the importance of this word, publish, too often, perish. Or at least have to hustle, harder, for a lot less result than they should get, from every output of energy they put into their business.


Okay, we agree. Publishing is important. Reputation is important. Authority is important. So, you decide to be interviewed, now what? Without leverage, your interview may as well have never happened. Like a radio ad, without leverage, your interview will be here today, gone tomorrow. Leverage is about keeping that interview alive, in front of people, [preferably, ideal prospects and clients or patients] to get maximum mileage out of your appearance. An expert interview, at its core, magnifies credibility. The mere fact that someone wants to interview you conveys your position as an expert. And each interview you do, whether it be USA Today, WSJ, CNN, on a local radio station, blog or newspaper, or on a podcast, is a building block for credibility. And my favorite, a promotional opportunity.