We’ve recently seen our financial world crumble as it became all too easy to trade intregrity and honesty for millions of dollars in the banking and housing industries. Unfortunately, as the economy has tightened and times have become tougher, I’ve also seen this happen in my own industry.
Of course, it’s not millions of dollars but that makes it even more disturbing. Once the intregrity is gone and the bucks have been spent, what do you have left?
It’s the American Way
But it’s the American way. We’ve become used to it. And accept it as normal. Trading intregrity and even a reputation for money has been a part of our media culture for years as athletes, actors, and even politicians hawk everything from refrigerators to insurance on the screen that fills most living rooms. Newspapers and magazines fill their pages with ads from companies whose policies they don’t agree with. Likewise, advertisers trade exposure and possible sales for their endorsement of publications and events that they may not agree with.
It may be the American way, or even the normal way to do business, but it is not MY way. When I first started my business seventeen years ago, I knew that the most important asset I would ever have was my intregrity and my reputation. Since then, I’ve been outspoken. I’ve been honest. And I’ve lost some so-called business opportunities as a result of it. But my reputation and my intregrity are still intact. To me, that is worth more than any amount of money I could have made on those lost opportunities.
The American way is not always the best way. There are always trade offs when you start and grow your own business. You trade time doing all the necessary chores required to grow your business for time for pleasure. You trade money that you could perhaps have spent on that cruise, you always wanted to go on, for seed money to buy inventory and market your dream. These trade offs are ones that you can be proud of when your business is sucessful.
But how much is the dollar really worth to you? Is it worth your reputation, your honesty, and your intregrity? My response to that question is “NO WAY!”
I welcome your comments about How much the dollar is worth to you.