A certain lady one day left work late and prayed she would find her favourite butchery open and buy tender chicken for dinner.

On the other hand, it was getting late and the butcher was praying to get one more customer to buy the last chicken before it went bad the following day.

“May I have a medium-sized chicken please?” she inquired on arrival.

“Yes please,” he said as he picked it from the fridge.

“It is 1.2 kilos and very nicely tender,” he said after putting it on the weighing machine.

“I would like to have a slightly bigger one,” the woman said after sizing the bird.

The butcher returned the chicken and pretended to be searching for a bigger one before removing it with a victor’s smile. He placed it on the weighing machine and declared it 1.4 kilos.

“Ok. Let me have the two of them,” the woman said.

The butcher looked down as beads of sweat formed on his forehead. His goose was cooked! His proverbial 40 days were over.

Honesty in business can sometimes be a challenge, as there are certainly many moral shortcuts that can tempt you in your pursuit for sales.

However, shortcuts in business, as in life, only lead to temporary gain followed by eventual ruin.

Brian Tracy writes that, “There are no moral shortcuts in the game of business or life. There are basically three kinds of people: the unsuccessful, the temporarily successful, and those who become and remain successful. The difference is character.”

Despite the challenges and temptations to compromise, loss of business as a result of being honest, and refusing to bribe or cheat to gain, honest people succeed and remain successful.

Most people and firms fail because they don’t build their enterprises on the foundation of trust.

It is important to know that operating your business honestly and fairly does not put you in a weaker position in a world where dishonesty is rampant.

Honesty is a character that you can leverage on and ride high in business because it is something that many customers are craving for. Those who find it do not only stay long, but also tell many more others and spread your brand far and wide.

Honesty is extremely important when dealing with customers in everyway, including marketing your products, handling complaints, filing taxes and in accounting.

It is easy to be tempted to think you can profit by falsifying your accounts, bribing to get many deals, or through avoiding paying taxes.

However, success gotten this way is only temporal, and besides no business has ever failed for doing the right thing. No business has ever failed for filing the correct returns, giving customers value for their money, or giving them correct information when marketing and selling their products.

Many profitable firms have come to ruin due to failure to do the right thing.


This article first appeared on The Business Daily on October 2, 2018

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