Integrity Breeds Profit

integrity“We believe that our integrity and honesty is worth more than profit.”

Uh oh, this sounds like it’s going to be one of those posts that complain about why everyone is in business to make money, doesn’t it? Well, never fear, this is NOT one of those… because I absolutely think that we are in business to make money, to generate a profit, to grow and better serve our clients and create more opportunities for our team. Why else go into business? Why else put in the endless hours and build a company and a team if not to generate profit? The entrepreneur… we have a dream for something bigger, to go further and explore opportunities, to take risks, to dream big and shoot for the stars, to make a difference and yes… to make money! It’s just not in our blood to punch a clock 9-5. And if we are going to go big, it better be making us some dollars!

My point is not that we shouldn’t make money or that it is somehow evil or disingenuous to make money. Integrity and profit are not diametrically opposed as some would have you believe. Preserving the integrity of your company is worth profit in of itself, because integrity will breed profit. I was speaking with my pastor recently about a statement I had written on our white board at the office.

“It says ‘Integrity trumps profit’… I want my team to understand how important it is!”, I told him confidently.

“You know that’s wrong, right?”, he replied with a grin on his face, “It should actually be ‘Integrity BREEDS profit'”.

And he was right! Because that is truly the power of cultivating a culture of integrity within a company like ours. It’s more than just a moral principal, more than just being able to sleep at night… it’s more than that. It is actually an investment into our clients, into our vendors, our community and our team. When a company acts out of integrity, it shows it can be trusted, and that, my friend, is worth cold hard dollars.

People come back to companies they trust. People refer their friends, family and colleagues to companies they trust. People want to work with companies that have a reputation for treating their customers and clients right. Integrity is a foundational element for your company; for your brand. It makes all of your marketing more effective because it has something solid to stand on. And not only that, but it gives your team confidence that their company is backing up their promises and will honor its commitments.

If you are an entrepreneur and business owner, you know you have to think long-term. You aren’t just thinking about the next couple moves… you are looking at checkmate in 19 moves, and to do that you are building one move upon another. That final checkmate move seems so important, but it would never have happened without the move that was 19 moves prior and set it all up. Cultivating integrity in your company and your team is one of those early opening moves. Build a foundation of integrity and, if you are moving forward with purpose, watch it breed profit!

Talkin’ Marketing at the Entrepreneurial Summer Camp

Joshua Adams - Melbourne, FloridaWe had a blast at the fourth annual Entrepreneurial Summer Camp sponsored by the Women’s Business Center and Junior Achievement of the Space Coast at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida.

The Entrepreneurial Summer Camp was a five day event for youth aged 13-18 years, and various local business owners and entrepreneurs presented business and entrepreneurial concepts in fun and interactive sessions.

I went in and tackled Branding & Marketing and gave the kids our “Seven Steps to a Marketing-Focused Website” talk and showed them how to make sure a website works for your business or venture and chatted a bit about ROI and what it means to make sure that every dollar you spend on your business has a purpose.

It was so much fun and I remember particularly one young girl who had a wallet-making business, where she made wallets from duct tape. Another young artist-turned-entrepreneur tried to sell me a wall mural for our office! If we hadn’t already had everything all done and setup here, I would have taken him up on it… he had a great pitch!

Part of business, part of the entrepreneurial dream, is to be able to make a difference and accomplish things you have a passion for and these kinds of events are just an example of that. As a business owner, I am able to participate in sowing seeds into these kids lives, give them insight into what it is like to run your own business and to give them some advice about marketing and branding. They may not be ready to use it, but it gives them options for their future and what are we if we neglect our coming generation?

I’m proud that we can be involved with local organizations like the Women’s Business Center and Junior Achievement and make a difference in our community and some kid’s lives!

Now go out and find a cause… find a need and give back to your community! Sometimes it’s not all about the dollars and cents as much as what kind of impact you make around you while earning those dollars and cents. I truly believe that so many of our business community’s business leaders have been incredibly influential and moving us all forward and I believe that many more have yet to contribute only because they don’t realize how much of a difference thay can be making.

Have an awesome day and keep moving EVER FORWARD!