The Loudest One In The Room Is The Weakest One In The Room
Many people think that overcompensating for their weaknesses is the best strategy for overcoming them. They go out and buy a flashy suit or an expensive car, in hopes that this will make them appear to be powerful and strong. While it is true that wealth and prominence will reflect in an outward way, it is also true that too much done for show is just outright annoying…and a sure sign of weakness and insecurity.
“You're too loud, you're making too much noise. Listen to me, the loudest one in the room is the weakest one in the room.” – American Gangster
While this saying rings true for many areas of life, there are a few places that an entrepreneur should be especially “quiet” in. Why? Because just like the old “don’t kiss and tell” warning, not everything should be announced and put on show.
Money & Investments
The first aspect of life that an entrepreneur should keep relatively quiet is the specifics of their finances. While spending on luxury items is not necessarily a bad thing, flaunting your wealth just because you can and giving large amounts of information out about your investment portfolio can get you into trouble. No one wants to do business with someone who tells all and even fewer people like to hang around with someone who is a show off. Not only that, but putting this information out to the public can make you a target for scams, thefts and lawsuits.
Patent Information & Trade Secrets
While it may be tempting to impress your peers, dates, or family members with insider information, this is a huge error. Being “loud” with content like this not only makes you weak, but it can also cost you more than you might realize. At one job I held, an employee thought that telling a girl at a bar about a big account he was working would be what he needed to get her attention. What he didn’t count on, was her posting the information to the web. This little slip up after a few beers caused him to lose his job, be the subject of litigation, and put a huge stop to his promising career.
Ideas & Startup Plans
A final area that warrants quiet for an entrepreneur is when it comes to business ideas, startup plans, and other intellectual property. While it is ok to bounce ideas off of your partners, co-workers, or others that you trust, telling the world of your brilliant brainchild too quickly can set you and your company up for failure. All it takes is one dishonest person who recognizes the value of what you are saying to steal your idea, interfere with your plans, or completely destroy a proposal.
While keeping a lid on things can be a challenge, it is also well worth it in the long run. Attempt to always be the strongest and wisest in the room, and realize when being the quietest is the way to achieve this goal. Always remember that true strength doesn't require you to promote it…it can be seen clearly without any spotlight.
[Image via Ubberdave/Flickr]