Transparency is an essential ingredient in all business transactions as a Heartrepreneur®. I recently listened to our Chief Heartrepreneur®, Dr. Terri Levine share on a live Facebook that she made the decision to no longer be a part of, nor work with any person or business that was not based from the heart. She explained what key characteristics were most important to her in business: integrity, authenticity, and transparency. It rocked me because that is a bold statement to make! And since she did it live, she announced it to the world and will be held accountable for it. That takes chutzpah (shameless audacity and boldness.)
First and foremost she made a decision to not accept any compromises in her standard of doing business. She will neither accept money from, nor exchange money with anyone/any business that does not meet her standards. Thank you for setting the bar for the Heartrepreneurs!

That bold statement made me think what does working from a place of transparency mean to me in my relationships with vendors, clients, and businesses? Have you ever had an experience where you felt in your gut that you were being taken advantage of? That you didn’t have all the information to make an informed decision? That you were pressured to make a decision too quickly? That you didn’t have options and needed/wanted some item that you were willing to make a deal with the devil?

In one of my past businesses, I was a financial analyst. Essentially I provided education to families to set and meet their short and long-term financial goals. Right around 2006 to 2008 I was disheartened by the unethical business practices that I saw reviewing my client’s mortgage, insurance and loan documents and was further dismayed at their lack of carryover of my recommendations to make solid decisions. It seemed the world had gone mad and was jumping to mortgage themselves to the hilt, and the average American was saving negative amounts. Now I may not be a rocket mathematician, but I have never figured out how to save negative amounts.
When I reviewed the loans that were being offered by other companies, I noticed a terrifying trend. I recommended they walk away, but since all of their friends were making the same poor decisions, they jumped on the bandwagon. I left that business because I knew they would never be able to support those adjustable rate mortgages, whole life insurance policies, and HELOCs (home equity line of credit) and I was unwilling to join in and add those abominable products to my lineup.

Transparency is making the critical details of a transaction accessible; whether that is the actual cost, hidden fees, historical information about possible flaws, and what is actually included in the transaction. As important, transparency also includes providing critical information in a way that is easily understood by the average person, which means at a 10th-grade education level, not mired in legal-ease that requires a doctorate in jurisprudence to comprehend.

Imagine fellow Heartrepreneurs a business environment where all business dealings are transparent, and our clients, customers, and vendors are all treated from a place in the heart. That dear friends, is a world I am happy to be a part of. Thank you, Dr. Terri for your audacious proclamation! I’m with you!

Robin Helm
Co-Founder of SheEO
Advancing Women in Leadership and Business