There’s FREEDOM in being a person of high INTEGRITY and HONESTY.
There’s FREEDOM in knowing that you have helped another human being for the right reasons. Those reasons being because it was ALL about THEM.
If you’re starting your own home based business, make it a priority to do what’s right for your customers, your leads, your prospects and your clients. Serve with a pure heart, pure intentions and you will reap a pure harvest.
Yes, you’re in business to make money, but that must be secondary. The way to make money is through serving others, caring about others and helping them accomplish what they want to accomplish. The money will follow naturally.
How many times have you run into people and businesses and you have to shake your head left to right after the encounter because it’s obvious they don’t have integrity and/or honesty?
It happens all the time.
Companies can let us down.
Business Partners can let us down.
Strangers can let us down.
Family members can let us down.
Friends can let us down.
Then there’s those individuals who run their businesses deliberately and purposefully WITHOUT ANY integrity and honesty. They are out for the quick buck, they are selfish and they don’t care who they hurt. They just want you to get out your checkbook and pay them. They sleep well, they party hardy and laugh behind the backs of gullible people. Unfortunately, there are gullible people in the world who buy into the tactics of these clowns and suffer the consequences later.
This is one of the reasons people are skeptical doing business with people they don’t know, especially online. In the home based business industry, it’s important to use personal branding methods of marketing to help people get to know, like and trust you. Be authentic. Be real. And understand that your list IS your business. Treat it with respect, integrity and honesty and it will reward you greatly.
On the flip side of the coin, there are those entrepreneurs who DO practice integrity and honesty and would NEVER in their wildest dreams set out to cause harm to others. But sometimes that happens by accident. When it does, these individuals don’t sleep and they worry and stew about how to make things right. It’s torture for them. It goes against every grain in their body and they are the first to say, “I’m sorry. I really screwed up and I care enough about you and our relationship to admit that.”
These two individuals ought not be placed in the same category. One needs to be exposed and shut down, the other needs forgiveness and grace.
Wikipedia defines INTEGRITY, among other definitions, as follows:
Some people see integrity as the quality of having a sense of honesty and truthfulness in regard to the motivations for one’s actions. Some people who use the term hypocrisy in contrast to integrity for asserting that one part of a value system demonstrably conflicts with another, and to demand that the parties holding apparently conflicting values account for the discrepancy or change their beliefs to improve internal consistency (seen as a virtue).
The etymology of the word “integrity” can suggest insight into its use and meaning. It stems from the Latin adjective integer (whole, complete). In this context, integrity may comprise the personal inner sense of “wholeness” deriving from (say) honesty and consistency of character. As such, one may judge that others “have integrity” to the extent that one judges whether they behave according to the values, beliefs and principles they claim to hold.
Wikipedia defines HONESTY as a facet of moral character and denotes positive, virtuous attributes such as integrity, truthfulness, and straightforwardness along with the absence of lying, cheating, or theft.
In discourse, a statement can be strictly true and still be dishonest if the intention of the statement is to deceive its audience. Similarly, a falsehood can be spoken honestly if the speaker actually believes it to be true, assuming the speaker doesn’t unfairly reject or suppress evidence. Conversely, dishonesty can be defined simply as behavior that is performed with intent to deceive or to manipulate the truth.
In considering my own life’s journey, I was taught never to lie. In fact, all through my childhood the household rule was this:
If I did something wrong and admitted it, there may or may not be a consequence. If I did something wrong and lied about it, I may or may not get a consequence for the first offense but positively there would be strong consequences for lying about it. There was a zero tolerance policy when it came to lying.
Same with integrity. There were many teachings in my home on treating each other with respect, and a consideration of how we would want to be treated, doing what’s right even though it’s not always the popular vote. Being a light in the darkness and standing out in a crowd to take a stand for what I believed in was drilled in me.
I have carried that throughout my life and instilled those same rules and teachings in the lives of my children.
When one practices honesty and integrity as a way of life, your inner voice will guide and lead you and you’ll be very aware of your words, thoughts and actions before you step in the mud.
Hindsight is 20/20. Reflecting back in my life, and being an imperfect human being, I can recall choices that I thought were truly right and honorable at the time, however, I can see there could have been a better way to go about things.
As a home business owner, I have participated in programs or opportunities that at the time I truly believed would be good for my family and anything good enough for my family, I would certainly recommend to others and I did just that. The decisions I made to participate was based on information I gathered by others I trusted with a good track records and the promises of companies. In the end, there have been a couple of times the companies and/or products didn’t perform. It was very disappointing on both occasions.
Judgment Call: In those two situations I had two options.
ONE: Continue on and marketing the product/service and rake in the money even knowing that things were going south.
TWO: Call it day, wash my hands, and let everyone know, “hey, this isn’t want I thought and I’m bowing out. I’m sorry this company didn’t come through as promised.”
I bowed out in both cases. If you’re wondering the names of the companies, I have no problem being transparent here. One was WebProsperity and the other was TVI Express. In fact, with TVI, I walked away with multiple, multiple thousands of dollars on the boards. It’s still sitting there. Immediately upon hearing some disturbing information, I stopped and walked away. New prospects continued to call me asking to partner with me and instead of signing them up, I explained the situation for which they were grateful.
My folks taught me it’s always best to walk away from bad situations rather than resort to dishonesty and lack of integrity.
In both cases, because integrity and honesty is so ingrained within me, I lost sleep for days. I tossed and turned. I cried behind closed and private doors because I was so worried and sad… not for myself, not at all. I was worried about and sad for the 450+ individuals who put their trust in me in an opportunity that didn’t work out so well. I wanted to fix it for everyone. I was angry at the company and knew I could not put off making the announcement. That’s a super hard thing to to because it’s not news that anyone wanted to hear. But they deserved to know the truth and they deserved to know my intentions. It took me a month to start sleeping through the night again. Thank goodness it was a $300 entry point and not a multi thousand dollar investment, but nonetheless, it was the trust factor, the relationships that I cherished, the friendships I had developed. That’s what meant the world to me.
In fact, I have to say this and I wish I could name them one by one and put them in a hall of fame for unconditional love, tolerance, friendship… the list is long. Here’s what I want to say:
It’s said that like attracts like and I have to say that the individuals I attracted to the TVI Express businesses were of high integrity and honesty too. Here’s how I know. I received many, many…. more than I can count, emails and phone calls from business partners who supported my decision and said I was doing the right thing. They encouraged me, they didn’t fault me, they actually thanked me and boy, did I ever shed tears of gratefulness at each one’s call and each one’s email. And, they stopped pursing the opportunity as well for the same reasons. Only one person had an attitude but I certainly don’t hold grudges. I can only be responsible for my attitude back.
I’m very aware of how my life and recommendations impact others. I do OK swatting flies and stepping on spiders with my shoes on, but other than that, I can’t hurt anything or anyone. My nature is to want to help, to serve, to love, to care, to make a difference.
Based on the information I had, I truly, 100% believed that the two products/companies would provide a better suite of business tools (WebProsperity) and a beautiful opportunity for the average family to create an extraordinary lifestyle for themselves (TVI Express) and was very excited to offer it to my friends, family and customer base.
My intentions were pure. But at the end of the day, unless it’s a product or service I create, I have no control over the quality and day to day running of companies or the decisions they make.
We are all responsible for maintaining our best of integrity and honesty in business, in relationships, and in life in general. I know that I do a self check often to make sure my heart, my Spirit and mindset are in the right place. As a Christian entrepreneur, I pray daily that my actions lift up and help others, not hurt or tear down. I also pray for forgiveness where I have fallen short.
I hope that we all can step back and before we recommend something, or do something, we ask ourselves, “Is this TRULY good for myself and for others?”
I will continue to make recommendations because I’m an entrepreneur and that’s what I do. The longer I’m involved in the industry, the more leaders, movers and shakers I’m knowing on a more personal level, the more “inner circle” news I’m hearing (yes, there is an inner circle and it’s the leaders in the industry. It’s a very small world up here.) and my own personal knowledge of what I know to be true, will help me make better and better decisions.
I would absolutely love to hear from you about how you practice integrity and honesty in your business. When did you take the high road, the unpopular road to take a stand for what’s right? Please leave your story or comment and retweet. Thanks so much. I appreciate you! Debbie