Business owners are ambitious and hard-working people. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a vision come to reality and getting paid from pursuing a passion. However, the road to success is full of challenges that may push the entrepreneur to the point of giving up or worse, doing something that is not in line with an established set of morals. It may seem like the someone in the practice of underhanded dealings is getting ahead faster and even more bountiful than someone who is not, but it never lasts. Those who violate a set code of business ethics always end up losing more than they gained. Here are some tips to prevent you from falling into that trap.
1. Trust the process.
Having a business mentor to bounce ideas off is very helpful. If your mentor confirms that you are on the right path with your actions, trust that you will have great success. Look at the challenges as learning opportunities. Usually, there is something that you need to learn before you see huge success.
2. There are no shortcuts to the top. You have to put in the work.
Ambitious people always want more and are open to different types of challenges. Success looks very different to different people. It is so easy to want what someone else has and more. The question is, are you willing to do what they did to get that? An opportunity to take part in unethical dealings may tempt someone to take a shortcut that presents as very lucrative. Don’t fall prey to that trap. Stand firm in your own version of success and don’t try to take shortcuts to get there.
3. Be someone who you want to do business with.
Let’s be honest. If someone has a history of crooked dealings and wants to do business with you, most likely, you will decline their proposal. Sacrificing ethics usually means that someone is getting the short end of the stick. That may not register when you are benefiting from it but it’s only a matter of time before the tables will turn. Will you still want to do business with someone who is getting over on you? Will your customers want to do business with you after you’ve short-changed them? Make business decisions that are in line with someone whom you would want to do business with.
4. Stay in touch with your accountability partners.
When no one is around, you feel like no one see’s you in the act of making a poor judgement call. If you feel like something you’re about to do isn’t right, it usually isn’t. It’s natural to want to go against your gut feeling when you think you will profit in the end. Ask your accountability partner for insight before you make your final decision. Usually, they will confirm what you originally thought and talk some sense in to you.
5. All money isn’t good money.
In 2008, the largest Ponzi scheme in the history of the United States all came falling down. Bernie Madoff promised investors an unheard of return on investment in an unheard of amount of time, conning investors out of $65 billion. It took a large team of people to pull a scheme of this proportion off. They all made lots of money over a short time. They also all went to jail. Every dollar earned goes farther than dollars “given”.
When you aren’t progressing as quickly as you think you should, don’t take easy ways out that will violate business ethics. Trust the process and learn from it. There are no shortcuts to successful business. You have to put in the work to make it last. Behave like a business person that you would want to do business with. Have your accountability partners hold you accountable. Stay away from deals that are too good to believe because all money is not good money.