On the plane back from Australia, I watched a documentary on Warren Buffett.
One quote that really spoke to me came from Buffett’s partner, Charlie Munger. Charlie said “Both of us know that we’ve done better by having ethics.”
Berkshire Hathaway has a lot of experience in dealing with ethics crises because they owned Soloman Brothers, an investment company involved in multiple major scandals.
I spent most of my career in the world of finance and sales and trading. I’ve seen bad behavior, bad decisions, and decisions based on questionable ethics… like really questionable ethics…
I’ve felt like I was in the wrong place or on the wrong side and I’ve seen people brought down by poor/immoral decision making.
I started my own business because I wanted something different and I wanted to feel good about what I was doing.
I wanted to have control to make the decisions other people weren’t making.
I wanted to treat my employees and customers with honesty and respect and at the core.
I wanted everyone to feel a sense of pride in what we were creating.
Questionable ethics aren’t limited to finance. In my time in health and fitness, I’ve seen companies act petty, lie to customers, overcharge, and more.
I take solace in what Charlie said though. When one of the most successful companies in the world can say they’ve “done better by having ethics,” I feel a sense of relief.
It’s possible even in today’s world to always be ethical and not just survive, but thrive and grow.
My little fitness studio may not be a Berkshire Hathaway, but I can certainly run it like one and always be proud of what I do.