It never hurts to have a team of people on standby to support or validate you. Recommendations, trust and loyalty go a very long way. When it comes to leadership, it does matter what other people think. You may never shake hands on a deal with someone you do not know if naysayers stand between you. Good luck even making it in the door. On the other hand, passionate introductions from a handful of reputable people will secure you meetings and may even tie the knot for you. Connections are worth their weight in gold.
Work hard, lend a hand, expect nothing, respect everyone and love what you do. Reputation will follow.