I attended a Christian business group two weeks ago and one of the members in the group is a general contractor who was struggling with a personal issue. He told us that he is working on a house and one of his suppliers offered him a pallet of bricks at a discounted rate if he paid in cash. The supplier wanted the deal off the books (he wouldn’t have to pay taxes) and in return he would offer a discount. The man went on to say that he went back and forth on this issue and the principle of whether or not this was the right thing to do. In the end he decided to not get the discount, pay the full amount, and give this man a 1099 form where he would be obligated to report his earnings to the IRS.
As I am sitting in this small group, there was only 7 of us there, I am thinking to myself what would I have done in this situation? If I had the chance to save a couple of hundred dollars on remodeling my house would I have taken the discount or made the right decision?
After the meeting I got in my car and while driving home I realized on Monday (day before the meeting) that I had received a check from my talent agency for a commercial I shot in early 2015. I deposited that check on Monday even though I wasn’t 100% certain it wasn’t an error on my agencies part in that they had already paid me for this commercial last year.
When I arrived at the house I immediately called my agent regarding this check. When the agent answered, I explained the situation and I heard a long silence (shocked that I called and offered my money back) and then he answered, yes, that check was meant for me.
I have always known doing the right thing is important, however, at times I allow myself to “bend” the rules. What I have learned is that when we bend rules we bend our integrity and this affects all aspects of our lives: businesses, relationships, marriages, deals, etc. A question we need to ask ourselves is bending the truth, bending our integrity?