It can be difficult to keep your word to something that you’ve committed yourself to, but if you want to be taken seriously in any industry you must hold some integrity and honesty to those around you. Especially when you are just getting started. It’s very difficult for someone who you are just getting to know to take you seriously if you don’t make them a priority.
At one point in your career, you are going to find yourself wanting to cancel something that you’ve committed to. Let’s be honest here, most of us have done this at one point to our friends, colleagues, potential clients, and/or family members. Why is keeping your word so invaluable, especially in the business world?
When I was just beginning my journey in the entertainment industry, I remember making a lot of sacrifices. I went as far as taking a job in San Diego at Mercedes-Benz and traveling to Los Angeles every two days that I had off to meet with professionals in the entertainment industry for an entire year and a half. I didn’t let the distance deter me from what my heart was calling me to do. That meant keeping my word and going to every single meeting, even if I was sick.
Due to my consistency and ability to keep my word, I have had the privilege of becoming friends with some amazing individuals in the entertainment industry. This includes two that I had the honor of interviewing: Tom Bergeron and Todd Thicke. Tom Bergeron is best known for his hosting roles for America’s Funniest Home Videos and Dancing with the Stars; Todd Thicke is best known for his executive producing and script writing for America’s Funniest Home Video’s, as well as writing and producing for Growing Pains, Animal Crack-Ups, Let’s Make a Deal, New Candid Camera, and ABC’s Into the Night. Tom and Todd both had some words of wisdom about keeping commitments in the entertainment industry and how that helped them get to where they are today.
#1 Integrity & Honesty with Others and Yourself
Integrity and honesty are two of the most valuable and important words that people know. But most people need to learn to apply them. You don’t need to commit yourself to every single person that you meet or network with. That is the number one mistake people make: over commit and never fulfill. Your goal should always be to finish a commitment with someone before moving onto the next.
Always ask yourself the question, “What am I doing to be of value to this person?” If you are not able to answer this honestly, move on.
#2 the Most Powerful Tool We Have Is Our Word
I’ve had the honor of being mentored by Tom Bergeron for a few years now and have learned the true meaning of building a genuine relationship. He brought up a key point that resonated with me, “Karma is a bitch, Andria.” If you say that you are going to do something, follow through with it. You must keep yourself accountable for what you say. The question is, “How can you keep yourself accountable if you have so many commitments?” It’s simple, write it down. Build powerful, genuine, moral, and ethical connections with people.
#3 Never Say Yes to Anything That Your Gut Feeling Tells You Not to Do
There will always be opportunities given to us—indirectly and directly. It’s our choice whether or not we decide to commit. Make sure that you are going into a commitment knowing what you are going to be able to provide. If your gut is telling you not to commit, trust it. Don’t question. Go with the flow. You want to make sure you are committing yourself fully, not half assed. It’s vital in the process of keeping your word.
Being around Todd Thicke has always been a joy. Todd spoke words of wisdom such as, “You reap what you sow…. what goes around, comes around. Keeping your word builds trust. Trust builds relationships. Lies will come back to bite you in the ass.” He reminded me that along your journey you are going to end up building relationships with many people. Learning to decipher who you spend your time with is gold. When you commit, your word is what people remember–no matter the outcome.
Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.