Who You Are = How Well You Do

I’m talking about integrity, folks.

It’s imperative to bring it to the table every time you open your mouth. It’s not ok to be a great friend, spouse, parent, lover and then steal, lie and pillage in business. Because the laws of karma will always kick you in the ass.

And besides, staying power depends upon authenticity.

Do you want your business to be around in a year? Five? Ten? Do you want your reputation to be the gold standard, something that precedes you and lives on long after you’re gone?

Then be who you are, authentically, dependably, in everything you do.

In the October 10th issue ofCrain’s Detroit Business, an article about Cherry Republic owner Bob Sutherland emphasizes how his business growth is largely due to his passion for northern Michigan.

“His company slogan – ‘Life, Liberty, Beaches and Pie’ – sells not only his products but also his ethos for northern Michigan,” the article says. If Sutherland withheld who he is from what his business is all about, he wouldn’t have 50,000 people waiting eagerly for his weekly Orchard Report and he wouldn’t have built a brand that people associate with a place that makes them happy and takes away their concerns.

We’re not just selling widgets. What we do matters. Who we are can’t stop when we walk out of the house in the morning. If we don’t have integrity in our personal life, our business life will always suffer.

I built my small company on the premise that building relationships builds business. And building relationships takes time. It’s not something that happens overnight. It requires give and take, and patience. But true relationships will keep you warm in a storm.

There is no quick-hit fast-lane way to get rich, get successful, or get where you want to go. So sit back and enjoy the ride. Because no matter how many times we try to prove otherwise, the destination truly is the journey.

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