Morality and Money
The relationship between money and business obviously goes hand and hand but not only for-profit and gain also for a number of legal reasons. Moral responsibility on the other hand has no real legal backing and usually, the higher the stakes, the more likely that morals will have very little to no involvement in business deals.
It’s not an uncommon practice for an employer to have his or her employees sign a ( Morality Clause ) or ( Bad Boy Agreement ) at the time of hire. Particular types of organizations such as religious groups may require a morality agreement before collaborating with any business or non-religious entity. Even social media outlets have morality statements written into their terms and agreements about what’s appropriate to post and share.
In the world of big business where unambiguous contacts are lined out morality is virtually off of the table. In fact just to ensure that both parties stay trustworthy other contacts will be presented before any binding negotiations even begin. One of these types of contracts may be a Non-Disclosure Agreement or ( NDA) which prevents any party involved from disclosing any information to anyone not mentioned in the agreement. Another one of these contracts may be a Non-Compete Agreement or ( NCA ) in which prevents the other party from using any ideas or algorithms that were collected during any private meetings or think tanks for any outside projects. These types of contracts vary in detail depending on the industry and/or circumstance but regardless in business, morality and trust don’t necessarily need to be earned because all of your obligations are signed on the dotted line.
In smaller business its been my experience that entrepreneurs and a lot of start-ups just don’t feel the need to sign papers to get a job done that might only take a day or even less to complete. Here’s the problem, when two smaller companies work on a project together even though the stakes may be lower so is the payout, and anyone in business can agree that projects don’t always flow smoothly. When financial roadblocks or time restraints become an issue in a project it heavies the burden of the contractor which sometimes leads to miscommunication and wasting time on resolvable disagreements. When there is paperwork signed the burden is lifted from the contractor and shifted to the sub-contractor who is responsible for completing the work in an ample amount of time.
Arguably the most common binding agreement in history is the handshake. Handshake deals were meant to show that there is an understanding between two parties that both will fulfill their side of the arrangement without legal binding. This usually ends either in a long-lasting friendship or a never-ending feud. If history hasn’t taught us anything it’s that when it comes to money people need some incentive to do the right thing.
Have you ever paid someone in advance to do something for you that never got done and you accepted the loss? Or have you ever paid someone in advance to do something for you and they agree that if it’s not done they have to return the money? Odds are that they are more likely to get the task complete just so they don’t have to pay back the cash.
Sometimes people are just bad with money and some people are just jerks out to get over on whoever presents the opportunity. This leads me to the importance of relationships. Two people can meet and have absolutely nothing in common but share a single goal and that goal will equally benefit both of them when complete.
That dynamic creates a barrier that blocks out unnecessary friction because the goal is the big picture not issues like money or who’s doing the most work.
That’s why you may have heard someone say that they don’t mix business with pleasure. Part of that interpretation is don’t get into business with friends or family and for some people, it’s for good reason. Going into business with friends and family can possibly bring emotions present that may have one person feeling less or more obligated to the responsibilities of the business because of behavior in the past from the other person. Don’t get me wrong, some of the world’s most influential people have built a family legacy and I’m sure more are building as we speak but sharing the same bloodline doesn’t necessarily make people honest or good to go into because with.
The real win is when we connect with like-minded people, family or not. This goes back to having the same goals. Meeting someone that wants the exact same thing as you opens a much wider door for trust and transparency. Just like in life, in business, everybody’s looking for their big break and will do almost anything for it. That is why big businesses embrace NDAs and NCAs and you should too.
Most importantly being honest and delivering on what you say will earn you a great reputation where your moral standings will never have to come into question. People that do scruples things for money don’t understand that it’s much more profitable being trustworthy and straightforward. In business, people love being a connection because it makes them a resource for information and a couple of dollars on the side. So if you have a moral high ground and are consistently good at what you do, not only will they brag about your service but make it a point to get you as many clients as they can, now that’s honest money.