Reputation – A false postive

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” -Warren Buffett

Twice, in the past two months I have been referred to by two co-workers as someone who is responsible with money. In both cases the people that came to me said they asked others around my office, and I was someone that was pointed out.

Apparently, I have earned a reputation. It’s strange when you find something like that has spread beyond yourself. I have always strived to do well with money, I’ve read two blogs a day for 2 years, The Simple Dollar and Get Rich Slowly.(wow, I actually thought it was one, but thinking back it’s been 2) I have put into practice many of their principles, and have tried diligently to make good decisions about money. And because of this I have a reputation. I was proud I earned that reputation. This was wrong.

I realized reputation is a biproduct. I didn’t set out to get people to think I was good with money, I set out to be rich. That meant I had to learn about money. So while I have a reputation, that is not what I should be proud of. I should be proud that I have been doing the right things for a long period. And I should keep on doing the right things. Because I want to be rich, not have a good reputation.

While it is very tempting to get caught up on praise, be careful. Like me you may take your eye off your goal, and feel proud about the reputation you have gained. Having a reputation doesn’t mean you have arrived. Others thinking I am good with money, doesn’t mean I’m rich.

Keep your eye on your goal. Be happy that others recognize a change, or a particular trait in you. You should be proud that you are on the right path, but remember that it doesn’t mean anything. The important thing is that you keep going on your path toward your goal.

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