Trust is like a glass of water Advice for Building A Successful Business

Trust is Like a Glass of Water: Advice for Building a Successful Business

Many years ago, my younger sister came to me for professional advice to guide her as she started her career.

This is the advice I gave her:

  1. Do what you say you will do.
  2. Do it when you say you will do it.
  3. If for any reason you can’t do it, let someone know ahead of time and tell them when it will be done.

Little did I know back then that this wisdom stemmed from one of my top strengths which is responsibility. Responsibility is rooted in something that matters to all of us—trust.

In business and in your professional career, trust is the foundation for everything you do and yet, most people don’t talk about it or realize its impact.

Trust is the foundation for everything you do and yet, most people don't talk about it or realize its impact. Share on X

Here’s a metaphor. 

During a recent conversation with a member of my team, I held up a glass full of water. I explained to them that this glass full of water is a metaphor for trust. When you start a new job, or you onboard a new client, you’re given a glass that is full—full of trust. As soon as you drop a ball, make a mistake, fail to follow through, or do what you say you will do, you put a hole in the glass.

glass of water

The first hole isn’t too bad. You can easily plug it and stop the water from exiting the glass but if you continue to get more holes in the glass, eventually all of the water will be gone. You will be left with someone who no longer trusts you to do what you say you will do.

At this point, it is really difficult to repair the glass and fill it back up with water.

Being responsible and following through on your commitments is one of the best ways to fast-track your career and grow your business. When people know they can trust you, your cup flows over.

Following through on your commitments is one of the best ways to fast-track your career and grow your business. Share on X

What does that mean? 

It means career opportunities are plentiful and customers continue to do business with you. They happily refer their friends and colleagues to you because they know they can trust you to treat them well too.

There is a key difference between being responsible and being perfect though. Trust does not require perfectionism. It does require responsibility, and responsibility requires strong organizational skills, focus, and honest communication.

These are all skills, which means they are learnable by anyone provided you want to be the type of person who does what they say they will do when they say they will do it.

What are some of the tools and strategies you use to build trust in your business? Leave a comment below—I’d love to discuss!

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2 thoughts on “Trust is Like a Glass of Water: Advice for Building a Successful Business”

  1. This example is a beautiful metaphor for trust – something I have to focus on repeatedly. The challenge for any of us is how do you earn back the trust when it erodes?

    1. Great question Phil, you have to double down on follow through to rebuild trust. You have to do what you say you will do repeatedly in order to earn back, and it helps when you acknowledge that you know that you’ve eroded trust and you’re doing everything you can to build it back. I find when you name it, and accept responsibility, and then follow through repeatedly, you can repair quickly, provided you stop dropping balls.

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Lisa Larter Bio Image of Lisa x400

Lisa Larter

Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.

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