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“When a business that’s comfortable not having 100% market share happily recommends a competitor, they’re sending a signal about trust and confidence and most of all, about feeding the community first.” This is a quote from a recent Seth Godin blog post.

If you are an entrepreneur, small business owner or consultant interested in building trust, ask yourself these two questions:

Do I spend all of my time promoting myself only?

If your answer is “yes”, I can almost assure you that this strategy may work in the short-term, but will present serious challenges long-term. It  shows low self-confidence, an unwillingness to share and learn, and you will potentially bust trust with those you view (right or wrong) as competition.

Do I spend some of my time recommending others in my professional community who may have more targeted experience, resources or products, and will do a better job than I can?

If your answer is “yes,” you understand that trust is reciprocal and you are willing to take a “risk” that may pay off and lead to longer-term success. If we want to help ideas spread, if we want to change the world, we must do it together. Park your self-interest (along with your ego) at the door and try collaboration instead. The payoff may not be as quick and easy but the long-term rewards will be well worth it.

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series and the Executive Editor of TRUST! Magazine. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

Should you wish to communicate directly with Barbara, drop her a note at Barbara@trustacrossamerica.com

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.

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3 Responses to “Trust, Confidence & Competition”

  1. September 3rd, 2014 at 14:00 | #1


    Thanks for yet another great post. Your perspective on “if we want to change the world, we must do it together” is so on point. We are grateful for all that you do to make a difference in the lives of so many. – Mark

  2. September 3rd, 2014 at 14:28 | #2

    Thank you Mark. The world needs more people like you. Our mission is to find them one by one! Barbara

  3. Tineke
    September 5th, 2014 at 14:02 | #3

    Hi Barbara,

    Thank you again for this post. Interesting you describe what I do all the time, because I like to share information I feel is worth to share. I enjoy reading all your articles and looking forward to reading your books.
    Keep up the good work!

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