Our names can either ring a bell or set off an alarm. If you know me, then you know how serious I am about my name. I don’t play any games. You know how people say they will die behind something? Well, my name is one of those things. When we think of brands we associate them with companies or products, but in everyday life, your name is a brand. You must protect it at ALL costs and from ALL angles. That includes disassociating from people that you call friends. If their behavior doesn’t align with your goals, then you should probably distance yourself. It sounds harsh, but the reality is we are the company we keep. So whether you behave in the same manner or not, you cannot run the risk of the accusations. It only takes a few seconds to ruin your name, but an eternity to TRY TO rebuild it. Notice the emphasis on try and to. It isn’t a definite that you can rebuild your name.
Everyone screams loyalty, but seldom do they understand its true meaning. How can people be loyal to anyone if they aren’t loyal to themselves? The first law of nature is self-preservation. I cannot help the next person without first securing myself. How can I let someone borrow my mortgage payment to pay his/her rent? Am I to potentially go homeless to allow someone the opportunity to have a roof over his/her head? It sounds ridiculous, right? Our brands are our mortgage payments. We cannot skip payments on ourselves to only loan said payments to a person that skipped their mortgage. We can’t work hard to build and invest in our names to only run the risk of losing it for an individual that was careless with their name. There are many instances where selfishness isn’t a great idea. Your name isn’t one of them.
“That’s my friend!” And? Your friend wasn’t too worried about your friendship when he/she did incriminating things that jeopardized his/her name and possibly yours as well. One of my BA colleagues and I are good friends. Because I know my name and behavior could affect her work and how people may perceive her, I am very cautious of it. I don’t want to make it difficult for her to do her job because I decided to be friendly with my vagina (which I am not). I don’t want to even give the perception that I am friendly in that manner. I know that BA is a brand. Because I respect the brand and the individuals responsible for it, I remain on my p’s and q’s at all times. It’s not unfair nor am I suppressing any human wants. I know that my name is associated with other people. Out of respect for myself (first) and the people (secondly) am associated with, I remain mindful of the my behavior.
If your friend isn’t thinking about the propensity of his/her actions , then that person isn’t your friend. It would be different if your friend’s actions were once in a while or under the radar, but if the person is out in the streets doing whatever they want with whomever they want however they want; they don’t care about themselves and chances are they don’t care about you. You can be loyal and have a brand with no credibility; or you can be what may be perceived as disloyal and have a name with longevity.
-Love yourself more than you love others. The decision to separate is never easy, but its’ one that must be made.