Business Ethics - Not All Money is Good Money

       By: Rosalyn Watts
Posted: 2008-04-17 05:15:20
Business ethics are sometimes hard to define. Have you ever been offered money to do something that didn't pass the "smell test"? You didn't know why, but you just had a gut feeling that something wasn't right. My advice...don't ignore that feeling. What you do in your business potentially effects more than just you; it effects your staff, your customers and your family.It Can Happen to AnyoneThe cases of Enron and Martha Stewart are extreme cases that we don't see everyday, but consider this story about a medical doctor, Daniel Carlat. Dr. Carlat is a psychiatrist who marketed pharmaceutical products for companies. At one point, he earned one-fifth of his salary by being on the speaking circuit, "educating" his colleagues about these products. Nothing about what Dr. Carlat was doing was illegal, but in the end Carlat's conscience wouldn't let him continue and he ultimately quit. He came to the realization that not all money is good money. He made a choice that allowed him to live with himself.Ethics ChecklistMaintaining your ethical standards isn't always as simple as a gut check, but that certainly can be starting point. Use that feeling to pause and investigate further. Create an ethics checklist to go through when you need it. Here's an example of questions you can ask yourself:-Does this assignment violate any laws?-Does this assignment violate any rules of ethics within my profession?-Does this assignment violate any company policies?-Does this assignment violate my personal moral or ethical standards? Rosalyn Watts is the author of "The Expectation of Purpose." She is a small business consultant who left her successful law practice to pursue her purpose and passion of helping other small business owners focus, start and prosper. Rosalyn shares her message of entrepreneurship through articles, workshops, and private consultations.To request a copy of "The Expectation of Purpose" or for her free 5-part series entitled, "How to Get Money to Start Your Business" sign up at
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