Yesterday my daughter’s boyfriend approached me with a request. Could he interview me on the topic of “business ethics”. Hmmm… On the first night of class, his teacher made the statement that there is really no such thing as “business ethics”. Nice. Couldn’t agree more.
So he did our little interview, and I, shockingly, rambled on and on and on… (SO good at that!). But our conversation stayed in my little brain long after “the interview” had ended, thoughts rolling around up there like little tiny frozen peas. So here’s how I feel about it. (I sensed that you were dying to know) I feel that ethics are ethics. Period. You can’t have a different set of values, morals and ethics – one for your personal life, and one reserved solely for business. Nope. Doesn’t work that way.
I have been in the retail world basically my entire life. I started selling Avon door-to-door (And I mean that literally!) with my best friend, Laura, when we were 14. Our moms had to drive us (Ha!) to the “required meetings”, where we rubbed shoulders with all of the “old ladies”. (Yep. Those “old ladies” were probably well into their 30’s… at least!! HA!!) Time marches on, and along the way I did everything imaginable with regard to retail; ultimately starting my own retail business, “Creations“, over eleven years ago. Being an entrepreneur means having to get out there on your own and make it work. I was a “one (wo)man band” – the CEO as well as the gal who makes the coffee. And sometimes the coffee got burned. There are lots (and lots) of people out there who really don’t care about anyone but themselves. Fact. However…. there are so many more who DO!!! I really do believe that. You just have to search them out and make them part of your circle. When I say “circle”, I don’t mean in some “exclusive, you gotta meet all of these expectations, uppity, nose-in-the-air” kinda stuff. Just the opposite, actually. I care about the people that I call friends, and I want THEM to succeed, as well. If we all work together in that circle, promoting each other, sharing info, contacts, suggestions, positive energy… we will ALL grow in ways that we cannot ALONE! On the contrary, those who are out to (negatively) compete, with gossip and backstabbing… well; I would just have to ask them if they believe in karma?? I sure do. If we are good and kind to others, the world will give all of that back… and more. Believe it. (Insert music to Kumbaya, and let’s all hold hands.)
So there it is. That, my friends, is how I feel about (business) ethics. Any other questions…?