What does it mean to be ethical in your business?

Jul 30, 2023 | Ethics

Hey, there ethical entrepreneurs and curious minds! Today I’m diving into the baffling world of “What does it mean to be ethical in your business?!” Grab a seat, and let’s unravel the mystery of this buzzword that’s been buzzing a bit too much lately.

You know, “ethical” seems to be the trendiest thing since avocado toast. It’s getting everywhere, generously slathered on every business. But hold your horses, folx! With everyone throwing the word around like confetti at a party, its true meaning can end up lost in translation. Suddenly, we’re all scratching our heads, wondering if “ethical” means ordering kale salad or hugging trees.

Annoyingly, some shady characters have jumped on the bandwagon, slapping on an “ethical” sticker to their business like a get-out-of-jail-free card. Lip service alert! But hey, fear not! I’m not here to point fingers and stick out my tongue; I’m here to sprinkle some authenticity back into the mix and bring ethics out of the buzzword doldrums.

What are the basics of being ethical in business?

Being ethical in business is all about staying true to your moral compass. It starts with honesty and transparency – being open about your intentions and actions. Treat people with respect and fairness, just like you’d treat your favourite fluffy pet.

  Embrace empathy and consider the impact of your decisions on others.
Oh, and let’s not forget about good ol’ integrity – stick to your principles even when faced with tempting shortcuts. Being ethical isn’t rocket science; it’s simply being a kind-hearted, genuine human online and IRL.

Why is “Ethical Business” becoming such a buzzword?

The bottom line is it’s hitting people’s bottom lines. Not their bottoms (that would be weird). Shady coaches (can we call them ‘shoaches’?) are facing scrutiny and their unfulfilled promises are coming to light. People are connecting through podcasts, reviews, and social media to share their experiences.

Now, they refuse to stay silent.
However, some shoaches are simply rebranding as “ethical” without truly examining their core values. It’s like slapping on a band-aid and saying, “Hey, I’m ethical now!” without doing the real soul-searching. To keep the money go round up and running.

Ethical Business cannot be packaged neatly (sorry)

Ethical business, my friends, is not a tidy package with a bow on top. Oh, how I wish it were that simple! As much as I adore structures and checklists, it’s a realm of beautiful nuances. I’ve shared a few essential basics above, but the real magic lies in your values. Every little detail counts! So, let your values shine like the North Star – crystal clear and unwavering. Speak of them proudly and often, for they will guide you through the ethical maze with warmth and authenticity.

So how I am embracing being ethical in my business?

I have a few starting points. This isn’t a prescribed list, as I said there is no checklist for being ethical. This is how I’m embracing it. Your mileage may vary.
  • I never ask for a commitment on a call. I send a quote to people and let them ask questions.
  • If a potential client wants more than one call to discuss their project, that’s fine
  • If a potential client wants references I’m happy to hook them up with current and former clients. That discussion can then happen without me.
  • I am clear on pricing. With the work I do, it’s not always possible to give one price in advance, but I try to give 2-3 price points in my quotes.
  • I don’t offer services that I have no skills and/or training in eg copywriting (even though I get asked for it).
  • I don’t use income claims. I don’t share precise numbers. At present, I only tell my PenPals (newsletter subscribers) what % of my goal income I achieved.
  • I offer refunds. These are set out for each client, but I do allow people to change their minds or having life fart in their faces. These are communicated and intended to be fair to both myself and the client.
  • If someone buys an infor product from me, they get it and it’s not what they thought, they get refunded without having to prove they went through all the modules. The only thing I do ask is if they’d be willing to point out anything on my sales pages that seems misleading. This way, I can make sure I’m not miscommunicating.
  • I don’t use scarcity flippantly. Sure, some projects are limited by my time and capacity. That’s normal. I will never tell people I have “only 3 spaces” when I have more.

Final Thoughts on Ethical Business

And there you have it, folx! Embracing ethics in business may not fit in a neat little box, but it’s a journey worth embarking on. Let’s remember, it’s not about conforming to a checklist, but rather, staying true to our values and spreading warmth and authenticity in every step we take

As for me, I’m all about transparency and openness. No commitment pressures on calls, plenty of time for discussions, and references to build trust. Clarity on pricing, never offering services beyond my expertise, and no empty income claims. Refunds are a fair deal, and I’m always open to learning from my customers’ experiences.

Together, let’s break the mould of “shoaches” and show the world what genuine ethical business is all about – building meaningful connections, being upfront about our values, and creating a business landscape that’s not just about profits, but about making a positive impact.

Hi I’m Jenn

I work with solo & micro business owners to design, set up and support their business tech and processes. I also make it all a lot more fun than it sounds.

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