Reputation and Your Karma
Now as a man is like this or like that,
according as he acts and according as he behaves, so will he be;
a man of good acts will become good, a man of bad acts, bad;
he becomes pure by pure deeds, bad by bad deeds;
And here they say that a person consists of desires,
and as is his desire, so is his will;
and as is his will, so is his deed;
and whatever deed he does, that he will reap.
— Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, 7th Century BCE
This definition of Karma has been with us for over 2700 years! Your Karma is your deed or the things that you do. It is reflected on your state of mind, happiness, wealth, friends, etc. It is also reflected in one more aspect that all of us are so very concerned these days – the Reputation. Indeed, for some reputation is Karma. And for some others, Karma and reputation is equally important. Gone are the days when Karma was done in the in the truest sense as espoused in the Bhagwad Gita. Do your Karma for the sake of Karma and do not much bother about is effect on your riches, family, peace, happiness, material or spiritual growth. Or your reputation.
As a practitioner of building or guarding Reputation for my clients’ company or products, I have learnt this one thing: any reputation that is not based on Karma, at best, is short lived. Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya are just two of the thousands of examples of this! Amplifying your reputation that is derived from your good Karma is one thing. Building reputation for personal gains and thereby transferring richness, from those who believed in you, does not last very long. That in itself is bad Karma. This applies to all aspects of one’s life. The discussion on the birth cycle (part of Karma theory) is irrelevant here.
Duty to your well-being is prime. But looking after the best interests of customers, partners, employees, vendors, shareholders, investors, society and environment are also an important part of Karma for modern day entrepreneur. In my decently long career in business communications, I have observed Bhagwat Gita in action several times. Businesses who kept the interests of all stakeholders above their personal interests. They did this Karma as duty. Progressed well while keeping their own peace of mind and were also happy while they grew. Ofcourse, there were many others for whom the self-interest was only thing that mattered.
The journey of an entrepreneur has very many ups and downs. She/he walks alone most of times and succeeds despite all challenges, pressures and temptations. Keeping a balance in Karma is their major pre-occupation. No doubt that reputation does help in this. It would help them if they always remember that Karma builds reputation. Reputation does not build Karma.