So Much Depends on Reputation
The Daily Laws by Robert Greene, Pg. 131
In the social realm, appearances are the barometer of almost all our judgements, and you must never be misled into believing otherwise. One false slip, one awkward or sudden change in your appearance, can prove disastrous. This is the reason for the supreme importance of making and maintaining a reputation that is of your own creation. That reputation will protect you in the dangerous game of appearances, distracting the probing eyes of others from knowing what you are really like, and giving you a degree of control over how the world judges you — a powerful position to be in. Reputation has a power like magic: With one stroke of its wand, it can double your strength. It can also send people scurrying away from you. Whether the exact same deeds appear brilliant or dreadful can depend entirely on the reputation of the doer. Reputation therefore is a treasure to be carefully collected and hoarded. Especially when you are first establishing it, you must protect it strictly, anticipating all attacks on it. Once it is solid, do not let yourself get angry or defensive at the slanderous comments of your enemies — that reveals insecurity, not confidence in your reputation. Take the high road instead, and never appear desperate in your self-defense.
Daily Law: Reputation is the cornerstone of power. Through reputation alone you can intimidate and win; Once it slips, however, you are vulnerable, and will be attacked on all sides. Never let others define it for you.
The 48 Laws of Power, Law 5: So Much Depends on Reputation — Guard It with Your Life.