The Surprising Ways That Being Honest Makes You More Money

Throughout history, people have tried to make money dishonestly. Take Bernie Madoff for instance. Back in 2008 it emerged that he had stolen more than $65 billion from his clients in a series of bets on the stock market which all came crashing down when the financial crisis hit. Madoff went to prison for what he did. But when some people heard the news that he’d made billions of dollars, they were a little jealous. Even though the money had been made by screwing over thousands of people, many people looked at what Madoff had done and thought to themselves: “I wish I could have gotten away with that. I would have cosmetically altered my face and then moved to Brazil.”

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But the truth is that dishonesty rarely pays off in business. Not only did Madoff steal a huge sum of money, but he also failed to keep any for himself. Everything he stole all went back into funding his scheme of lies and deception. Ultimately, Madoff lost everything: a cautionary tale for anybody thinking that they can get rich by being a crook.

Honest is more important than you think. Here’s what to do.

Make Others Look Good

Some people who find themselves at the top of business like to attribute their success to their own efforts. But honest people realize that most of the reason they are in the enviable position that they are in comes down to the effort of the people around them.

A good businessperson needs to apply the Pareto rule: 20 percent of their success comes down to their own skills and abilities; 80 percent is the result of the work done by other people. Everybody wants to be perceived as special, but it’s important to make sure that the people who really do the work and get you to the position you are in are properly recognized. If they’re not, then they won’t work hard to further your individual ambitions.

Be Honest About Who Is To Blame

Successful people aren’t “yes men” or “people pleasers.” They look at reality and objectively determine who is to blame, rather like a personal injury lawyer. If they are to blame, then they’ll take the rap, even if it is damaging to their future career prospects. If they’re not to blame, then they’ll vociferously argue to the contrary and make sure that blame is directed in the proper direction.

If you’re a stock market investor, then it is ultimately your decision where your money goes, even if you employ a money manager. If your portfolio loses 20 percent of its value in a month, you might be tempted to blame your broker. But ultimately, you are the person who chose that broker and need to accept it if you’re going to make better decisions in the future.

Give Credit

People like being appreciated. In fact, they like it so much that they’ll usually go out of their way to help you. Showing appreciation is free, but in return, you’re likely to get rewarded with things like pay rises, promotions, and better business connections.

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