Every now and then, we hear a story in the news. It might be that a business leader’s new leadership has seemingly caused the business to fall in on itself, or perhaps greater misconduct was found and punished. It might be that you’ve found yourself in this situation before. The ‘crime’ might have been greater, or it might have been trivial. It might have been that you tried to helm your own business perhaps a decade before you would have actually been ready for it, and you paid for that as a result.
But is it even possible to come back and resume face as a business leader? Might it be that our reputation could precede us in an area, and perhaps starting again, after all is said and done in the past, might be an uphill struggle much more inclined than if you were simply starting afresh as a new face?
Sometimes, that can be the case. But it needn’t be a death sentence. If you’re willing to work hard and restore your professional name, the possibilities are out there for you. There’s a reason we all love redemption stories after all, and why the famous story-structure of ‘the hero’s journey’ goes through the ‘abyss,’ the death and rebirth of said character. Who knows, viewing your own story through this archetypal lens might give you some more inspiration to push forward and better yourself.
Let us consider why and how this could happen:
Scrub Your Social Media Profiles
It could be that considering your online presence once more could help you begin anew. For example, it might be that when your business was failing a number of years back, you sent many tweets out of exasperation complaining about the circumstances that befell you. It might be that you argued with some critics of your brand. Of course, this is just an example and not a likely one, but it goes to show that we all do things we’re not proud of, and unfortunately, social media can keep that around permanently until you actively choose to remove it.
Restarting with a new social media account, a new email address, a new contact number, a new business name and a new audience could potentially help you feel refreshed in your professional image, and allow you to stand on the terms of your new business without old haunts having to weigh you down at the end of things. If you wish to keep your accounts, there are many utilities out there that can help you delete all posts, images and shared content, and these can be found with a quick Google search. Just ensure you delete any of your old presence before you begin anew. If you cannot delete through your profile settings, contact the support centre for that platform, and you should have little trouble.
Seek Legal Closure
It’s one thing to slip, become injured and hurl a torrent of abuse regarding the safety standards of your previous employer, while also making an aggressive stance online. It’s quite another to seek professional legal counsel and win. Finding legal closure can often help you ‘win’ whatever argument you originally have, at least in the eyes of the law, and if that happens, then you cannot be accused of submitting false charges, criticizing someone without anything to back it up or causing a stir for no reason.
This can also help you demonstrate a professional presence that suggests you’re not afraid to stand up for yourself, and sometimes, that’s a pretty great idea too. It can also be the case that seeking legal counsel in having your professional name wilfully eroded can be a much more direct solution to that problem, so never be afraid to protect yourself against defamation.
Apologize & Make Things Right
We all know that in our personal lives, when we get into an argument and cool off, we often come back with apologies and try to fix the source of the issue. It happens in family life, sometimes even frequently. But when it comes to business life, it might feel hard to keep the same ethos. It can feel quite embarrassing to admit you’ve had trouble, and that you’ve inconvenienced customers as a result. But it can often help matters if you do, even if you lose money because of it.
Let’s say that a waiter gives terrible service to a restaurant guest because they’re in a bad mood. It’s not uncommon for the host to offer a free bottle of wine as they reprimand and discipline their staff member to smooth things over. When Sony, one of the largest technological companies, once experienced a mainframe hack of the Playstation Network servers, much personal account data was compromised. As a result, they chose to switch their servers off, and come back with a ‘welcome back’ package that offered free games and entertainment to anyone affected, even as they were going through class action lawsuit proceedings.
You can never underestimate the value in defending and rectifying goodwill for your firm. It is the only thing that can serve as a safety net for your business and professional name, both personally and as a corporate entity.
Hold Your Standards High
Sometimes, restoring your name isn’t completely up to you. If running a business, those you hire and take on board will be holding up your name day after day, client after client. It’s also important to keep yourself up to a daily standard, and know that you’re only ever as good as your last metric of work, be that commissioned project completed, dinner service finished, or deal agreed upon. It could be that you also wish to start again, with a clearer sense of your financial standing, or what your options are. This time, you might wish to ask ‘How much does a bridging loan cost?’ to ensure you are funded before a mainline of credit becomes available, helping you avoid early debt. Best practices are those that are informed by the difficulties of the past.
Luckily, the advantage to restoring a professional name is that you now know what to avoid. This can help you avoid repeating any difficult mistakes such as the ones you have already experienced, and may motivate you onto bigger and better things.
To us, that sounds like wisdom personified.
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