For anyone who knows anything about entrepreneurship, we know that it has the capability to greatly impact the world. Building a sound ethic when conducting entrepreneurship has a direct impact on shaping the world around us. Here’s a round-up of quotes about ethical entrepreneurship and the importance of setting a code for oneself moving forward.
“At the societal level, entrepreneurship significantly influences the sort of lives we will live in the future. To the extent that our lives are shaped by market activity, changes in the way we will live are driven by entrepreneurs. These visionaries create and commercialize new products and services for which there has not been a market previously. We only have to look back at our lives before the possibilities unlocked by cars, PCs and cell phones to recognize the ethical impact of entrepreneurial activity.”
“Your reputation is more important than your paycheck, and your integrity is worth more than your career.”
– Ryan Freitas, co-founder of About.me
“The entrepreneurial world – particularly the high-tech entrepreneurial world – is living through a time of high temptation. The devil on one shoulder tells you to make the numbers and set projections to make investors feel good, the angel on the other says to tell the story like it really is. The confusion is over the feeling that the devil is what gets you there quicker; perhaps it is the only way to bring in the next round of funding that takes you to the top in half the time so you can turn around and fix the errors you made along the way, cover it all up, and make it right.”
~Jennifer Lawton, Owner of Just Books, Inc.
“As an entrepreneur building a business, you need to respect yourself and surround yourself with people you can respect….Do not lie, steal, or cheat. Make your word your bond and always stand by your word. When you are wrong, own up to it and make good on the deal. Treat others as you’d want to be treated.”
~Jana Matthews, CEO of Boulder Quantum Ventures
“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.”
~Steve Jobs, Founder of Apple
“Once you start compromising your values for short-term gains, there is no turning back. Business ethics are not something you need to start worrying about when your company reaches a certain size; they need to be sewn into the fabric of your startup from the get-go. The lessons are the same for tech businesses as they are for investment banks and for third-world economies.”
~Vivek Wadhwa, Senior Research Associate at Harvard Law School
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
~Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway
“The first thing is to have a vision that’s meaningful to both employees and customers. For Zappos it’s about customer service. You need to be truly passionate about your business. The goal shouldn’t be just to make money; I think you need to figure out something you would do even if you didn’t make any money from it. You’re going to have hard times growing your business, and if you’re passionate about it, that’s what’s going to get you through those hard times.”
~Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos
“An entrepreneur’s journey consists in studying the past and being present, but most of all, seeing a future where the ideas he puts into motion have taken root and propagated.”
~Philip Racusin, Cofounder and CEO of EnergyFunders
“If I thought I could make a lot of money backing somebody that made money through low integrity I would personally pass….Money can buy a lot of things but as the saying goes it can’t in and of itself buy you happiness. I believe that true happiness comes from a sense of fulfillment, giving and doing what your moral compass knows is right. Better that you be this person, whatever level of business success you achieve in life.”
~Mark Suster, Partner at Upfront Ventures
After working in publishing at Penguin Random House, Teryn O’Brien went the entrepreneurial route and launched her own business to help organizations and individuals tell their stories through photography, writing, video, and online marketing strategy. Teryn enjoys exploring the startup & entrepreneurial world, mentoring writers & storytellers, and speaking out against injustice in all its forms. She spends her free time hiking Colorado, writing books, and drinking too much tea.