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January 10th, 2010 · 20 Comments · Habits

To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.” George MacDonald.

What is trust? Trust is a mental state of reliance on the integrity of a person. When you trust someone you believe that he or she is going to do what you expect.

Why is trust so important? As you probably know the human being is by nature a social animal. We need to develop and maintain relationships with others. We need those relationships to be healthy, to be happy, and to be successful. You probably have many of them but what really matters is not the quantity, but the quality. Trust is the foundation on which a relationship is built. Trust is the ingredient for a healthy relationship. In any kind of relationship (with colleagues, friends, your partner, your family, teachers, bosses, an audience, customers, readers, and so on) trust is a treasure that is hard to gain but easy to lose.

Next, I will share with you the 5 core elements needed to build trust in your relationships:


Keep your word

Your word has to be as valuable and unbreakable as diamond. If you make a promise, you keep it. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Your word is one of your greatest assets. Please, use it wisely, keep it clean and don’t abuse it, if not, you will regret it for a long time. Follow this advice and you will become a reliable person and, thus, you will build trust in any kind of relationship (customers, readers, boss, partner, friends, and so on). Why? Because they can count on you, they know how important it is for you to keep your promises. They trust you because they know that your word is worth to you more than a fortune.

Tell the truth

You must always tell the truth. Or, in other words: you would never lie about anything. Why? Because if you tell a lie, even a little one, people will lose respect for you. How can they trust you if you lied to them? If people catch you in a lie they will not believe you anymore, they will not trust your word.

How to Tell the Truth

Be transparent

However, to be truthful is not just to not lie and to keep your promises, it’s also to be transparent with the other person. You have to be yourself, showing who you really are with no deception or tricks. Avoid artificial roles or actions. If people realize that you aren’t being yourself they will distrust you. Regarding trust, natural prevails over unnatural. So, be sincere and talk with your own voice.

– If you are a blogger, this is a good example of being transparent: One Huge Mistake

I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you” Friedrich Nietzsche.


Persistent people who work hard and keep their promises are respected, valued and trusted. Who keep working towards their goals despite the obstacles, difficulties or discouragement will get rewarded for it. Take your work seriously and don’t give up easily because that builds trust. Persistent people don’t like to let anyone down. You know that you can count on them to do what they say they will do. Most committed people are trustworthy because of their competence. Commitment shines through persistent work. Hence, if you want to build trust you need to be persistent and consistent with your actions.

– Some good tips to Develop Persistence.


Being honest, decent, respectable, loyal and fair with others build trust. On the contrary, a dishonest person, who only cares about his own interests, inspires distrust and suspicion.

How to build integrity:

  • Act fairly.
  • Act upon your moral and ethical principles and not just upon material interests.
  • Help others to achieve what they want.


The reputation and credibility is given by others. You just can’t give yourself a good reputation. That status is given by others when they say positive things about you and your work. Work well done is greatly appreciated and rewarded with praise and admiration. But it takes a long time and effort to gain recognition for your work. You simply can’t attain overnight recognition. The key is to demonstrate experience and expertise every day in your work. Show that you are reliable, honest and trustworthy doing what you said you would do. Another good way to build reputation is doing things for others and treating them respectfully and fairly.

There are two ways to build reputation and credibility:

1- Treating people fairly and equally

Apply the rule: “Treat others as you would like to be treated.” What would you like others to do for you? Do that for them.  For example, imagine that you’d like to receive more comments on your blog: comment on other blogs and maybe you receive some comments from them in return. More RTs to your tweets: RT other people’s stuff. The idea is that you get what you give. Don’t pretend to receive honey when you give nothing. Or in other words, don’t pretend to be appreciated when you are indifferent to others’ needs and feelings. Don’t worry if someone didn’t do anything for you in return.  You don’t have to expect anything in return for your kind and helpful actions, just do them. What is really important is that you did something good for another person.

Benefits for doing something good for others:

  • Feel better by doing something good for others.
  • People are incredibly appreciative: Do something for others and they probably will do something for you. When you do something for someone else without expecting anything in return, you create an invisible tie with that person. People will feel they owe you something, it’s like an imaginary debt, in other words, people feel they should “pay” for what they received. Again, don’t worry if they don’t do anything for you in return, do it without expecting anything from them.
  • If you do something for someone else without expecting anything in return you build a good reputation among others.

2- Doing a job well done

Your work is your calling card. Your work is a reflection of who you are. What does your work say about you? Do always your best. Don’t accept less than the best.

How to Use the Web to Build a Powerful Reputation in Any Industry


Anyone who comes in contact with you has an expectation of what will happen. If you satisfy that expectation you build trust. If you exceed all expectations you win admiration and, of course, you build trust and credibility. But if you don’t satisfy that expectation you lose credibility and respect from those who have a relationship with you personally or professionally. Trust depends on keeping commitments. But the key here is to satisfy that expectation over and over again, day after day, year after year, and so on. Yes, I know it’s a lot of work, you have to put forth effort to build trust, but it is worth it. So, to build trust you have to satisfy the expectations with perseverance, not do so just once, but again and again. The more times you meet other people’s expectation on you, the greater the trust you will get from them.

And remember, trust is hard to gain but easy to lose. It may take a long time until the other person trust you, but it just takes one misstep to ruin a good reputation.

Written by: David Cantone

My Twitter: @DavidCantone

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Now, I’m looking to you for some wisdom:

Use the comments section of this post as a forum to share your own experiences, opinions and thoughts on this subject.

Share your thoughts & ideas and enjoy what others share with you 🙂


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20 Comments so far ↓

  • Robin DickinsonNo Gravatar

    Very nice post, David. I was just wondering what your next post was going to be about, then I saw your tweet announcing it. Great timing!

    I especially like your point “You just can’t give yourself a good reputation.” Excellent.

    One thing I would add to this very useful post is…


    A foundation stone for building solid and authentic trust is to trust yourself. How are you ever going to get others to trust you if you don’t trust yourself?

    This will take some self reflection with questions like:

    a) do I really trust myself? How do I know?

    b) are there specific situations where I don’t trust myself? What could I do to change these?

    c) what would it take to trust myself more?

    Building trust in yourself honours the best in you. It builds integrity because it never asks someone to do something that you wouldn’t do yourself.

    Best to you, David

    Robin 🙂
    .-= Robin Dickinson´s last blog ..A superb way to motivate your fans =-.

    • David | ilcantone.comNo Gravatar

      Hi Robin and thanks for stoppig by and leaving this great comment.

      I totally agree with you: trusting yourself is crucial to gain other’s trust. Why? Because people will notice that luck of self-trust.

      You’ve stated some great questions. You always make me think with your comments and posts. By the way, I love your last article Robin.

      Take care.

  • GordonNo Gravatar

    Ah this is just sooo important. I mean, where ever you work or whatever you do – you always need credibility. Some people need it more some less but it’s always there, especially in blogging and affiliate marketing. Thanks for the great post David!
    .-= Gordon´s last blog ..Getting Your First Traffic Spike =-.

    • David | ilcantone.comNo Gravatar

      Hi Gordon,

      Yes, credibility is everything when trying to sell a product online. That’s why the support of a well-established institution (or a well-known and reputable person) is so important when trying to launch a new product.

      Thanks for your comment Gordon 🙂

      See you.

  • Andrew @ Incomes InternationalNo Gravatar

    Fantastic article David. Too often people harp on about building relationships based on trust – so much so that it’s getting boring now.

    What you have done is articulated exactly what that means. Rather than just preach on buzz words, you provided a clear explanation of what building trust based relationships actually involve.

    Great stuff!
    .-= Andrew @ Incomes International´s last blog ..More Twitter SEO Tips – Powerful Hash Tags =-.

  • Ben LumleyNo Gravatar

    Nice post David

    There’s too much distrust in the world and the more we work on building trust between ourselves the more society will benefit.

    Great tips for that here 🙂
    .-= Ben Lumley´s last blog ..Your Perfect Day. Why You Should Think About Planning Yours =-.

  • Brett - DareToExpress.comNo Gravatar

    Hey David!

    I’d break down trust like this: be yourself and act honorably. Hopefully those two are the same things 🙂

    Nice article, mate!
    .-= Brett –´s last blog ..Are You Up For the Presence Challenge? =-.

  • Jim HardinNo Gravatar

    Hey David!
    Trust is so important. I have 3 kids and trying to teach them about trust and why it is important. I want them to have trust in me to be able to tell me anything. To be honest with me and to tell me the truth even when something goes wrong. I feel it is important to instill trust in them at an early age.

    Thanks again for a inspiring post!
    .-= Jim Hardin´s last blog ..5 Spice Chicken Blog =-.

  • Cheryl from thatgirlisfunnyNo Gravatar

    Really good job on this post! It made me think of a friend of mine, who recently started saying “I don’t trust you,” to me in response to my requests to take a risk (like be in a video or have his picture taken). He says it playfully, but it doesn’t sit well with me. I wondered what I had done – literally – and determined I hadn’t done anything I could think of to have him say that to me. I asked him, but he just laughed. After reading through your post and some of the comments, I’m wondering if he doesn’t trust himself to look the way he wants to look in the photos or doesn’t trust me to take a great photo of him…as you can see, it’s got me thinking. I’m going to talk to him about it because I don’t like hearing him say those words to me. Thanks for putting me in action!
    .-= Cheryl from thatgirlisfunny´s last blog ..Sins of the Past – What Do Yours Say About You? =-.

  • Joyce @ BatteryForLaptopsNo Gravatar

    Thanks for the great post, David! This really hit a nerve with me, because I recently had a situation that called into play the first point – keep your word.

    My husband and I lived for many years near his younger brother, a troubled man who was a single father, but really had no parenting skills whatsoever. He is also a non-functioning alcoholic and drug addict. We stepped in when we could with his son by taking him each summer and trying to help him develop the life skills he wasn’t getting from his father, who basically just made him stay in his room while growing up. When Mike was 14, we had finally talked my husbands’ brother into signing over guardianship. We had Mike with us for the summer and were in the process of getting all of the legal documents signed when we were informed that the father would sign them only on the condition that he (the father) could move in with us as well. Needless to say, we refused.

    When we told Mike that his Dad had changed his mind and that he’d have to go back and live with him, he was crushed. At that time, we both promised him that we’d continue to do what we could for him, and that no matter what, we’d always be there for him if he needed us. Contacting social services hadn’t worked in the past (another brother had done so and nothing was accomplished but estrangement), so we left things as they had been, with regular contact to keep an eye on things.

    About two years later, my husband got a job transfer and we moved to another part of the country, and weren’t able to see Mike regularly, and because his father wouldn’t allow us to speak to him often, lost touch. That was three years ago.

    In October of last year, this changed. We received a call from Mike, who had graduated from high school and finally had enough of his dad and moved out. Unfortunately, his father had taught him zero life skills, and he was basically lost; no job, no money, and the friend who was nice enough to put him up had lost his home to a fire the night before, so now he was essentially homeless.

    It didn’t take us long to decide on a course of action. We wrote up what we called an ‘apprenticeship’ offer – he lives with us and we help him land a job, go to college and teach him everything he needs to know to have a productive life. He accepted the offer and showed up a couple of days later via Greyhound, and here we are just a couple of months later and he has a full-time job, is working on getting his drivers’ license and looking at colleges to start at in the fall.

    Keeping our word has never felt better!
    .-= Joyce@BatteryForLaptops´s last blog ..Rechargeable Battery Tips to Prolong Life =-.

  • EricNo Gravatar

    Building trust with someone and being honest is an opportunity to a great you with both parties.

    A great way to sum all of this up but of course I’m a reader and love reading. That being said, I think there are times when more detail should present itself and you’ve done a tremendous job here.

    When you’re not sure how what you say or do or how you act will look in other’s eyes, think about how you would look at someone who did what you’re considering doing, saying, acting upon.

    Always take a look in the mirror at least once in a while. It’s the best place to go to to find the best teacher there is.

    A quote from my favourite author, Larry Winget: Do what you said you would do, when you said you would do it, the way you said you would do it.

    Do the above every time without exception.

    That’s all anyone really asks of anyone.

    Incredible article, seriously!
    .-= Eric´s last blog ..The Most Money You’ll Ever Make With Your Blog =-.

  • TheInfoPreneurNo Gravatar

    Hey Brother,

    This post is fantastic. When I wrote one huge mistake I was a little wary about doing it, but knew it had to be done.

    This was the greatest moment of my site as it got a fantastic reaction and strengthened an already great bond I have with the readers of the site

  • JohnnyNo Gravatar

    The biggie there is to not tell lies. I use to take for with what I considered telling little white lies.

    Now I find you can always tell the truth in any situation good or bad… be straight up. Doing so has never had a negative impact whatsoever.
    .-= Johnny´s last blog ..Are You Digesting Too Much Information? =-.

  • Rick OteroNo Gravatar

    I actually left a good paying job because the owner did the exact opposite of your post and I couldn’t stand his lies anymore. I was miserable when I worked there because my core values are very similar to your post. I now own my own business and learned a valuable lesson about trust. You must continually work at earning a client’s trust one client at a time when you are a new business but when you gain their trust by delivering the results they paid you for, the trust is earned fast and can result in long terms clients. The most valuable advice I have is to own up to it if you make a mistake that will affect your client . They might not like the mistake you made, but will respect you for this and build on your integrity and reputation..

  • CbellNo Gravatar

    very nice one, i must say it has helped me to learn more about trust. thank you David

  • savara`No Gravatar

    thank you for your words

  • Ashton FourieNo Gravatar

    Great post, with good practical advice.

    I think especially in these trying financial times, the temptation to take shortcuts and breach trust, is often great. But often the people who get hurt the most when trust is breach is not the one who is disappointed, but the one who is doing the disappointing! But we always realize that far too late!

    I wrote about trust today also.

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