Do you trust me? Why should you, unless you really know me? Should I trust you? Maybe, if you've earned my trust.

So, what do we do with this thing called trust? It depends. If this isn't specific enough for on. 



                              TRUST  THEN  VERIFY

                                                                      By Lou Goldstein

One of the most difficult tasks we face in this life is how to rebuild trust in a relationship.

Once trust is compromised or broken, there’s a suspicion present that wasn’t there before, and it’s easily seen ... everyone can feel it. Where before you would never have questioned, now you think twice. That doubt, that hesitation is the barrier to effectively rebuilding the trust that was once there, so, what can you do? Are you just stuck until it goes away? How’s that just going to magically happen? There’s no “magic”, but there IS something you can do about it.

You can trust, then verify.
If you have been betrayed, it’s not enough to have just been given an apology, along with a promise that it will never happen again. A sincere apology might go a long way toward healing the hurt…. but a promise that it won’t ever happen again might be too hard to swallow. Let’s face it …. you didn’t think it would happen the first time, but it did. So, how does trust, then verify help? It builds a new database of “proof”, if you will, that allows you to see that the other person is trustworthy once again because their “walk” is matching their “talk”.

Basically, trust, then verify means you take what they say at face value, and then you verify that what they say is actually true … building the proof you need to feel safe trusting them again.

Yeah….. it means you check up on them. For how long? That depends on you. Until you feel like you can trust them again, without having to check up on them.

And if you ever find yourself having broken someone’s trust ... offer trust, then verify up as a way for them to take your apology seriously and know that you’re sincere about wanting to earn their trust again. If you betrayed someone’s trust, then you shouldn’t mind being "checked up on". In fact….you might just decide that it’s a good thing….because it will likely speed the healing process for both of you.

If you want loyal followers you need to earn their trust first. Here are some simple (but not always easy) actions you can take.

In the business world be on time and be prepared for meetings. Being frequently late sends a loud message about your unreliability, and your lack of respect for the people who have to wait for you. Why should they trust you if you don’t respect them?

Failing to prepare for meetings wastes peoples’ valuable time. If you waste their time, why should they trust you with other things of value to them? Poorly run meetings are breeding grounds for mistrust and resentment. Make sure you send out the agenda in advance and come prepared with your ideas and answers. Also be prepared to verify that you fulfilled any commitments you made at the last meeting.

In business and life in general only make promises you can keep. Be very specific about what you agree to. Verify it and have it repeated. Actions do speak louder than words. If it becomes apparent that you will not be able to deliver on your original commitment, raise this issue as soon as possible with the relevant people, and work out how to address the situation. You may not always be able to keep your original promise, but you can maintain trusting relationships.

Do not gossip. If you have an issue with someone, work it out with them face to face. By all means rehearse what you want to say with someone you trust, but do not gossip about others behind their back. People you gossip to can reasonably presume that you will also gossip about them when they are not present.


Keep confidential conversations confidential. Keeping confidences is a big responsibility, and it is a true test of your trustworthiness.

Own your mistakes. Admit when you have made a mistake and take full responsibility for dealing with the consequences. Share the lessons you have learned. This creates a culture where people feel safe to experiment, make mistakes, learn and grow.

Admit when you don’t know something. Admitting you don’t know is a sign of strength, not weakness. If the people around you can see that it is safe to admit when you don’t know something, they also will tell you the truth. Admitting you don’t have all the answers opens the door for collaborative learning.

Know whom to trust. It is important to first know who you can trust and how much. This can be achieved by knowing a person enough to know how they act around other people in different settings and most importantly... how they talk about others. It is therefore a wise precaution (if not a necessary one) to have known that person for a while. It makes sense that the longer you have known a person, and therefore the closer you are to someone and they to you, the more you can trust them.

Decide the price of your trust. A well known phrase is that trust has to be earned. This is true, however only you can decide how it is earned. It might be easy to prematurely trust in someone. Do not trust someone lightly because you are in a difficult situation… or simply need someone to talk to. It is all to easy to say too much to the wrong person. On the other hand you might not trust in anyone (bad) because the price of your trust is unrealistic. In this case you will have nobody to turn to … and will probably not have many meaningful relationships with people. Avoid being paranoid…. but do not lightly give your trust away to anyone either.


Here are some keys to help you demonstrate you're the type of person who can be trusted.
Keep things in perspective.
Negative attitudes result when you focus only on individual circumstances versus the overall picture of what you are trying to accomplish.

Avoid coming across to others as if they owe it to you. Let them know you appreciate their time and their attention.

Surround yourself with motivated people. Don’t spend much time with people who are always dwelling on the negative. Try to listen or read at least one motivational or inspirational message every day. Positive reinforcement helps you project a positive feeling about yourself to those around you.

Read books by and for successful people. Reading books that inspire you will help you to inspire others to think of you in a positive light.


Face challenges with a sense of opportunity. Look for the good in all ideas, situations, and circumstances. Look past peoples faults to see their needs. Nobody's perfect. You may not like the way some of the people around you act or behave….but if you focus on what they are trying to accomplish…you can work on helping them. Remember, if you help them, in most cases, you are also helping yourself (and that is good).

Treat everyone with respect. Treating someone who is not respectful to you …with respect … will not only disarm them…. it makes it easier for them to treat you respectfully and can turn an argument into a disagreement where something might be accomplished.

Keep all your personal and professional conversations private. If people find out that you've talked about their personal lives or revealed confidential information about them to other people, they will decide you can't be trusted.
Avoid stretching the truth even a little. A small lie creates skepticism because, from that point on, people will never feel sure that you are telling them the truth.

Keep your word. This simple rule is practiced so infrequently… that those who stand behind what they say…really stand out.

By following these basic principles, you will project a positive attitude that builds a reputation for trustworthiness to everyone with whom you come in contact with.

Why do some people have problems trusting others?

The problems that some people have in not being able to trust other people sometimes emanates from their upbringing.

Divorced parents with trust issues…situations that caused much distress and problems from distrustful people while growing up….. some parents keep feeding their children with false ideas about trust and the child grows up having trust issues…..etc. If a mother cheated on the father the child could grow up having trust problems with all women or the other way around.

A person may also develop fear of trusting people if he saw one of his friends suffering badly because of trust issues. It doesn’t really matter if he was the one affected or if he saw someone else suffering from betrayal, in either case, the subconscious mind will still consider trusting other people dangerous.

There is a problem with thinking that people, in general, aren’t trust worthy.
If you believe in any idea whether legitimate or not… your subconscious mind will gather for you all the clues that proves that this idea is true. If you, for whatever reason, believe that people should not be trusted… your subconscious will only focus on the reasons that prove to you that people aren’t trust worthy.

That’s why some women tend to always get into abusive relationships. Because they think that all men are abusers, their subconscious minds always finds them abusive guys to support their beliefs.

There are people whom you should not trust …but still...there are good people out there. All people can’t be trusted but    there are some that can be trusted.


Below are some practical steps that can help you in trusting others again.

Whenever you have problems trusting someone ask yourself these questions.

 If someone wasn’t trustworthy does this mean that the whole world is not?
If I had a car accident one day, does this mean that I should not cross the street anymore?
If one of my parents cheated on the other, does this mean that the whole world cheats?

The more you ask yourself these questions the more you will be challenging your incorrect beliefs about others and the more you will start trusting people that can be trusted.

Whenever you find yourself prejudging others ... remind yourself that your subconscious mind can prove this idea… even if its false. The only way you can find the truth about people is  avoiding any kind of bias, only then you will discover who is really trustworthy and who isn’t .

Even if you discovered that someone wasn’t trustworthy...that person doesn’t represent the whole world... they are still one person.

People who cheat on others and who lie often have problems trusting others because they think that everyone else is going to be like them.

Allow others to trust you by being honest.

You don’t have to trust everyone but you must know that there are some people out there who can and should be trusted.  (see below).
In the chapter entitled BELIEVE IN YOURSELF OR NO ONE ELSE WILL.. I mentioned that I sold a business that marketed novelty license plates. The history of that sale and the circumstances surrounding it are a perfect example of the fact that ...You don’t have to trust everyone but you must know that there are
some people out there who can and
should be trusted.

When I started this business I was the owner, employer, employee, sales manager, salesman, purchasing director, advertising manager, and...(let's face it... I was a one man operation working out of my house and the trunk of my personal automobile.) 

The first marketing plan was to contact car washes (we have a lot of them in Arizona.) I started in Phoenix and over time expanded to other cities and towns in Arizona. The presentation was very simple. I would place a rack (remember the "floor spinning rack from the company in Atlanta?)  This rack would contain a whole bunch of different designs at NO COST to the owner of the car wash. They were placed on consignment. This meant that when I came back a month later the inventory would be counted and the owner would pay me only for those that were sold. I then would replace the sold product with new plates to bring the inventory back to its original starting point. We'll call this the "route."

I told the owners that I trusted them and this trust would give them a no risk... win/win opportunity. The advantage to me was that I had complete control of what designs (the best selling ones) to place on the racks and the owner did not need to be bothered with purchasing decisions. This is one example of how trusting someone can be beneficial. Did I ever get "burned" by doing this? Yes, but very seldom. There were very few incidents when a business went bankrupt and I had to struggle to recover my product and lost the money due to me...but is was a minor problem compared to the rack jobbing business that was being built.

The next plan was to advertise in trade journals and other publications being distributed in the other one license plate states outside of Arizona... that catered to park and swaps and other small businesses. The idea was to began sort of a mail order branch of the business.

As the business expanded and the years went by (6 years to be exact) the business was getting too big for me to handle. I was still a one man band (it was my choice).

Now we come to the biggest and most prolific reason why sometimes you should trust someone.

I decided that my best course of action was to sell the route and continue expanding the mail order part of the business. I also had some of those "middle people" (independent contractors) who sold wholesale to other businesses in different states... including one who was a vendor for a major mass marketing company that had stores nationwide.

There were two prospects. They were both customers of mine at a local park and swap. One was a "hard nosed guy" who ran a successful business at the park and swap and the other was a person who I will refer to as a "young man." Both were interested in buying the route. The "hard nosed guy"  had the financial ability to make a significant down payment and the"young man" did not.

First, I met with the "hard nosed guy" and arranged for him to spend a day with me as I serviced approximately 12 route locations. He saw me collect a significant amount of money (business was really good that day) and he was able to see what was involved.

At the end of the day we had dinner and a discussion. I asked him what his thoughts were. He said, "Lou, I am interested."  I said... "hard nosed guy"... what is your vision if you ran this business?"  He told me that he would hire his nephew to do the "grunt" work of servicing the route and he would manage the money, make sure he got paid and look for other locations.

The "young man" and I then met.  This was a wet behind the ears young individual that was working with his family at the same park and swap as the"hard nosed guy." He worked week ends at the park and swap and also had a job with a local roofing company working on roofs during the week. Working on roofs in Phoenix, Arizona during the winter was hard work. Working on roofs in Phoenix, Arizona in the summer is, I believe, classified in some remote law somewhere... as a war crime.

I asked him the same question that I had asked the "hard nosed guy." "What is your vision if you ran this business?"  He said that his vision was to learn from me, work hard and to do what he had to do to build the route bigger than it was. I then asked him how much could he afford to make as a down payment. He said he was able to make a minimal down payment but he would make payments every week.

There were now two people who wanted to buy my route. What should I do? Take the money from the "hard nosed guy" who was an experienced business man...or "trust" the "young man?" What would you have done?

Well, business is business and in making business decisions we must deal with cold facts and reality not what our heart tells us. Right?

Well, let's review the two discussions. The "hard nosed guy" was going to have his nephew do the"grunt" work of servicing the route. The "young man" was going to do the "grunt" work himself. The "grunt" work is an important part in running a successful route business because there is a need for a "hands on" relationship with the business owners. The "young guy" wins this point.

The "hard nosed guy" had the financial strength to make a significant down payment (maybe even a negotiated discounted "full " payment). Point goes to the "hard nosed guy."

I won't keep you in suspense (or bore you) any longer. The "young man" actually had me when he said
that part of his vision was to "learn from me." The only question was... "should I trust him."

My decision was...why not? He had earned my respect in the relationship I had with him as a customer. He had proven himself to be honest, hard working, likable, creative... and a person who had self confidence  in himself with a determination to  succeed.

So, we (I) drafted a 9 page Agreement of Sale and a 7 page Chattel Security Agreement  (remember Trust
then Verify?) and the "young man" and I began our business relationship. This was in 1995.

In 1996, the "young man" got married to a "young woman." I attended their wedding party and my first impression of her was quite impressive. She was attractive, personable and as I was soon to discover very sharp with a strong and intelligent mind for business. I wouldn't say This was"Beauty and the Beast" but more like  an intelligent realist and a creative visionary. If that isn't being polar opposites I don't know
what is.

Did I make the right decision to TRUST someone?
Let me just say that in two more stages the "young man" and the "young woman" ended up owning the entire  business ...and to this day we maintain a close and "trusting" relationship.
To watch these "polar opposites" blend their talents together as married business partners (usually the worst kind) and start with a successful business that they "grew" into a bigger and more successful business ...was very rewarding to me for many reasons (and them)..
Did they have problems along the way? YES !  Did they make mistakes? YES ! Did the visionary's dreams always come true? NO ! Did he continue to forge ahead with new visions that worked? YOU BETCHA !   Did she hold true to developing a business plan... and sticking with it to make sure it worked? YES INDEED !
(and she continues to do this despite the challenges and problems that stand in her way.) Did they argue?
Well maybe a little in the beginning...but they learned how to turn arguments into disagreements and turned negatives into positives. ( see the chapter entitled  Argument or Disagreement).
But the one constant was the fervent support they gave each other...the strong belief and trust they shared... and their never yielding determination to succeed.

I have also watched them begin and nurture a wonderful family.  Raising two boys that will be given a great start in life by inheriting strong moral values and  guidance... that will point them in the right direction as they grow and mature.

What started off  by trusting someone  turned out to be a major and  very"special" part of my life.

So, what have we learned? 

Hopefully, while we should be careful... we need to find people we can trust to help us improve our lives in many different ways. But don't forget to verify.

See you next time