How to Quietly Build a Solid Reputation in a Noisy World

Start by lifting up others as you climb

Michael Thompson
Forge
Published in
5 min readDec 21, 2021

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I sent a message to the man I admire most in the coaching space here in Barcelona, requesting a chance to meet.

“Great message!” he replied later that night. “How’s Friday for breakfast?”

A few days later, after spending an hour together, I stood up from the table, shook his hand, thanked him for his time, and then proceeded to ask the first person I came across on the street to give me a swift kick in the ass.

I had broken the number one rule for connecting with people: I’d reached out too soon. I may have been a fan of the man but I hadn’t taken the time to identify how I could help him as much as he could help me.

On top of that, my words got jumbled. At one point, I questioned how he was able to live with this partner after he told me a harmless story. Not to mention, I forgot my wallet, making him float the bill.

“How’d it go?” my wife asked when I got home.

“Not good!” I replied while tossing myself onto the couch to cry next to our giggling newborn. “I won’t be hearing from him again!”

But a few months later, something happened.

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Michael Thompson
Forge
Writer for

Co-creator of two cool kids • Storytelling Coach •.Fast Co., Insider, Forbes • Free storytelling guide here: https://bit.ly/3h1KZeT