Your identity as an individual is the fundamental key to determining your integrity.
I often describe myself as my own best friend to explain the loner in me with my introverted ways and being a hard-core rebel.
Fortunately, I’ve had plenty of opportunities throughout my life to figure out my identity deep down in my soul. I’ve had the ability to visit that secret place where too many people are afraid to venture. My good fortune in understanding my character has allowed me to examine my mistakes, beliefs, morals, and values.
“Growing up in Grenada in the eighties, I was instilled with core values such as respect, resilience, determination, honesty, trust, forgiveness, and integrity. These inspired standards allowed me to dig deep down and draw a line in the sand to map out my life.”
I was destined for success because I believed in breaking the ceiling of boundaries and limitations. Everything I attempted was performed with a shared sense of passion and purpose. I would not hesitate to pass an opportunity that wasn’t aligned with my personality and core principles.
When entrepreneurs start out with their businesses, it’s difficult for people and companies to trust and believe in them. Nevertheless, I was determined to put the work in to make a name for myself in the corrugated industry. I recognized that if I pushed myself to become a success, this would happen to my company over time.
A customer, who I’ve been warehousing hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of inventory, recommended my warehouse to a colleague.
Since I’m a growing company and always open to new opportunities, I arranged a meeting with the suggested person at my office to discuss a promising proposal. The meeting was successful, and the gentleman requested a second get-together along with another team member. We both decided it would be beneficial for both parties to work in unison for achieving this potential endeavor.
After the first shipment of two pallets arrived, I received a 10-page non-competition and non-disclosure agreement. I was informed that the document was to protect their business and client base from me, and I had to sign it.
Since we were not in the same industry, I immediately called the owner. I indicated that I had business etiquette, and there was no way I would steal his customers. That was not how I was raised, so I refused to sign the agreement. His response was, “if you say you are who you are, why not sign it?” I refused to sign the document because he was questioning my integrity, which made me very uncomfortable. My feeling was that if you don’t trust me, I don’t want your business.
Last year my company sponsored a Christmas toy drive for the children in my village in Grenada. We collected 900 toys, but due to Covid, we could not distribute the toys in December. Because of the Covid restrictions, the toys were placed into storage for later distribution.
One donor felt the need to say I would be held accountable if the children didn’t receive the toys. She thought I would send the toys to Grenada so my family would sell them and profit from the sales. When I was poor in Grenada, I never stole, so why on earth would I start now? I was appalled by her unfounded and irrational assumption.
It’s hard to walk away from people’s money or possible opportunities for the average person. But, it’s never been hard for me because I know my core values are strong. I can live comfortably with myself when I put my head down at night and reflect on my day.
I am happy and contented knowing I didn’t steal, cheat or lie. More often, I know that I made someone’s day with a caring gesture. I held a door open, took someone’s boxes to their car, had an inspiring word to share, or most of all, I was kind. I know my integrity is in check. I am not a slave to money, power, or material things. I am rooted in me, and that’s plenty to live a happy, successful, and satisfying life.