The Golden Rule of Business

Have you ever read an article where you think the author was reading your mind because it said all of the things you have been thinking?

This happened to me lately in, of all places, the Harvard Business Review blog. The title of the article was “We are all Enron now”. It was about how our economy is run for the benefit of large corporations and no one seems to give a damn or think we can do anything about. However, if we DON’T do something about it we are all going to hell in a hand basket.

Unemployment is up NOT because of illegal immigration but because of the millions and millions of jobs that have been outsourced to India and China. Why? So corporate executives and investors can buy another yacht and winter in Nice.

NOTE: At 7 Generation Games, we are definitely interested in giving our investors a good return, but not at the cost of starving our employees.

Our country has budget deficits not because union workers are getting pensions and a decent wage but because companies on Wall Street and incorporated in Delaware and small islands in the Caribbean for tax shelters aren’t paying taxes on billions of dollars in income. We all know this and yet it is often said we can’t do anything about it. I disagree.

Golden Rule of Business: Treat other businesses like you want yours to be treated

It starts with us. 7 Generation Games has never outsourced, neither has my previous company, The Julia Group. The  company before that, Spirit Lake Consulting, never did either.  My partners and I decided we already have it so much better than the average person in this country, it’s unethical to move work off-shore and lay off our workers so we could get richer. We pay a living wage because we want to enable our employees to have good lives. We allow telecommuting and flexible hours because if we can’t trust our employees, we shouldn’t have hired them in the first place.

We buy from local businesses whenever they offer a service or product because we’re a small business and we like living in healthy communities. We like being in a city where lots of people own small businesses and have a commitment. I don’t shop at WalMart  because I’d rather spend the money at the stores on Main Street (literally — it’s a street five blocks from my office). Yes, this probably means we pay more for some things. I don’t have a 22-room house in Malibu. I don’t own a Porsche. I don’t even fly first-class most of the time. BUT …. I have an exceedingly wonderful life and I just don’t understand why I would accept higher unemployment, more poverty, poorer health in my country so I could have an extra $100,000 a year.

Be the change you want to see!

If all of us made small changes — buy goods and services from local companies, support businesses you value, don’t lay off your employees and hire people who are paid less to work under worse conditions — it would make a big difference. Why would you do this? Because you’d want people to do it for you.

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