Being Ethical Sometimes Means Less Profit

Photos of Raul Colon Web Developer Puerto Rico

Living in Puerto Rico is something I enjoy very much. There is nothing better than waking up every morning and never having to worry about what to wear outside. I never have to shovel snow, wear a coat, dress in layers, and all the other stuff I don’t like doing when I have lived at a colder climate. I always have the choice to go to the beach even though since I am usually working I never make the time. Overall my choice to live in Puerto Rico is because I have the option to do many things I like year round. There are many reasons why I choose Puerto RIco as the place to live and there are many others I would like to fix to make this place a better place.

Working on The Things to Improve

Everyday I wake up and I think how my day will make the place I live a lot better. I want to make sure that my daughter Daniela and many others have a way to make a living in the future. On many occasions I get frustrated because mostly everyone thinks of himself or herself first. But I don’t let that keep me down and focus on making sure I can at least get something going for even a few.

Not the Friendliest place for Small Business

Running your own business on the Island is not an easy task a place where Small businesses are hammered with plenty of paperwork, taxes, and ridiculous protocols that can take any small business owner trying to do the right thing completely out of business. Our politicians are too focused on benefitting themselves from the large corporations. They forget (maybe it is selective amnesia) than other than the government on of the largest employers n the Island is the Small Business Sector.

Ethical Vs. Profitability

The problems extend a bit when even the private sector requests other business to act in unethical ways. I have had my fair share of situations where I have lost business because I was not giving someone a kickback, buying them gifts, or even following to execute on requests that are unethical. A few months ago the management approached me from a large chain of hotels to help one of their properties with Social Media. I submitted my proposal and was waiting on there answer. Weeks later they found out I was in Texas and they called me to make a special request. They wanted me to go on Tripadvisor and submit a fake review as a tourist that visited Puerto Rico that lived in Austin.

Everything Down The Drain

My efforts trying to show the management at this hotel I could help them went down the drain. Since they are use too other individuals doing what they need to do business with them they where amazed when I simply said no. Once I said no I was told in a very backward way that the approval of my proposal counted on me doing that unethical action.

Is It Ok If Everyone Else does it?

After explaining that what they had requested was against my values they kept on insisting that there was nothing wrong with it because everyone else did it. I politely declined the offer multiple times and made my point that to do business you don’t need to incur in unethical behavior.

I did lose business but I sent a message that knew where I was standing and I would not allow a contract no matter how big or small to compromise my values.

Although business has been extremely slow in 2011 I rather be working on my next project than being someone else is puppet for a few dollars.

In the long term I will be able to keep my head up and show others around me that I can continue to survive even when I make less money be doing what I think is right. Playing a clean game will close doors with people who are toxic but will keep the doors open with the type of people I like to work with those that are focused, ethical, and looking to improve the well being of others around them.

Have you been in situation where following your values has left money on the Table? What was the main reason someone probably put you in that type of scenario?

photo credit by ell brown