Having integrity in your daily life is critical for the overall well being of you- and everyone around you. Yet, it is shocking how many non-profits, businesses, and yes, even Churches/ministries will compromise their own integrity to get ahead.
Now, don’t get me wrong, not all business (whether for profit or non profit- including churches and ministries) are corrupt with greed and dishonesty, but there are plenty of them out there that are. On the flip side, there are plenty of them out there that are not. I don’t want this to turn into a business bashing article- I love business and the good that comes from it. But what I don’t love is greed and a lack of integrity that can infect businesses.
In my entrepreneurial journey I have been so disappointed to see how much deception and dishonestly is out there being advertised. This ranges from people paying someone on fiverr to write and film a testimonial video (someone who never experienced the product themselves), or buying a bunch of social media followers to give the appearance of a platform to trigger the psychological persuasion button called “social proof.”
People will hire digital marketing services to “engage” their social media followers and write fake amazon reviews. And by “engage” their “followers” I mean- create fake social media accounts and write comments, likes and shares to once again give the appearance of engagement to deceive those into getting in on the conversation.
Some, will even go as far to plant people in the audience to get up and go to the back of the room to purchase their products that they are selling from the stage to once again trigger that social proof button and the fear of being left out.
Businesses know that testimonials, social media engagement, and reviews are critical these days to help a consumer make a buying decision. But, unfortunately many of those reviews, testimonials and “engagement” are paid for. Businesses are created to do this service for other businesses to help them succeed and get ahead.
I spoke to a service who openly admits that they have a team of people who write amazon reviews and comments in social media to get a conversation and buzz going. They don’t feel there is anything wrong with it because it helps the little guys and smaller businesses have a chance to get a boost. They don’t think it’s deceptive at all, it only helps the small guys get a little more credibility and exposure that they otherwise would not be able to get- or would take too long for them to get if they did things more organically.
There are charities when they enter a competition to win money by how many people like, comment or write up testimonials on the impact the charity has made in their life who will just pay a service to create fake accounts and write false testimonials in order to win the funding.
Some ministries will hire a direct mail campaign company to falsify the dire living conditions that the people are living in to gain more donations, offerings or tithes.
And this to me is very disappointing.
It can seem that the “nice guy finishes last” and that the good guys lose. It can feel that doing the right thing hurts, and even has a cost to your own success. But, I can assure you- it doesn’t. It may feel that way right now, but in the end- the good and honest conquer the wrong and dishonest. The givers succeed the selfish takers in the long haul.
You may feel like your honesty and integrity and heart of service has gotten you further from your goals rather than closer to them. But, I want to encourage you that regardless of how it looks and what the current reality of your situation is that you will win this. You personally may not see the immediate impact of this- but the cost of choosing honesty and integrity to the people around you is worth it- even at the expense of your own dream. Every decision you make leaves a legacy- you choose which kind you want to leave. Good or bad?