promise what you can give

A promise is sacred, so hold it carefully.
Honour your words at all times and build
a good reputation as an entrepreneur.

Somewhere in my life as a designer I took on so many jobs but I barely met the deadlines. Clients became frustrated. Word spread across that I was good at design but couldn’t deliver on time.

It besmirched my reputation as a designer and jeopardized the brand’s image.

How Did I Get Here?

This is what happened:

A friend who had helped me before would call and say “Hey buddy, kindly make a logo for me quickly. I’m launching a new business tomorrow.”

Then a relative who had given me pocket money while I was in college said “See, a workmate is going to get married. Design a wedding invite for him.”

That went on for a long time. I felt I owed all these people because they were once there for me. Saying no – to me – would be a letdown and amount to ingratitude.

The Outcome

Consequently, the works accumulated. My phones rang and rang. I looked at the screens. Oops! Clients. Then I’d tossed them under a pillow so I wouldn’t hear them ringing.

On the other hand, Whatsapp messages flooded the phones. When that didn’t work, emails came like marching soldiers.

I became wanted. My photo could’ve been at the police station on top of the most wanted.

Bite Only What You Can Chew

“Enough is enough” I yelled.

It took guts for me to start being real with people. 

I accepted only what I could do at a time. 

Deliver what you promised. When you give a deadline, do all you can to meet it, even in minor issues like “I’ll send you the proposal at 8:30 am” or “Lemme Whatsapp you at 4 pm.”

People would hold you accountable to your word. If you fail to give what you promised, you may be chipping away the good reputation you toiled to build. Gradually.

What if circumstances are beyond your control?

There’re days unforeseen events may mess your plans up and hinder you from honouring your promise. For instance, power outage stops you from completing that work. Or weak internet signal prevents you from sending that email.

Perhaps, you couldn’t get to the meeting on time because the trotro ran out of gas and you had to wait for an hour for the driver to refill.

These things may happen. Be quick to apologise. They shouldn’t be a frequent occurrence.

If you live in a country plagued by frequent power outages, heavy traffic and the like, always plan.

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