It’s no secret that success comes from hustle. Our businesses won’t grow if we don’t hit the pavement every day looking for our next gig or client. Success, however, is more than just the fire in your belly pushing you forward. In order to truly grow your business you have to consider your reputation.
Reputation determines the social standing of a person in the society. It is a measure of a person’s influence. Someone with a good reputation is definitely preferred for better jobs and for taking up leadership roles. The client knows what they are looking for and what they are willing to do to accommodate you in order to work together. If you don’t fit the bill they will pass.
Comedian Heather McDonald is a great example of how being a delight helped her grow her career. I met Heather when she toured with her comedy show Juicy Scoop in 2019. I purchased the VIP pass for Heather’s Atlanta, GA, show. Heather was genuinely happy to take photos with fans and answer questions during the VIP meet and greet. Heather thanked me for my Barbie doll gift with a big hug and offered to sign my copies of her books (Heather is the author of two hilarious books You’ll Never Blue Ball in this Town Again and My Inappropriate Life.) She is very approachable and Heather said she loves when fans recognize her in public and say hello. In her work and with fans Heather is an open book about her life. This makes Heather endearing and relatable.
Heather has a very popular podcast and a new comedy special called Juicy Scoop . Two of Heather’s recent guests spoke to her about how being nice also benefited their careers. Heather agreed with her guests that being a delight helped her move forward in her career. Caitlyn Jenner said she talked to all of the Kardashian and Jenner kids about how important it is to be nice to everyone you work with and with fans. Caitlyn said she heard from many people how nice Kim was to them. It’s no wonder Kim and her sisters are asked to endorse products, work with photographers for photo spreads and collaborate with industry leaders for product launches.
Perez Hilton is another Juicy Scoop guest who’s life and career benefited from being nice. When Perez (whose real name is Mario Lavandeira) started a celebrity blog in 2004 he was very brash towards the people he featured on his blog perezhilton.com . He drew pictures over photos and the celebrity stories were not always flattering. Perez also had nick names for the subjects of his stories. Perez told Heather he changed his tune after spending millions of dollars to settle lawsuits. His career also took off. Perez has a podcast, has been on several television shows and just released his new book TMI:My Life In Scandal.
For those who choose not to be self aware the result can set back or ruin a career. Thus is the case with two reality television personalities on the Bravo show “Vanderpump Rules”. Stassi Schroeder and Kristin Doute were fired from the show in June 2020 because of their actions towards fellow cast member, Faith Stowers. Stassi and Kristin already had mean girl reputations on the show. In 2018 the women made a false police report implicating Faith (the only black cast member) in a crime they read about on the internet. Some believe Stassi and Kristin went after Faith as payback for hurting their friend Brittany Cartwright. Both women lost more than just their reality television jobs. Stassi lost her podcast and sponsors. Kristin had just released her first book. Her publisher canceled her virtual book tour.
Stassi and Kristin both took responsibility for their actions and apologized on Instagram. Stassi also decided she needed to be educated on racism and is studying with a teacher. She did an interview with Tamron Hall to explain her thought process when reporting Faith to the police. She said “I’ve spent the last three months working with a teacher and learning so much that I didn’t know. I didn’t understand that just because something wasn’t about race for me, doesn’t mean it’s not about race for the other person.” Kristin also said she did a lot of soul searching and learning about unconscious bias. Kristin spoke on the Hollywood Raw podcast about her feelings after being fired from Vanderpump Rules. She said “I think the biggest thing that I’ve learned is that I have so much to learn. And I know that’s super cliché and a lot of people say that, but it’s absolutely true because I think that I thought that I understood racism but now I’m really learning about unconscious bias.”
Stassi and Kristin didn’t totally disappear. Stassi has been posting on Instagram the progress of her pregnancy and her marriage to Beau Clark in September 2020. Kristin is still active on social media. She also did Cameo videos with the proceeds going to charity. Both women probably won’t be back in the public eye in a big way for a while.
Having a bad reputation in business will not repair itself overnight. It takes time and hard work to learn from mistakes. Actions speak much louder than works. Show your coworkers and prospective clients how you have changed and what you did to make the change. Your reputation will bounce back and your appointment book will start to fill up!