Why Your Word is the Most Important Thing You Have As a Business Owner
As a business owner, your word is the most important thing you've got.
That might sound a little old-fashioned, and maybe it is (I've been known to knit and drink a lot of tea), but I think it's still very important, especially in this magical land of online business in which so many of us operate.
It all comes down to trust. Can your customers or clients trust in you? Are they confident that you're going to follow through, to provide what they expect, to give them a fantastic experience?
Developing that trust is upholding your word, honouring your word. When you say you're going to do something, you do it. When you imply that you're going to do something, you do it.
Even if it's hard. Even if it's time-consuming. Even if it's awkward— hell, even if it means you lose out a little, if you lose a some profit in refunding a purchase, or spend a little longer on a project to make sure it's absolutely right. Why? When you honour your word, you don't lose out in the long run.
You become known as a person that can be counted upon. As someone who gets shit done. As someone who is strong. As someone who will make it right even when it's not the easy thing to do.
What does this look like? It looks like:
- responding to those people that reach out to you in a reasonable amount of time
- owning up when you've made a mistake
- following through on promises and commitments to others
- following through on promises and commitments to yourself (this one is very important. Running your own business is tough shit, and to see success you're gonna have to hold fast to commitments you make to yourself, even when you feel completely hopeless).
- putting out consistent content
- getting honest, even when makes you vulnerable— especially when it makes you vulnerable
- using your voice to stand up for others who need your support, notusing your voice to knowingly spread hate or misinformation
Honouring your word is often hard. It means facing your struggles over and over again, and coming to terms with the parts of yourself that you might want to run away from. But it's transformative. It's powerful. It keeps you learning and growing, understanding and questioning.
And that's the kind of fuel that will keep your business going long beyond the first spark.