Many of us hear about integrity often, but what does integrity even mean? What are we actually talking about here? A good explanation of integrity that I’ve heard is that integrity is what you do and how you act when no one is watching. It is your true, basic self. Integrity, really, is the foundation of your soul. It is the thing upon which every other part of your life is built. As I studied what I term the “Principles of Prosperity” early in my journey of being a business owner, I learned something about integrity: it can make or break you.
Some people may look at that and bring up some anecdote about someone they know who got ahead because they cheated, or because they were dishonest. Indeed, our world is full of temptations to fudge a few numbers here or not share the whole truth there. True, some people may get ahead and do really well because of it. But I’m here to tell you folks, it doesn’t last. It can’t last. Ultimately, the choice to lose your integrity will hurt you.
Early on in my career, I started working for a mortgage company that was just about as twisted as could be. There was a lot of temptation to fudge the numbers a little bit. I could have been their go-to guy! I could have been the poster child of appraising for this company. I remember talking to my wife about it. She told me to “Remember who you are. Stay true to yourself.” I made the decision to always be honest in my business dealings, to keep my integrity.
I’ve lost business along the way. I’ve had customers that I’ve stopped working for because I refuse to put anything down that I know is not right. My choice to retain my integrity hasn’t always gone the way I want it to. But I can tell you that the peace that comes from having nothing to hide is worth every opportunity lost. Integrity will make or break you – it’s up to you how to use it!
For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode: