Why I Choose Integrity Over Profit In My Business

Why i Choose Integrity Over Profit In My Business

Being a writer/editor is rewarding, enjoyable, and sometimes even glamorous (and sometimes SO NOT glamorous). That’s all you can ask for, right?  Wrong! You can also ask for money! I have said it before, I’ll say it again: the word “starving” is not required before the word “artist.” Creatives don’t need to suffer in order to produce awesome work!

But.  (There’s always a but….)

Since I don’t believe money is naturally good or bad, we need to know when money acts as a good thing and when money acts a bad thing.

In my life and particularly my creative business, money acts as a bad thing the second I choose profit over integrity. That is why I have decided that the foundation of my business is and must always be integrity. It will be the ground I walk on as I grow, expand, succeed, fail, and succeed again.

Why I Choose Integrity Over Profit In My Business
Story time:

I recently landed a job (yay!) as a social media manager and content writer for a company, working only a couple hours a week. Without sharing many details, this company sells a consumable product with an all-natural ingredient that has a long list of benefits. As a proud hippie, I’m all about all-natural health products, so I was EAGER to create their content.

I spent a couple hours talking about specifics and negotiating my prices. Then I was hired.  I love being hired as a freelancer. I become giddy. But the giddy ended quickly after I immediately did more research on this super ingredient and found it has traditionally been used as an abortifacient and can cause heavy menstrual bleeding.

Women are my audience! Women’s issues are my issues! I want women to be healthy and safe.  Thus – I can’t work for a business with a product that can terminate a woman’s pregnancy and bring other potential harm to her health.

They were going to pay me good money, and I turned it down.  Honest moment: there was a twinge of sadness that I’d be losing decent weekly income from easy work I enjoyed doing. The Boyfriend had to take me out for a drink that night. And don’t think I didn’t try to think of other possibilities like “Well I’m not technically SELLING the product…”  But no! NO!

In her book Rising Strong, Brene Brown brilliantly gives her definition of integrity:

“Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.”

If I had kept that job, I would have been comforted by the fun, fast weekly paycheck. I’m a freelancer – any amount of money feels like a squishy pillow to rest my crazy head.  But I can’t talk about fighting for women and then work for a company that goes against what I want to see for women  – healthy lives!

My fellow creatives and business owners and human beings:

If we get rich, but lose our integrity – what was it for?

If we choose comfort, but lose our courage – what was it for?

If we choose what is fun, fast, or easy, but lose what is right – what is it for?

If we profess values, but don’t practice them – what was it for?

Profit is great and necessary. But profit means nothing if we lose who we are.  As for me and my business, we’re gonna take the hit every time.  Anybody else in?

Here’s our manifesto:

The Integrity Over Profit Manifesto

What does integrity mean to you?  Let me know in the comments!

20 thoughts on “Why I Choose Integrity Over Profit In My Business

  • October 12, 2015 at 6:04 am
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    Good for you for following what you believe in. I never understood how defense lawyers sleep at night when they defend individuals you know are guilty – a much more extreme version, but still. It matters what you’re doing day to day!

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    • October 12, 2015 at 11:12 am
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      Thanks so much! I agree, it matters day to day what we do!

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  • October 12, 2015 at 6:57 am
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    I love this because it is so important that your business aligns with your values!

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    • October 12, 2015 at 11:12 am
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      Thanks so much! I definitely agree :)

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  • October 12, 2015 at 8:02 am
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    Love this. I’ve recently felt this push to do whatever it takes to make money off this little blog of mine and found that I’d rather write what I love than write for money. It’s not worth losing what I’ve created to have an little extra spending money. I love you manifesto.

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    • October 12, 2015 at 11:13 am
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      Yes yes yes!! I totally agree – I feel the same way with my blog!

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  • October 12, 2015 at 9:39 am
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    Great decision, Taylor! I imagine that had to be hard to turn it down but you did the right thing. Always choose integrity! :)

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    • October 12, 2015 at 11:13 am
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      Thanks so much Kelli!

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  • October 12, 2015 at 12:43 pm
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    Amen, girl! You would just never have felt right about it if you chose to do the work for them. Nothing is worth our moral conscience!

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    • October 13, 2015 at 10:18 am
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      Absolutely true!

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  • October 12, 2015 at 6:54 pm
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    I was actually talking about this subject with a wine vendor in the area. For most people who read a blog regularly, it’s easy to tell when a blogger has gone from writing about what they’re passionate about to what they’ll get paid for and personally, it turns me off of their blog.

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    • October 13, 2015 at 10:18 am
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      It turns me off too – I want to see the real them!

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  • October 12, 2015 at 8:08 pm
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    This is an excellent post! I love this. at the beginning I wanted to make money from my blog. I put a lot of hard work into it. But now, months later, I have found that it didn’t make me happy and my writing was suffering. So I’ve stopped worry about it. I have to say that my writing has gotten much better since I’ve decided to make this change.

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    • October 13, 2015 at 10:18 am
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      Thank you so much! And I’m SO glad I’m not alone!

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  • October 12, 2015 at 9:59 pm
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    LOVE this. So many people compromise these days and its awesome to see someone standing up for what they believe…money can make us or break us and I love the fact that you arent letting it determine who you are. Praying that an even bigger and better offer comes your way!

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    • October 13, 2015 at 10:19 am
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      Thank you so much, Lauren! Your encouragement is priceless!

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  • October 13, 2015 at 12:20 am
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    I really agree with this. I had a teacher last year ask me to up a students score (for no good reason, seriously). I struggled with knowing what to do, but I knew in my heart that doing the right thing is always worth it <3

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    • October 13, 2015 at 10:19 am
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      It can be really hard. But going to bed at night knowing you’ve done the right thing is so worth it!

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  • October 13, 2015 at 4:07 am
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    Taylor, Thank you for this! I couldn’t agree more. And as a freelancer myself, it’s a hard place to be in when we have money dangled in front of us for something that would technically be easy but isn’t right. You made a bold, brilliant choice, and I can’t help but think you’ll be rewarded in the end for it! Loved this piece, and I’m excited to follow along for what’s next!

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    • October 13, 2015 at 10:20 am
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      Thanks you SO MUCH! It’s always nice to hear when freelancers are dealing with the same things!

      Reply

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