Entrepreneurs tell the truth

entrepreneur truth

Its easy to fib. To tell a white lie. To not hurt someone’s feelings. To say the politically correct thing.

As the DPJ says, “No easy day.” No one said life would be easy.

Being happy is not easy. If you want to be happy, tell the truth. You will attract the right kind of people and repel the wrong kind of people. You will sleep easy at night.

The best thing about telling the truth is you won’t have to remember what you said.

Its not easy to speak the truth. Especially to power. Lots of people will tell you to tone it down. To be diplomatic. To be sensitive.

Ignore these people. They’re mostly well-meaning but they are taking you away from your single most important life mission: Being yourself.

Telling the truth doesn’t mean being disrespectful or rude or hurting people. Thats where the skill comes in. Telling people the way it is without offending them is an art. An art worth learning unless you want to be beaten up figuratively and literally.

Oscar Wilde said, “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.” He was right.

Sometimes the best thing to do is leave the conversation. If the audience isn’t interested, don’t spend energy shining a light on the truth. Move on to people with open minds.

Most importantly, never lie to your customers. In business, telling the truth is not a willpower thing. Its a business model thing.

I’ve been caught in this trap before. When I was at iBurst we were forced into white lies all the time. The low-margin nature of the broadband industry meant that we were always scrambling to make an extra buck, and sometimes the only way to do so was by misleading our customers.

If your profit margin relies on you hiding your fees or relying on convoluted pricing, then you will inevitably lie to your customers.  When faced with the choice between your annual bonus or a fib to someone you’ll probably never meet in real life, the former wins every time.

There are no more secrets. The Internet is here. Your kids will find out that your company is not fanatical with truth-telling.

Tell the truth. If you can’t tell the truth you’re in the wrong business.


Also published on Medium.