Ilumination

Reinvent Yourself

January 21, 2024

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Reputation is critical to becoming successful in life

Reputation means what people believe about you, what you stand for, what you are known for, and the overall impression you leave people with after you have met them or when they hear of you

Reputation (noun) [ C usually singular, U ] UK /ˌrep.jəˈteɪ.ʃən/ US /ˌrep.jəˈteɪ.ʃən/ the opinion that people, in general, have about someone or something, or how much respect or admiration someone or something receives, based on past behaviour or character

Your reputation is usually at your mercy, outsiders can only project what they see and the benefit of their encounters with you

Sometimes people have a wrong impression of someone and they begin to spread this as the “news” about the person but such wrong impressions often do not stand the test of time when the owner of the reputation comes into the circle of influence that had a wrong impression of him or her because people will then be able to experience firsthand who the person really is Reputation is currency, you can actually take it to the Bank of Goodwill and buy whatever you want

I remember a man who once travelled to Switzerland to purchase some expensive equipment for his engineering company in Nigeria

This man had a lecturer who worked in Nigeria for a while in the 70s

The lecturer was from a very illustrious family in Europe and they were mainly into manufacturing engineering equipment

While a student, this man was extremely honest and trustworthy apart from being academically outstanding

When this man got to the company and discovered how much he was to cough out for the equipment, he told the manager of the company that he didn’t have the cash to buy the equipment but he had a contract to execute in Nigeria and without the equipment he would be unable to execute the contract

He told the man to give him the equipment for free and once he was done with the contract in six months he would pay for the equipment

The manager of the establishment did not know him at all

Such a business proposal was odd

The engineer had gone into the meeting prayerfully trusting God for divine intervention

He was working with NNPC at the time and had desired to start his own business right from when he was an undergraduate

The opportunity presented itself while he was still a staff and earning a good salary, he knew how much the government was paying the expatriates for the business he was venturing into Government policy changed to favour local companies and a void was created for anyone interested in that business to fill

He only had a good idea and lofty dreams but he didn’t have the kind of capital needed to buy the equipment needed to float his own engineering company

He stepped out by faith, bought a ticket, and flew to Switzerland trusting God for divine intervention

The manager of the engineering company told him, No

The man said he must be a joker for thinking he would just walk in and demand a piece of very expensive equipment for free and also ask the company to ship it to Nigeria free of charge and then clear it for him at the port of entry based on ‘I will pay you back in full in six months!’

It was preposterous! As he stood up in disappointment and was walking out of the conference room, his old lecturer walked into the company

The lecturer saw him, shook his hand firmly, and said “Mr. So and So from Nigeria, good man, good man” The manager of the company told him to wait and went to see this “lecturer” briefly, in a few minutes the lecturer returned with the manager of the company and introduced himself as the CEO of the company

The manager this engineer had been dealing with was the lecturer’s son

The “lecturer” told the man he came to Nigeria to lecture briefly before his father died but had to return to Europe to take over the family business about twenty years earlier

He told his son to give the engineer everything he needed

This was how the engineer’s dream of owning an engineering company in Nigeria kicked off

He paid in full every cent he owed after six months and from that onwards the company supplied him with everything he needed based on his reputation

He never defaulted and he never gave excuses

When the man told the story as testimony at a Friends of Jesus breakfast meeting in 2016, I was in the congregation and I learned a lot from it

He presented it as divine favour, walking in audacious faith and the evidence of the grace of God upon a man’s life, but I saw reputation at work

He was trusted based on his reputation and doors were opened unto him based on his reputation

Jesus was careful to build a reputation all over Israel right from the moment his ministry started The madman of Gadarene was told to go into the Decapolis and announce over and over again who Jesus was and what Jesus did

Even demons testified of Jesus based on his reputation in the realm of the Spirit “Go away! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” Luke 4:34 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” John 6:69 Proverbs 22:1 – “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold.” Both riches (silver and gold) and an honourable reputation (loving favor, i.e., respect) are good.

But if one has to choose between them, Solomon says, “Choose a good name” The reason people talk about a good name is the reputation that such a name commands

The reputation a name commands is a result of what the name is known for

What the name is known for is a result of what the bearers of the name have done consistently over the years which has now become associated with the name

When a person has made certain decisions or walked in certain circles and finds himself to be saddled with a bad reputation, then one finds himself with a bad reputation

A bad reputation is effective in bringing one disfavour

If for example, you have a reputation as a chronic liar, even when you are telling the truth, you discover people find whatever you say very hard to believe

Someone with a reputation as a thief is not trusted by anybody and anyone who has a reputation as a fraudster cannot get anyone to invest in his good business ideas based on the power of his reputation

When you are saddled with a bad reputation, you must learn how to reinvent yourself

In order to reinvent yourself, you must change and make other people who didn’t know you with a bad reputation come to know you and form their own opinion of you

Then you can leverage this new reputation to diffuse the old one and eventually change it

It takes a lot of work

Companies hire and pay a lot of money to Public Relations Professionals to keep a good reputation or change a bad public perspective to a good one

Many individuals find themselves stuck to a certain reputation that they don’t know how to get rid of based on their inability to reinvent themselves

I met a man who travelled abroad in the 90s and within a year returned to Nigeria with a lot of cars and other goods which he brought into Nigeria after just ten months abroad

He didn’t tell those he met in Nigeria that when he got to his destination in Europe that year, he got a job as a factory worker in a spaghetti manufacturing company (Packing spaghetti) and was earning a very paltry sum

He met a fellow student in his class who liked him and when he was travelling back home, he sold the idea to this student that if they could buy and ship cars to Nigeria, he would double her savings and bring back to her a lot of profit

He returned to Nigeria with many cars as a result of this and people began to flock to him due to the level of success they saw on the outside

He spent money freely as if he plucked them off the trees on the streets of Belgium

A lot of Nigerians who had been planning to travel came to him for help, and others came to him to make inquiries about cars and other equipment they needed to import from abroad

He encouraged them to pay him a deposit and promised them he would return the following year with their goods

People paid him quite a lot of money but he was not disciplined

He spent recklessly on women and parties to the extent that he couldn’t even raise the money to pay back the lady who invested in him abroad and had to run to another country in Europe when he left Nigeria

Back home, members of his family who had introduced their friends to him and whose friends had deposited money with him faced the brunt

His younger ones, his mother, his wife, and his relatives had to pay back every kobo he collected based on goodwill and empty promises

He developed a very bad reputation

When he got to Europe this time, there was no favour or luck

He suffered to get back on his feet and eventually began to make something of himself after his fifth year abroad

Then an opportunity presented itself when he got a job with a shipping company to start his own logistics business and import goods into Nigeria as a business

He travelled back home and registered his new company

He employed marketers and sent them to companies he hoped to work with

His family members heard about it and began to tell their friends and relatives to tell others not to fall for his gimmicks

Of course, it was not a gimmick but he had failed to reinvent himself

He failed to own up to everyone he wronged, make amends, and then establish another line of goodwill by building a good reputation

When he heard what his own family members and friends were saying about him, he felt hurt but nobody would pity him or give him a second chance

This is how reputation works

I have seen ladies who find themselves developing a certain reputation with men in a particular geographical location, changing locations completely when they realise that the reputation they had developed would most likely impact upon their marital destiny in a negative way

I have seen many change churches or even change countries in order to launder or rebuild their images and restart the perception pool

Some people deliberately get involved in a lot of welfare and altruistic ventures to build a certain kind of perspective to help counter the negative public image they have found themselves battling with due to certain decisions they had made and the attending consequences

A good reputation helps a minister of the gospel to go very far and high in ministry

I was in a church once, and we were having an anointing service

A pastor had a reputation for sleeping with all sorts of women, another one had a reputation for lying a lot and then there were eight other ministers

When the time came for laying on of hands, people avoided the two pastors like a plague

I was a Personal Assistant to a pastor in the church at that time and I noticed this

One of the elderly women even came close to me and said “I cannot allow so and so to lay hands on me so that he does not transfer bad anointing to me”

These same pastors often minister in churches where they were unknown (when invited) and members of those churches will receive their ministration with an open heart

You must work on this aspect of your life in 2024

Take stock of your journey so far, as yourself “How do people see me?” Perception is key

For some people, the reason their friend or colleague at work has been sceptical about introducing a potential husband, wife, or business partner to them is simply that he or she is not sure if things will turn out right based on their reputation

I remember a young lady who kept writing to me that I should please introduce a potential husband to her

I know and like her but I know she has a very short fuse and would often react like a porcupine to anyone whom she deemed to have crossed the line with her

I refrained from getting dragged into her drama because of this.

She is not a bad person and would probably make a good wife to a good man but who wants to bet another person’s future on maybes and what-ifs?

Your reputation speaks for you everywhere, please start working on this

If you find yourself on the negative side of things, go ahead and reinvent yourself as soon as you can

Fishermen and tax collectors who spent three years with Jesus became known as apostles because Jesus reinvented them and gave them a new reputation

What people call you now will change over time if you change your ways.

PS: I remember the first time I saw a wife reporting her husband to their children and the children were also commenting and referring to their father’s past bad behaviours in support of their mother

These children were Male (30), Female (28), and Female (23) at the time

All of them were well-educated

I knew they would never have good marriages and they didn’t!

Their mother had gotten them involved in the nitty-gritty of the marriage so badly that they were putting their mouths, hearts, and opinions where they did not belong

Children are products of a marriage; they have no business looking under the hood or poking around inside the hood

Just as the bread is just a product of the oven and has no business checking out how the oven functions or works

If you have the habit of telling your children things they ought not to know regarding your marriage or relationships, you are not doing them a favour

You are ruining their lives

Please repent today and spare your children the baggage

-GSW-

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