I’m developing a deeper hate/love relationship with the internet. I have to say it that way because I hate it so much more than I love it. There’s a lot of bad stuff out there. Stuff that wastes your time. Stuff that promises to give you value, when it just wants to sell you crap. Stuff that’s just bad.
The internet is easy to hate.
But then, occasionally you trip across something (usually when your looking for something else), and it's something that feels honest, real and good. I love it when that happens.
Chris Myers Forbes article “An Entrepreneur’s Letter to His Son” was one of those things.
It was a good reminder.
It was a good use of my time.
It was just good.
What lessons does he want to pass on from his entrepreneurial journey?
Lesson 1: True happiness comes from doing the right thing, not from money or success
In the short-term, business can seem like a zero-sum game. If you act with integrity, compassion, and empathy, odds are you’ll often find yourself on the losing end of the equation. I used to tell myself that in the long-run, integrity is rewarded, but I now know that isn’t exactly the case. Sometimes, the people who lie, cheat, and still end up coming out ahead, at least in a monetary sense.
Lesson 2: Don’t be afraid to show remorse
Some of the most boneheaded, damaging decisions I’ve ever seen have stemmed from a refusal to recognize one ’s failings. Whether it’s in regards to a legal matter, business relationship, or anything else, I want you to have the courage to admit when you’re wrong.
As with integrity, self-awareness and remorse are not always rewarded. However, I promise you that these values will lead to an inner peace that transcends any of the trivial matters you’ll encounter in business.
Lesson 3: No matter what happens, strive to be a good man
Don’t strive to be a perfect leader, entrepreneur, or businessman; instead, I want you to strive to be a good man. Remember that no matter how difficult circumstances become, or how dark the world can look at any point in time, there is good out there.
We talk about the mechanics and the practical business wisdom of keeping clean records if you want to sell your business some day. Myers' article reminds us that it's also important to do business with integrity because it's the right thing to do.
Learn to Leave.