After writing about the importance of reputational capital, I realized that in many cases, it’s more important to focus on building your reputation.
The key insight is this: As an entrepreneur, your control over the financial outcome of your startup is limited. Luck is a necessary but insufficient factor in nearly every startup success.
On the other hand, your control over your reputation is far greater.
You can spend your entire career starting companies and doing the right thing without ever hitting that home run.
Yet if you’re working hard, helping others, and adding value whenever you can, you will definitely develop a good reputation.
As an investor, I learn a lot about my entrepreneurs along the way. I won’t lie; when you deliver a great return on investment, it certainly helps me feel good about you. But the correlation is weak; there are “unsuccessful” entrepreneurs that I love, and “successful” ones that I avoid.
Doing the right things will sometimes result in a great outcome. It will always result in a good reputation.