Integrity Means Everything!
If I’ve learned nothing more in life, it’s that someone is always lurking in the background, ready to challenge your integrity at any minute. I think the underlying defense for me has been one question I never seem to forget: “What would Grandpa think if I did this?”
I’ve finally progressed to a point in the Website Creation Workshop where I’ve been able to build a website I had control over. It’s not perfect, but I no longer have to come up wth more money each time I want to make a change or improvement in the setup.
I think about the integrity I showed to my customers each time a vendor treats me unfairly. I want the same treatment. It boils down to finding someone who has the same level of integrity you do.
One example of the temptation to lower your values appeared on my old website. I wanted to repeat that lesson here because I don’t want the words lost when the old site is turned off on June 15th.
Let me know in the comments below what integrity means to you.
Have You Ever Been Enticed by a “Free Offer”?
I was working on the computer last evening before dinner. I had been gone most of the day and needed to catch up on some emails and social media sites.
An individual I respect as a leader in their industry hosts one of those sites. This person had posted a request to help a friend get a new business off the ground by trying their product for free. I’m like you when I see the word “Free”… I pay closer attention to the offer.
The product was something that could be of benefit, so I agreed to test it for the new entrepreneur.
Eventually, I was hooked up with the new business owner through an introduction done through a private message on Facebook.
The person I knew introduced the new business owner to me and then left the conversation.
Let’s Do an Immediate Review!
The private message from the business owner provided a link to the product on Amazon and a coupon code to receive the product free. It was a long and detailed email and dinner was ready. I sent back a polite message that I would order the product after our dinner was over.
When I returned to the computer, I noticed there was also a link to write a review. I had scanned the email earlier, but now I was reading it with less haste. I read it three times to be exact. My first perusal was correct: I was expected to write a review before being shipped the product.
I quickly responded that I really couldn’t write a review until I’d had a chance to try the product.
The response was that I didn’t need to worry about that part. The creator would write the review, and all I had to do was post it.
What would Amazon think?
Again, I responded to my concern over what Amazon would think if I wrote a review on a product they hadn’t even shipped yet.
The immediate response was that it wasn’t a problem, and the businessperson could write a review to post immediately. They sent a sample of the positive evaluation.
I have to admit I sat and thought about all this for a few minutes. I have been bombarded with offers to sell me a wide variety of “stuff” since I became involved in the author journey with the Elle book. I have been ridiculed by many because I don’t provide free downloadable reports on my website. The advice I’ve received is that I need to sell products to succeed with my book. My goal is to help kids. I don’t believe that goal needs monetization.
Integrity is worth far more than money or free products.
My answer to this young entrepreneur was swift.
“I apologize, but I can’t write a review on a product I’ve never tried in an attempt to entice others to purchase it.”
Their next offer was to write something about being willing to test it. By this time, I felt too uncomfortable to do anything more and wished them success before signing off.
Have you ever been put in this position? It began with an attempt to do something nice for a friend.
Have you accepted an expensive product with complete trust in the manufacturer to produce an “Honest Review”?
I’m convinced none of you would have responded any differently than I did. The integrity of people who read my blog is far superior to someone who willingly grabs a free product, willing to pay the price of their honor.
We are all members of a human race dedicated to helping others. That doesn’t erase the invisible line in the sand none of us wishes to step over. No product or amount of money can encourage us to compromise our integrity.
Integrity defines who we are and our beliefs. It’s our greatest value in life. I’ve learned over the past two years how others have taken advantage of me because of my lack of knowledge in the publishing industry.
I’ve spent over $30,000 to bring the Elle fantasy to kids who desperately need the inspiration of a delightful role model. She’s the child I always wanted to be. Hopefully my investment in protecting the children who will one day lead this nation has been well-spent.
As far as the offer the new business owner made to me is concerned, they were people who were over-excited to get their product o to a great start. They were not completely aware of the complexities of doing business properly.
I don’t know how their efforts worked, but I chose to back-off the internet offer and get back to my writing. I hope they are successful for all the right reasons. I hope their product is as perfect as they professed it to be.
I didn’t take the time to question the offer. I felt uncomfortable in helping promote something under intense pressure. If nothing else, I’ve learned over the years to follow my gut.
I refuse to compromise my integrity, and I won’t do anything that even remotely deviates from my daily standards. We will only be successful in this world when we treat others the way we hope others treat us. (Mother taught me this lesson with the words: “Do unto others…”)
My goal in writing the Elle Burton series is to empower kids in trouble to seek help while providing an inspiring story to help anyone in trouble.
I retired from a great job. I don’t dream of wealth, but health and happiness during my retirement.
I now have the time to make a difference in the lives of children who suffer as I did. I wish the Elle book had been available when I was a kid. I was afraid to breathe for fear of being hurt again.
My dream is to bring this book to kids to help them start conversations with each other and with a trusted parent/adult.
Have you ever had a similar experience? Were you put in the position of making a decision quickly and perhaps without all the information because something told you it didn’t “feel right” so you backed away?
Here’s a quiz to test yourself. Are You Ethically Challenged?