For those of us who pour everything we are into our passions, it’s personal.
I am done with people excusing a lack of ethics, moral mishaps and blatantly questionable business practices with the phrase “it’s just business.” It’s not just business. It’s personal.
I pour everything I have into everything I do. I work on the things that define me. I work on the things that I am passionate about. I work on the things that I want the world to use, discover and buy.
I work on things that tell the world who I am, how I am and what I am.
My work is the output of my thoughts, my actions and my vulnerabilities. My work is me and that makes it personal.
I don’t have to respect people who choose to build things by different rules. Sure, your rules (or lack thereof) may get you further, faster but that doesn’t mean that I have to like or respect you for it.
I’m going to continue to create by the rules that I believe in.
I’m not saying that I’m going to be soft. I’m not saying that I’m going to lie down and die when someone pushes me too far but I am saying that there are rules that define what is acceptable to me and what isn’t.
Those rules may be different for everyone and in truth, that’s probably what separates the greatest of us from the mediocre.
I have said for ages that every entrepreneur needs to hustle. But the hustle is not an excuse to fuck people over. I believe that it is possible to sincerely to do business in the best possible way for all parties involved.
It’s not always possible, sure, but you can do your best to try to avoid blatantly destroying the livelihood, existence, ego or business of the person you are working with, hustling for or in the face of. There are limits to the hustle.
Also – hustling is not synonymous with questionable ethics. Not to me. Hustling means doing everything you can do, within the scope of what you believe is acceptable, to make your ideas work and to make your work known.
I’m tired of the back-slapping, hand-shaking farce that is involved in business a lot of the time. I think it’s OK to show an active and healthy disrespect for the way some people conduct themselves.
Taking a stand is imperative.
Draw your lines. Know your rules. Build accordingly.
There is a massive difference between liking and respecting someone. I like a lot of people that I have very little respect for in the world of business and success.
There are also a lot of people that I have immense respect for who I could not bare to have a meal with. I actively dislike them but I can acknowledge that what they have accomplished is respectable.
But then there are some people who I do not like or respect and refuse to lie about it. I think that’s OK. I think it’s OK to not like people or respect the way they conduct themselves and run their businesses.
We all have different rules that we live by and we don’t have to agree.
I refuse to acknowledge this justification any longer.
I don’t want to hear these words uttered in sequence any more.
It’s not just business to me.
It shouldn’t be just business to you.
If you are building something of value, it’s personal.
This article was originally published on my Medium.