Integrity Archive

The Entrepreneur’s Foundation: Integrity

Posted April 16, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Attractive Woman with Her BooksCall me crazy but I have a love affair with Amazon. I absolutely love how they remember what I’ve bought, what I’ve reported to them that I already own and then suggest other books and products that I might enjoy. Saves me a ton of time when I need to learn more.

Yesterday I was at Barnes and Noble viewing my daily Amazon recommendations (is that a conflict of interest?!) and saw a new title by one of my favorite non-fiction authors. Strange… I follow this author, own most of their books and didn’t remember hearing of this title coming out.

I clicked to the book description and it sounded oddly familiar. I clicked over to another book I own from that author and was shell shocked to discover it is the exact same book! The only thing that changed was the title! Word for word, it was the exact same book. All 304 pages of it. Even the dedication was the same! I thought it suspect since I know the person to whom the book was dedicated is not a grown man. Hmmm…

Since I was at Barnes and Noble (how convenient!), I went to the stacks and pulled both books. Sure enough, they were the exact same trust blocksbook with different titles. I was angry. Mortified. My trust was broken and I felt betrayed on many levels.

I instantly did something I’m not normally particularly inclined to do. I went right to the publisher’s website and shot off my remarks and “review” of their new book, and declaring that I would forever we wary when I see any book with their logo. How utterly sad.

As an entrepreneur, our customers have the right to expect that we will:

  1. Run our business with integrity. Once that is lost, you’re doomed. This publishing company is going down the tubes.
  2. Offer more value when we use our brilliance in different ways. Simply changing the title to our book, signature system, coaching course, etc., and wrapping it up with a different bow is just plain dishonest. Period.
  3. Be trustworthy. You’re human. You’ll make mistakes. No doubt about it. But they have to be able to trust that, even when you screw up, you’re going to own up to it.
  4. Not deceive them. If a customer doesn’t trust you, not only will they never purchase from you again, but you can bet they will communicate all that to those in their world. 

Gavel and Law BooksAs you can tell, I’m very disappointed in this publisher. The book was worthy of a new edition, no doubt. But to change the title and nothing else lit the fire the burned the bridges I had with that publisher. 

Please don’t be like that. The entrepreneur’s foundation is integrity and you simply must form that foundation and build upon it. You need it. Your customers need it. Your fellow entrepreneurs need it. 

Have you had a circumstance like this? What did you do? How did you react? Share it here.

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