I was sitting in a business meeting last week letting the words just flow out… Words that to a “typical client” on a “typical project” were impressive and showed vast potential for growth—SEO, ROI, Blog, Branding, Technology Efficiency… I heard myself go on about organic results, website design and how designing creative marketing content would solidify brand. As I reviewed his past Marketing efforts and short-term goals, I said “You really don’t need me. You are successful already.” He paused. He looked at me like I was slightly off kilter then said “Listen, I need fresh eyes on my work. It’s tough for me to juggle marketing myself and run my business. I trust you to take this on. I like your work. I don’t really know about all the things you were saying earlier but they seem all relative. I kind of glazed over a bit.” Pause… and laughter. “I called 3 of your clients from your website. They all said that they trust you with their marketing efforts. You love your work. You take chances. That’s a big deal. Working with you for over 13 years, they seemed pretty impressed that you always try to transfer knowledge rather than leave open-ended work for gain. And, I thought is was funny that some even knew you like cream filled donuts and beer.”
Wow. Ok, so perhaps it’s not great that my accolades mentioned beer and donuts, but it was humbling to hear the word “trust”. My inner thoughts went into their own little discussions. Like the latest kids movie, Inside Out, with Joy, Anger, Fear, Disgust and Sadness – all taking turns running brain headquarters. My brain was firing emotions like Trust, Determination and Joy. This guy trusts my business to take his efforts to the next level. Can I do it? Hell yes! And I said as much. He wrote me a check and a note “For the opportunity you weren’t going to take. I’ll see you Wednesday and I’ll get donuts.”
Trust is a big thing. In work and in life… My lesson: TRUST THROUGH ACTION. A quick exchange of business cards at a bar out with a friend/client (who gave me raving accolades to this businessman who occupied the stool next to me.. thanks MH), launched me into another project. It is humbling that my clients trust in me and acknowledge my determination to help in their success. In a general sense, trust is given pending that you act on what you say. If you say you will do something and it holds great importance, you must act on it. Trust is not just given with nothing attached. I committed to working for this new client. My determination and actions will build trust based on my actions. It’s up to me to earn it, keep it and have him “pass along” that word.
One caveat- if you violate trust with self-interest, it’s often never recovered. To me, if you’re privileged enough to be trusted, it is paramount that you maintain the trust through actions. Continue to act on the trust you have given or hold from others. If you violate that, then have you failed?
We all fail. I have. I work everyday to act, repair and recover.
We can bounce back. Remember trust is based on actions. When things aren’t going well or the workload is overwhelming and it feels impossible to act; ACT anyway. These are just excuses keeping you from trust- giving it and receiving it. Trust is a series of choices or actions. One choice or action will not eliminate trust; even if it was a bad one. Reflection and openness will help with the grave missteps and recover. Trust is a series of actions that build. Excuses take it away.
Be present and love…love the business or people who hold and receive your trust, and trust yourself for your own accomplishments and mistakes.
If you love or trust like it’s an option, it will leave you like a choice.