I recently had a discussion with someone who felt very uncomfortable with earning money from their skillset. In their minds, sales seemed slimy and in contrast to running a business with integrity. Unfortunately, this is very common among individuals.
Due to a few bad apples in the business world, it's easy to assume that being profitable requires losing your integrity. People tend to automatically assume that profitability goes hand in hand with greed and manipulation. I also completely understand it because I used to think that way.
It wasn't until I realized that I could run a business with integrity that I started to see myself as being successful doing something I loved to do. Here are a couple of ways to make sure you run a business with integrity so you can make money and feel good.
As a business coach, my goal is to make sure people don't actually need me. This means I need to let them go when the time is right. Here is a recent scenario from my business to put this in perspective:
I had a private coaching client who wanted to terminate our contract three months ago. At the time, I knew she was not in a position in her business where she had the tools to take the next steps on her own. As such, I negotiated with her to stay on so we could get a few key things taken care of. Once those three things were taken care of, if she decided she was ready, then she could go.
And I kept my word. The three months ended and she decided to terminate the contract. However, this time she did have the tools she needed to take her next steps without my help.
If you were not running a business with integrity, you would keep that client in the dark instead of giving them what they needed. You would also try to make something up just to keep getting the money '“ even though you know it's time for them to go.
Another way to run a business with integrity is to be transparent. This includes being transparent with your mistakes and your financial relationships.
It still surprises me how people find this shocking. There is still an assumption out there that business owners need to be perfect in order for them to make money. The crazy part is no one relates to perfect. This means they won't buy from you because they don't trust you.
As such, business owners should think about being as transparent as possible in their businesses. If you put it all out there, you have nothing to hide. This allows you to run a business with integrity and build trust with your clientele.
(P.S. I've actually worked on marketing campaigns with major companies precisely because I openly share my mistakes. Had I not done that, they wouldn't have even considered me for their projects.)
Running a business with integrity is not a hindrance to making profits. In fact, it's only in running a business with integrity that you will be able to make profits in the first place.