When Networking, Reputation is Everything

I have a small plaque in my office that used to hang in the hallway of our house growing up. Right between my room and my brother’s room. I had one made for my son after he was born which hangs in our house now as well. It reads:

You got it from your father
It was all he had to give
So it’s yours to use and cherish
For as long as you may live

If you lost the watch he gave you
It can always be replaced;
But a black mark on your name
Can never be erased

It was clean the day you took it
And a worthy name to bear
When he got it from his father
There was no dishonor there

So make sure you guard it wisely
After all is said and done
You’ll be glad the name is spotless
When you give it to your son.

Ultimately, your reputation is what adds value to any network you build.