Couple years ago I read a story about a Chinese chemical executive who sells ingredients to make fentanyl.
Those products make it to the United States and are used to manufacture a product that kills lots of people.
The article lightly touched on the question of whether or not the guy “felt bad” about it.
Answer was no.
In this man’s mind he made something and sold it.
Now this is an extreme example. We can talk about products like tobacco, sugar, alcohol, or we can consider entire business models based on extracting money in such a way that either enslaves the customer or destroys businesses.
It’s all the same. Point is if you are in business you have to operate with an understanding that there are actors out there that play by rules you find abhorrent.
They do things you are not willing to do.
But they do them and they get rich.
At the very least you have to toughen up and do the things you are willing to do to the best of your ability.
You have to take profit when it is there. You have to charge more if it makes sense. You have to expand your offerings and your market reach when you are able.
You have to play offense with the knowledge that there are actors out there doing things you won’t.
At the highest level there is no morality to business. If there is money to be made someone is going to make it.
At the personal level you have to figure out what you are willing to do and extract as much money as is possible from your market.
Because while you are doing this there are a dozen or more actors automatically extracting money from you – just think of automatic billing for your phone, car, insurance and mortgage. If any of those actors can change the rules or the fees on those products they do so, often with a friendly, “we’ve updated our terms of service” lead line.
You have to wake up to the reality of how business is really played.
You will decide what you are willing to do and where your line is. But once you figure that out, you need to defend your line, make as much money as possible and be aware at all times that there are others who think your ideas of fairness are adorable.