A New Standard of Ethics

Today I was watching a video in a course by Sam Ovens at consulting.com. His consulting course has been exceptional in teaching me new business mentality, Facebook Ad strategies, and more.

One of the videos just now struck me very hard.

It’s called “Facing off with the Devil.” You can actually watch this course content for free on his website if you sign up for a free trial (you get the first 2 week’s worth of content for free, the rest you must pay to access).

In “Facing Off With the Devil,” and the previous course content, Sam Ovens talks about how mentality is equally if not more important in achieving a goal than knowing the day to day tactics.

For example you could know how to run Facebook Ads but if you’re too scared or self-sabotage every time before you get successful, you won’t go anywhere.

Intelligence means little if you don’t have the beliefs that actually give you success.

This particular video is all about observing trends in people and life. A lot of the content I already knew, but a lot of it was new also.

Even the stuff I already knew was refreshing to watch- in fact in this explanation I was able to better see the patterns in my own life.

A lot of it has been shocking though. By facing the denial, inner lies, and negative trends in my own life I’ve realized so much.

A New Standard of Ethics

Who doesn’t want to succeed in business? If I were to ask you “do you want to retire now” you would definitely say “hell yes.”

But let me ask you this: have you ever illegally downloaded a song, course, movie, game, or employed some trick or gimmick in order to remove advertisements in an app?

I know I have.

I have hundreds (if not thousands) of illegally downloaded songs, videos, movies, images, and thousands of dollars worth in online courses illegally supplied to me.

Why should I deserve any degree of wealth when I steal from others? Others have put hard work into producing content for me, some paid and some free, but ultimately by ripping their stuff off the internet it is a form of theft that prevents the owner from getting the proper credit or cash they deserve.

That’s the weird thing about all of us humans. We’re all searching for the cheapest, most free, whatever form of stuff yet we all want to build wealth ourselves.

How can we as a species possibly rise out of our negative tendencies and go on to something greater if we stab each other?

Nuances of Torrenting

For whatever reason we have rationalized our way through illegally downloading of content online, music being the most common, but also movies, images, and other things.

It’s fucked up.

If you were to walk into a shop and grab one of their shoes and run out the door without getting caught you’d be a criminal.

Yet people think that by illegally downloading content online you aren’t doing something so bad.

When I researched it wondering how I could so easily fall into this trap, no one seemed to think it was wrong at all.

Technically giving out content for free can help you in the long-run. For example, some musicians release all of their songs for free, and then build their wealth via concerts, shirts, and merchandise.

However if someone should request payment for their song, it would only be ethical to give them this credit.

Now of course there are nuances to torrenting.

Example: flights.

Should I pay for “no ads” on apps that I downloaded from the app store that I only play while on flights, effectively dodging all of the ads I was supposed to see in an ethical grey-zone?

In this case I have decided that I should. I’ve spent $12 on the apps I played the most, and intend to keep playing on flights, and deleted all of the rest.

What about movies & videos or podcasts though? What if you wish to watch something like this on a flight?

Well in my humble opinion it is perfectly ethical to torrent a movie as long as you pay for the movie after you’ve watched it.

For example, let’s say you want to watch the “Yes Man” movie. You can torrent it, put it on your computer or phone, watch it on a flight, then purchase it on YouTube Movies or something like this so that the creators get the proper credit.

As for public YouTube videos that would be free otherwise, this is an ethical grey-zone that I haven’t yet decided what’s best to do.

In some cases the videos have zero ads. In some cases they do.

Either way I think it’s ethical to download the videos only if you click on the video and leave it a “like” or “dislike” rating (and maybe a comment) after the fact also.

YouTube tracks how long you’ve watched a video, the engagement you give on it, etc. so by downloading YouTube videos and watching them offline you are robbing people of the ability to get a “like, comment, or view” which YouTube would then use to increase their engagement rating thus showing the video to more people.

Personal Decisions Moving Forward

I’ve deleted all songs, videos, movies, and photos off of my phone. When using free content I’ll try to give credit where credit is due, though it’s not always necessary (you can use Google’s “advanced search” option in order to find free stuff for ads).

I’ll attempt to take my own photos for ads, listen only to purchased music (otherwise listen on YouTube so that my views/engagement rating factor into their growth), pay for all value I’m receiving, and limit consumption of free material.

If I am receiving value, I will attempt to compensate the respective owner. One app I played that I really enjoyed appears to have no ads or method of donating, so I reached out to the developer via the contact Email offering a small donation if they would like it.

I owe almost $400 to a hospital in Canada that I feel didn’t really help me, but I’ll be balancing the invoice because I didn’t file an official dispute.


The Mirror

As explained in the video, and confirmed for me by my personal observations, everything in reality is reflected back to you via a mirror.

Back in 2017 when I was first getting started with online business I was investing a lot in my knowledge, buying things, being conscientious about money, etc. and that’s when I experienced the greatest growth.

Since then my income has remained basically the same, occasionally exceeding a certain point but then instantly falling back down to my baseline.

It’s actually hilarious. The whole saying that you have a certain “degree of wealth” you are comfortable with is so true.

My monthly income could never go lower than it is currently. If it did I’d freak out and work 24/7 until it got back to the same level.

At the same time it feels like there’s a barrier to the next level.

One way to step past the barrier as described in the video is to become the ideal client you wish to attract. This means paying for everything, extracting no free value, and paying on time, in full, etc. for everything. It also includes leaving tips, being generous, being pleasant, etc.

This is now what I fully intend to do. I hope to get many more clients, but first I must become the ideal client to all of the businesses I come into contact with.

I’m not trying to sound like I’m on a high-horse. It just makes logical sense that you should attract into your life what you are.

And it’s absolutely absurd to expect wealth when I take more from some people than I give.

How could I ask the Universe to give me wealth when I rip songs from YouTube to listen to them over and over for free, taking away from the owners the views, likes, or direct payment that they deserve?

Observations in the Wealth of Nations

One interesting observation I had made years prior, but now is really getting solidified, is the difference in mentality of certain countries compared to others.

In Germany for example there is a high standard of ethics. You are not allowed to illegally download things, and if you do you WILL get in trouble.

Germany is a great country to live in for the average person, clean, has great public transit, etc.

I’ve been there twice, and can personally attest to the beauty of Germany. People are non-criminal.

On the other hand the mentality in Bulgaria is that illegally downloading things is okay.

In fact based on my interaction with many in Bulgaria it seems that this behavior is the norm and completely acceptable. There is even a main website everyone goes to to illegally download movies, songs, etc.

Note: I am NOT ripping on any friends of mine, Bulgarians, or the nation of Bulgaria! I did the EXACT same thing, illegally downloading movies and songs from this exact same website… This is just an OBSERVATION of a correlation, not an attack on anyone.

This being said Bulgaria is the poorest EU country.

Now this is just two specially-selected countries and of course there are a million other factors that come into play here when we’re talking about the wealth or poverty of a nation.

Bulgaria particularly has experienced the bad-side of foreign occupation, destruction from WWII, destruction from Communism, etc. whereas Allied-occupied Germany at least had the support of France, Britain, and the USA when it came to rebuilding itself.

This is simply an observation, and nothing else. There will be nuances and those that don’t follow this particular rule entirely.

It’s just an interesting thing to observe.

Give as You Would like to Receive

Ultimately I’m just trying to be the person that I would want others to be to me from now on.

I won’t be perfect at it. I might mess up. We all do. And you shouldn’t feel bad for where you’re at because we all start somewhere..

There were a ton of other lessons in this video, and I still have more of it to watch (I just had to delete all my songs and stuff from PC/phone before proceeding and write this blog post first).

So while there were tons of other lessons and I’d highly recommend checking out these things first, this is one of my big take-aways: that I must give as I would like to receive.

On a very fundamental level, I’d like to embody the traits of a wealthy individual. A wealthy person does not rip off songs from musicians or illegally downloads movies. They just whip out their credit card and pay.

For a long time, years now, I’d always so “I’ll pay all the musicians back when I finally get wealthy,” but in reflection I realize that all the times I was increasing my wealth was when strangely I was investing in reality as ethically as possible.

This means that I was purchasing courses, buying products that I thought would benefit me, and being a good customer.

I wasn’t mulling for hours or weeks over a purchase decision, avoiding invoices, or illegally downloading songs when I was building wealth.

Other Lessons

This post may have been a bit rambly- I’m quite a bit tired. There were all kinds of other lessons I wish I could instantly communicate from this one video, but I’m too tired to write it and need to get working again.

All in all there is definitely an observable trend in how people treat you based on how you treat others. There is some degree of karma, or the law of attraction, or mirror reflection.

Moving forward I’d like to embody the traits of my ideal clients, and minimize the consumption of free things and instead pay for everything that I consume.

No more “waiting to be wealthy” before buying songs instead of illegally downloading them or stuff like this. First you must give, to get…

What are your thoughts on this?

-Michael