I get deep this week here on the Htet Tayza blog as I ask; why should entrepreneurs’ be concerned with ethics to prove successful in the long-term?
The World Encourages Us to Abandon Our Ethical Principles
The way in which the world we live in works, demands that we strive for success. That is all well and good, but often an attitude persists, that a young budding entrepreneur should strive to make money no matter the ethical cost.
I would argue that this point is flawed. Look at Bill Gates, unarguably the most famous entrepreneur who ever lived. The man started out with nothing, grew to found Microsoft and become the richest man in the world, and proceed to regularly give large portions of his earnings away. He didn’t need to abandon his moral compass to achieve success.
Safeguard Your Corporate Reputation
At this point, I hear all of you Htet Tayza readers saying to yourself, “well that’s all well and good. There’s obviously a moral benefit to maintaining ethical standards, but most of us are not Bill Gates, we can’t afford to stick to our principles.” Quite the contrary, I would argue that you cannot afford to abandon your principles.
This is because even the most successful of ventures is only as good as its reputation. If you abandon ethics and engage in practises that could hurt other people, it will eventually come out. Then watch, as people lodge boycotts of your company, the press circulates and picks it apart, and your bottom line falls into the gutter.
Protect the Goodwill in Your Bank Account
Taking the point further, I would argue that ethics are particularly important to an entrepreneur as they are starting out. That is because, as I have pointed out when explaining how to start a business with no money, you have a limited cash flow to work with.
Therefore, an entrepreneur’s early success often depends on the amount of goodwill they have stored in the bank from the parties they work with. If you then proceed in ethical practises that malign your reputation with those parties, that goodwill will soon dry up, leaving your venture on life support.
Look to Every Disgraced CEO You’ve Ever Heard Of
To close my argument on why entrepreneurs should be concerned with ethics, I ask you Htet Tayza readers who are still uncertain, to look at every disgraced CEO you’ve ever heard of. Secrets have a habit of getting out, and when they do, abandoning your ethics in business will come back to haunt you.