Whom do you trust?
Remember the old X-Files motto, “trust no one?” Certainly there are many people in the business world who have NOT earned our trust. But if we as entrepreneurs, “trust no one” conducting daily business would be a rather difficult if not impossible task.Maybe the question we should be asking is who should entrepreneurs trust? It’s easier to make a list of all the people that entrepreneurs DON’T trust. Like maybe the IRS, bankers, lawyers or multinational conglomerates. That healthy distrust may hearken back to when we were young and our parents told us to “never trust strangers.” Or perhaps it is an inherent symptom of entrepreneurialism where survival of the fittest is the maxim for continued existence.It’s easy to understand why entrepreneurs might lack trust. Competition is getting more fierce in every industry. Customers are demanding faster, cheaper and better solutions every day. Add to the mix that many entrepreneurs are trying to spend most of their time building their business only to have deal with constant interruptions from merchants, vendors and salespeople. In addition, many entrepreneurs have to “go-it-alone” because they cannot rely on the performance of others to help them achieve their goals. All of these things can destroy trust. Yet without trust, entrepreneurs cannot succeed.By nature entrepreneurs have great instincts. Instinct is that that inner voice which speaks to us about the decisions we must make. For entrepreneurs, instinct or “gut” as it is called is a very important element of success. Entrepreneurs use their prior knowledge and experience to make decisions but often this involves risk. Risk-taking cannot be separated from good instincts. When we place our trust in others we are taking a risk. If our instincts are correct, the risk is justifiable. The irony of this paradigm is that in order to reinforce trust we must be willing to take risks with people. Yet it is by taking a risk and “trusting others” that we develop good instincts about “who it is” that we should trust in the future.One of the most critical areas that entrepreneurs must master in terms of creating trust is the art of constructive conflict. Many entrepreneurs tend to avoid conflict with clients, associates or suppliers, yet this is the very thing that will destroy trust. A willingness to bring-up an uncomfortable topic may seem a bit risky and the initial impression might be that doing so will destroy any trust that exists. But the fact is that doing so actually builds trust. When we bring uncomfortable issues into the open they can be analyzed, understood, and rationally negotiated.Who do entrepreneurs trust? Well that’s easy. They must learn to trust themselves first. They must trust their hearts. For this is the true essence of passion! When we believe in ourselves our enthusiasm becomes contagious. We attract trustworthy clients and associates. When entrepreneurs can learn to better trust themselves they will learn to trust others. Then they will be able to build a team of committed followers. Because we all know that commitment is based on trust. And trust cannot be won from others unless we first trust ourselves.Tune in to the LIVE broadcast of Small Business Radio. Just go to www.smallbusinesshour.comthis Friday at 4pm to hear us discuss:
- What would you do if OJ’s Book was dropped in your lap? – interview with Sharlene Martin, literary agent for OJ’s book
- Luscious super-targeting for “green” car enthusiasts
- Why Google breaks the long held rule of consistency in branding
- Thai Bank learns to be a “giver” with condom handout
- Trust, risk and instinct – ingredients for building your business
Listen FRIDAY at 4pm. Call in to speak with Mark, Matt and Cory: 1-323-443-6878 – Then enter code: 226287 to get on the air immediately!Have a great week!