Integrity. If you have it, keep it. Protect it. If you lack integrity, you better find it if you want to become a millionaire. Integrity is one of the five primary character traits identified in The Millionaire Choice's Ten Keys of The Millionaire, and it's the most important one.
You were likely reminded of this trait all through school and into adulthood. Perhaps, you watched family members and friends to understand the boundaries of honest behavior. From a young age, we are taught and reminded to tell the truth. Telling the truth usually means a lesser consequence. (Though it would be hard for children to compare since many parents do not give multiple options.) I believe it works the same way as an adult as well.
Integrity. What does it really means? In The Millionaire Choice, integrity is simply people trust you because you have a history and reputation of being honest. Another way I view integrity is "doing the right thing even when no one is watching." It is about owning up to your mistakes and admitting when you are wrong.
Among successful people, integrity is rated on one of the most important things contributing to their success. According to the Harvard Business Review, high ethical and moral standards rated number one on the list. It pays to have and keep your integrity.
Integrity and Money
I would define financial integrity similarly. Would each choice we make with every penny be considered honorable to our accountability partners? Many people may not think a penny is worth a conversation. I beg to differ. If you are making the millionaire choice, your integrity will start with being accountable for every single penny.
I’m a spender and have made more than my fair share of mistakes. I often do the math in my head if an item is a higher cost than what we had planned for in the budget. If I don’t stop and check the budget on my phone, then I will overspend. My husband does not expect me to call him to discuss it but, he does expect me to stay within the boundaries of our budget.
When I do make a mistake, I tell him what I did, what I will do to fix it, and what changes I will make to prevent it from happening in the future. He has not made near as many mistakes as I have and I am grateful that he does not hold that against me.
Together, we have the financial integrity to share the bad and the good. This includes making mistakes together sometimes! The first step on our millionaire journey is integrity in all situations, including financial choices.
Now it is your turn to take your first step in becoming a millionaire. Ask yourself and your spouse or accountability partner if you have been honest in all of your financial actions.
1) Are you making choices that would be considered honorable to your financial goals?
2) Are you owning up to your financial mistakes?
3) Are you changing the behaviors and situations that may have tested your financial integrity?