Chasing Rainbows – Opportunity vs. Integrity

Suppose you learn of a great opportunity, one that appears like a gorgeous rainbow in the sky. You wonder if it’s for real. Your intuition, like a protective angel on your shoulder, warns you to be cautious. The devil sitting on your other shoulder reminds you that nothing ventured is nothing gained. You wouldn’t want to pass up a good deal, especially one that could help you achieve your goals. Alas, rainbows are made of scattered light, not substance. Bright hope turns to doubt.

It’s no mystery there are many integrity-challenged people in the world. You do not have to be one of them, nor do you have to fall for rainbow-colored schemes. By using resources at hand, typically the Internet and people you know, it’s not hard to find the information you’re looking for to know who speaks the truth – the angel or the devil.

Not long ago, a work opportunity came my way. The interview went well and it seemed like I had it nailed on the spot. A part of me was thrilled, but a nagging voice in the back of my mind was telling me something wasn’t right. I would be paid on commission; a questionable set-up given it was not a sales job. Something was off. As much as I wanted to follow through on the opportunity, which would have been a steady source of work, I could not ignore the little voice telling me to conduct a little research.

What I found was very disappointing. The job in question was real enough, but the integrity of the company was highly suspect. Their BBB profile turned up numerous complaints of customers being ripped off within a seven-month period. Tipped off by the time-shallow report, I saw the company had been in business less than a year, not for years as I was led to believe. Drilling down I found information that only added to my concern including inconsistencies in how the interviewer presented himself and the company’s history. He had “massaged” the information, “cleansed” it, so to speak, to make himself and the company sound stable and on the level. I passed on the opportunity.

At a different meeting, I met an individual who claimed he headed up three non-profits and would want me to speak to one of his groups. As a matter of course, I did a search. Only one of the non-profits had a website and it wasn’t operational. A deeper search showed the non-profits were mostly inactive, though he was connected to a legitimate MLM group. Unfortunately, I found a news report stating this individual was suspected of defrauding several members of the community. Had I made a presentation to his one legitimate group, I’m sure I would have wondered whose money he used to pay me. Needless to say, I did not contact this man and was relieved when he did not contact me. Another rainbow replaced by rain.

Reaching one’s goals is hard enough without encountering situations such as these. Sadly, there are many unscrupulous individuals to be found in any community. Should you be tempted by the devil on your shoulder to join in an unsavory proposition, you will pay a high price – your integrity. Move on. There are beautiful rainbows to be found with real pots of gold at the end – and they are only available to those who keep their integrity intact. Most of the people I encounter demonstrate high integrity. We can all lead by example.

Janet F. Williams is an oral and written communications specialist, speaker, sales trainer, and coach for personal and professional development. Her triple award-winning book “You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get” helps readers ask for what they want and increase their chances of getting it. Contact Janet: info – at –

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