Just outside of Kansas City on I-70 Matt was clocked doing over 135mph. He'd recently won a brand new street bike from a local motorcycle shop and he just had to try it out to see how fast it would go. Unfortunately the local highway patrol wasn’t impressed when they finally caught up with him.
Matt didn’t start out driving fast. He, like a lot of us, learned to ride early in life. He followed the rules of the road. He stayed within the lines.
As time went on, he began to push the limit just a bit. He started driving a little faster than he should, but nothing dangerous.
The problem was, as he began to compromise more and more on his values, higher speeds became the norm rather than the occasional thrill ride.
I often see business owners take similar compromises. Oh sure, it’s nothing in the beginning. Maybe it’s just fudging the numbers so they can get a line of credit from the bank. Maybe it’s the married business owner having another secluded lunch with the attractive single sales rep. Maybe it’s spreading that unfounded rumor about your co-worker or competitor.
Don’t we easily justify our actions with lame excuses?
“We needed the line of credit to stay in business?”
“Her? I didn’t even notice she wasn’t married?”
“The rumor could be true.”
How can you keep your values in check?
Find an accountability partner/mentor/coach – Who do you know, trust and respect that you could share your challenges, fears, and goals with? Who do you know that is strong enough to provide you constructive feedback and guidance even when it may be hard to hear?
I've personally had 5-6 mentors over the years that have been very instrumental in my life and business success. I still meet with some of them on a regular basis.
What I really enjoy these days is getting to provide mentoring and coaching to many of our clients as part of my role at Fulling Management & Accounting, Inc. In fact, Matt (past motorcycle speed demon) is a successful business owner in Kansas City and a great client that I get to work with. And part of Matt’s accountability meant selling his motorcycle. It was too much of a temptation when it was easily accessible.
What do you need to do differently or “get rid of” to avoid a current temptation?