Not all that glitters is gold. Yes, it’s an old saying, but it is a wise warning that not everything that grabs our attention or looks amazing is real, valuable, and will stand the test of time.
This is an important rule when it comes to choosing whom you should work with, work for or even be associated with. Being well known or a high flier doesn’t automatically mean reputable — and neither does a fancy car or copious amounts of money.
People don’t tell you to your face but they are watching with whom you speak and with whom you do business, and if that person has a bad reputation it will rub off on yours.
If you have a quality brand that you have built up over many years, you will attract a new kind of potential client — the user who can see huge value in being associated with you, to help lift their brand (even temporarily). But attracting those people comes at a price. And the price is that the value of your brand decreases at the same time.
How do you know whom to work with or do business with? Here are some guidelines.

1. Allow time
A quality client will take their time getting to know you. Quality business people don't rush into things and don’t act impulsively.

2. Transparency
This is a big part of understanding someone’s brand and reputation. If questions aren't answered and you notice discussions conflict with each other then something is amiss. You need to know exactly whom you are dealing with before you can choose to work with them.

3. Who are their friends?
We are the five people we spend most of our time with. So consider those who surround the potential business associate. Whose house do they frequent? With whom are they speaking at events?

4. Google search
Oh, how many times a simple Google search under the news section has made my decision swift. The further you dig, the more you learn startling things about people.

5. Gut instinct
This is the most powerful tool to use in business. Your instinct will always tell you whom to work with and whom to avoid. Don’t let the idea of earning money, or the superficial image they project, persuade you to ignore your natural ability to protect your own reputation.

6. Their reaction when you say no
If you ever need to find out someone’s true colours then say no to them. It is very simple, but very effective.

7. If in doubt, throw it out – simple
On the flip side, when you end up working with the right people, you will find a strong bond that will help both brands catapult into the future.

Amanda Rose is the founding director of Western Sydney Women, the only advocacy group for women in all areas of Sydney’s west. She is a radio host on 2UE, keynote speaker and a strategic connector. She is also the CEO of The Business Woman Media.