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Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Soaring or crashing in construction marketing: The ethical choice

About this time last year, a guest on one of the Google Help forums asked a question about whether he could creatively try an end-run around the program to increase his results. I answered that risking his long-term revenue for a short term strategy probably would not be wise, but he pressed the point.  He wanted to reach beyond the conventional guidelines to succeed.

My answer is worth repeating here:
Donald, in my experience, anyone thinking they can fly and touch the sky with ethical or moral shortcuts usually ends up with a big fall. I've seen it happen.  Of course, once you've taken a creative risk in a constructive and ethical manner and "flown to the sky", you will reach that higher level -- it has happened in my life a couple of times.   (I lived through an African civil war as a journalist, and once managed to make a few grand in a couple of weeks and had my first visit to Washington DC ethically "working" the US immigration system for non-preference visas.)  If you wish to test your limits, always check the 'smell test' and if it isn't right in your heart and soul, find another risk to test.
 I appreciate that real success in marketing and business rarely occurs without some real risk.  If we simply follow the conventional wisdom about what to do all the time we are unlikely to go beyond the crowd.  However, unless we are psychopaths, we still know the ethical and emotional boundaries of success.  I'm glad that the few times I jumped off the deep end in life, I knew (after sleeping on the idea), that indeed I could sleep well with my decision.  Can you think the same about your marketing risks?

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