In a recent conversation with a colleague of mine the topic of business integrity came up. Actually, I’ve had this type of conversation many times during the nearly 20 years I’ve been in business.

It seems in some circles the word integrity means something completely different than in other circles.

Let’s start with the Webster’s Dictionary definition.

: the quality of being honest and fair
: the state of being complete or whole

Full Definition of INTEGRITY Recently I offered an open, hop on the phone line, Q&A session. It was on a Saturday and I made myself available for two hours to answer as many questions about building your business as possible during that time.

To encourage people to get on the line I announced the call would not be recorded. I also let it be known no opt in was required. Just show up and ask questions. Simple.

A few things happened that I didn’t expect. One: the number of people who showed up was beyond what I thought the call would attract. Awesome!

Two: the questions were fabulous. Three: the appreciation people expressed to me was more than anticipated. Men and women from around the globe were really appreciative of me taking time on a Saturday to avail myself to them in this capacity.

This is the first time I’ve done an open call like this where no opt in was required, no replay would be made available and I took time out of my weekend to make myself completely available to anyone who had questions.

From the response, I knew I had hit the target.

What I didn’t expect were the few people (and yes it was very few) who were upset because I wasn’t recording the call nor was the time convenient for them.

A couple of people were downright rude. “How dare you do this at a time I can’t make it!” one woman wrote me.

One person on the call let me know I was interrupting her dinner by having the call at 10 a.m. Pacific. Obviously, she is in a part of the world where it was evening.

To those who showed up, asked great questions and expressed appreciation, THANK YOU!

To those who bitched me out, wake up! Success is not always convenient.

One man asked me why I didn’t record the call. It’s very simple, I didn’t want to.

The fact is there will be times we need to show up to an opportunity even if we think it’s not the best time to do so.

Far too many people have gotten really lazy around their success and many others have developed a sense of entitlement when it comes to learning online.

99% of the time, those who feel others need to cater to them and their schedule are the ones who are not making money, have never offered much of anything to their market, don’t know who their market is and still believe the BS that you don’t have to work for success.

Then there are those who are ALWAYS trying to get something for nothing. If you invest nothing in your business that’s what you will get out of your business; nothing!

Here are a few basics of turning a profit in your business.

There are times when you need to do something that’s not convenient.
You have to treat your business like a business which means you have to invest money.
No one owes you anything.
If you are constantly looking to get something for nothing, that’s what your business will likely be; nothing.
Those who have a sense of entitlement need to take look at why you believe this.

Ask yourself this, “Am I the type of person I would want to attract in my business?” In other words, if you have a sense of entitlement, are always looking for the freebies, never invest in yourself or your business, is this what you want from your clients and customers?

Here’s the deal; there are plenty of us who share a lot of great information at no cost to the end user. We love doing so because we know we are serving others, but we are not obligated to give information away. We do it because we want to and know this is a smart business practice.

Along with the complimentary information we provide, we do have paid products and services. And most people appreciate this and are willing to pay for the information.

I’m no stranger to accessing free information. Equally, I’m no stranger to paying, and paying well, for great information from experts I want to learn from.

Consider this, if you are not yet making money in your business it could be for a few simple reasons. One, you never invest in your business. Two, you have a sense of entitlement that energetically attracts others who have that same sense of entitlement. Three, you’ve never taken the time to package your knowledge into money making products and services.

If you’re ready to get off the hamster wheel and start making money in your business, create products and services that will serve your market, build a responsive subscriber list and put you in the game of business, then you need to get serious about what you do and do not have to do to make this happen.

After all, if success were easy, everyone would have it.
1: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : incorruptibility
2: an unimpaired condition : soundness
3: the quality or state of being complete or undivided : completeness

It’s amazing the number of entrepreneurs who use the word integrity to define the way they run their business, but a closer look reveals a contradiction in their use of the word and their actions.

Many of these entrepreneurs call themselves heart centered, soul based, or integrity based business owners.

Yet their actions are so far removed from the very way they define themselves.

Here are a few examples of how people may be missing the mark when it comes to their expression of integrity.

1. Information Product Purchases.

There are those who buy information products, digest the information and then ask for a refund while applying (and benefiting from) the very information they are requesting a refund on.

For some this is not a onetime occurrence, but rather a standard, business as usual, practice.

Really?!?! Is this someone who is walking in integrity? I think not. It’s one thing to buy a program, go through the information and if you really feel it is misrepresented asking for a refund.

On the other hand, if you bought a program, used it and know, beyond a shadow of a doubt the information was as represented, what the heck are you asking for a refund for? Would you want people to do that to you? Likely not, so why do it to others.

You wouldn’t believe some of the lame excuses my colleagues and I have heard. Well, maybe you would. Maybe you’ve heard these or something wackier.

“I went on vacation and spent more than expected so I need a refund.”

“I want to buy expert X’s program and before I can do that I need my money back from your program.”

Come on folks. Grow up. Put on the big girl and boy panties. This is real business.

2. Coach surfing

You hire a coach to help you and rather than listening to their advice (which they have a proven track record on) you decide to hire a couple more coaches and bounce around on who you will listen to this week.

Sure, there are occasions you need more than one coach due to areas of expertise, but to have three or four coaches for the exact same thing is counterproductive.

There’s a good chance each coach has their own style of coaching and will make conflicting recommendations.

By taking advice from three or four people on the same thing you are going to be spreading your efforts way too thin and frustrating the heck out of the experts you hired.

Why not stick with one coach, give it 100% and get out of your comfort zone by sticking with one plan.

3. Not treating someone’s staff with respect

This one will lose you points faster than just about anything. My team works hard to give the best service possible. If someone mistreats, is rude, or acts like they can talk down to my team and I won’t mind them doing so, well… this is as close to the edge as you can get.

Years ago I ran a multimillion dollar career training company. Occasionally we would be hiring for either a sales or training position. When a potential new hire would come in for an interview one of the “tests” I had was to make them wait a few minutes in the lobby.

The fact is, I wanted to see how they treated the receptionist. Little did the new hire know this was all part of the interview process. If they were polite and treated Erika, the receptionist, as a professional they gained points.

If, on the other hand, they didn’t treat her respectfully or complained about the wait, they lost lots of points. So many in fact, they were not considered for the job.

So how do you treat members of a support team? Don’t think for a minute they don’t share great treatment as well as harsh treatment with the person who pays them because they do.

If you claim to have an integrity based business are you acting the part?

You’re not doing anyone a favor by buying products and services and then either asking for a refund based on your bad money management or thinking having a bunch of coaches is going to solve your problems.

You’re also not doing anyone a favor by taking your bad mood out on others. You’ll get a heck of a lot further by showing respect and appreciation than by being a jerk.

The fact is, you’re not the only one dealing with problems. Every business owner does. What determines your level of professionalism is how you handle your problems and how you interact with others in the process.

Running a business takes discipline. Often it’s the discipline of saying no, even though you think that next fun thing will make all the difference in the world.

The discipline resides in being able to say no when needed AND saying yes to the agreements you have made. Yes in time, yes in money and yes in energy.

The discipline also resides in treating everyone you come in contact with respectfully. After all, isn’t there enough disrespect going around? The buck and ball stops with you.

Author's Bio: 

Discover success insights from experts around the globe who are out there making a difference and making a great living in the process. Kathleen Gage interviews the best of the best with Power Up for Profits Podcast.