“A reputation for a thousand years may depend upon the conduct of a single moment “– Ernest Bramah
I’m a huge hip hop fan, and one of my favorite groups is called Gang Starr. One of their more popular songs is “Just to Get a Rep.” The song emphasizes the fact that people will go through great lengths, including activity outside of their normal character just to get a rep. They want to be viewed by others as a certain type of person. We are all guilty of this in some respect. We buy nice clothes so we are perceived as having money, or at least dressing well. We desire to drive nice cars, and live in nice homes often both we cannot truly afford. And for what? Just To Get A Rep? What are you willing to do to get a rep? Are you willing to work hard and consistent? Are you simply looking for the shortcut and fastest way from point A to point B?
Today it is often the case that one desires success, but expects it to happen overnight. We are victims of the microwave generation…everything is fast. Nobody seems to want to work for it, but everyone feels they deserve it. We see celebrities, and successful entrepreneurs and somehow deduct that they did it instantly, we don’t see the hours Mark Zuckerberg spent writing code for Facebook and visualizing his goals. We don’t see the bankruptcies and failures of Donald Trump. We forget about the fact that Jay-z was turned down by almost every major label at the time. We only see the end result of the hard work and perseverance. So who are you? Who are you really beneath the clothes, the car, the home, the friends, the enemies, the money and your name who are you? The world is full of two types of people winners and losers…losers are permanent while winners do it again and again. If you fail at something and give up YOU ARE A LOSER…but if you fail, rethink, re-plan, and re-execute even if you fail again you are a WINNER. Don’t let your reputation be dictated by others and do not choose what you want it to be based upon others.
If you want to be a WINNER you must realize YOUR NAME IS YOUR NAME…its what you are when everything else is stripped away your name is your name. Every word you utter, every action you take follows you and can define you at any moment. You could do 100 great things, and 1 negative thing BUT that one negative thing can define you if you allow it. But if you are willing to work hard and strive JUST TO GET A REP you will be exactly what you want to be.
One of my favorite episodes of ‘The Wire’ involves the character Marlo and his lieutenants in a holding cell discussing how the state was able to build a case against them. They discuss who may have snitched and what to do about it. During the conversation Marlo discovers that his nemesis Omar was disrespecting his name. Marlo is quickly angered that he was never made aware of this fact, and decrees, “My name is, my name.” While I’m not condoning a criminal lifestyle think about that scene. Marlo worked very hard to build a reputation as a man to be feared and respected in the drug trade. His name is what allows him to ‘wear the crown’ and walk tall in the streets. Without his name he is nothing, just another guy, just another hustler, just another statistic. But, with his name he can be a legend and live forever in others.
Your goal should be to make an impression everyday on others that will create a legacy that will live long past the conclusion of your life. Don’t make short term decision, for quick results that yield long term failure and ruins your reputation. The saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression so make every moment count.
Your name is your name, so declare that in order to get a rep today is the day you begin to execute and build the person you want to be remembered as in future generations. Nas put it best when he said, “The World is Yours.”
Be GREAT at what you do today!