(Listen on YouTube/Spotify)

People will never give you their time, or their money, or recommend you to a friend, unless they trust you.

Trust is a currency. Trust is something you can gain and lose. You earn trust by being reputable. You earn trust by holding yourself accountable. You declare what you are going to do, and then you do it. You intend to get results, and then you get results. People see that you get results and so they trust you. Over and over and over again. Results are the fuel that power the engine of trust. “You can’t make money unless you have money,” they say. Yes. That’s right. You can’t make money unless you have the currency of trust. Nobody is going to give you a hundred dollar bill unless they shake your hand.

How to build trust from zero?

Start with what you have.

“But I don’t have anything.”

Nonsense. You have sight. Vision. A dream. A goal. You have perspectives and assertions and opinions. You have what no one else can take from you: the choice of intent.

“But I don’t have any experience.”

Exactly. What you don’t have is what you have. You have the experience of being a noob. The world is full of noobs. I’m a noob. Find the noobs. Talk to the noobs. Make a podcast about being a noob, noob.

You build trust by starting with what you have. Start writing blog posts. Start recording podcasts. Talk to people. Ask questions. Build something. Build something and then blow it up so that you can build something better.

You know you have trust when people give to you their most sacred asset: time. If someone asks you for your time, they trust you. They might be asking only because of your reputation, or your fame, but regardless, they trust you. Why else would they spend half an hour of their time talking to you?

You have trust when you’re busy. A full calendar means that people trust you. A calendar full not of busywork, but of paid gigs and projects and assignments given to you by people who know you’re capable of getting results.

You can’t make a name for yourself unless you start putting out good work under your name. Your name means nothing without a steel foundation of good work. There is no such thing as the ‘big break.’ The overnight success is as mythical as the tooth fairy. Don’t trust the lucky. Don’t trust the salesman trying to pitch at you an easy way to the dream life. Trust the diligent. Trust the persistent. Trust the ‘man in the arena.’

There are two sources of capital you need to build before you earn your first nickel on the Internet.

  • Trust
  • Taste

Trust covers all the ethical stuff. Taste covers all the stuff in between. Like yin and yang, you can’t have one without the other. People will trust you because you act responsibly. And they’ll trust you because you make responsibility look cool (that’s the taste part.)

Here’s how to cultivate taste.

Has anyone ever asked you for a book recommendation?

That’s taste.

Taste solves matters of art. Taste is subjective, so personal problems can’t be solved with taste. Just because you have good taste doesn’t mean you have a license to practice therapy. Taste doesn’t have the power to solve problems directly. Taste solves problems indirectly. Taste shows us where a solution might be. Taste is the feeling in your gut that tells you which book you should read next, which person you should consult with on your next project, which project to to start, which career choice to make. If there is such a thing as an ‘inner eye,’ it’s really just called taste.

How to build taste from square one?

Let me repeat myself. Get experience. You can do this even if you’re starting from zero. How? Go on the Internet and start writing. Talk to people. Record your conversations with people and turn them into a podcast. Find people more experienced than you are. Ask them questions. Start working on a project. Any project. Just remember to put your name on it.

Once you have peoples trust, once they know you have good taste, only then will they give you what you’re after.

First we trust, next we taste, and then, we trade.

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