Jon West, a young entrepreneur from Kalamazoo, Michigan, joined a discussion emphasizing the importance of ethics, morals, and values in business. Jon’s journey from a struggling musician living in communal housing to a successful entrepreneur illustrates the transformative power of aligning personal values with professional endeavors. His experience is a testament to the philosophy that personal development is the precursor to business growth.
West’s story is one of personal pivot. From a life of uncertainty and lack of direction, he discovered the profound impact of setting and pursuing clear, personal goals. His turning point involved understanding the significance of ethics, morals, and values — not just as abstract concepts, but as practical tools for guiding decisions and actions. This realization led him to rebuild his relationship with his family, reorient his career, and ultimately, shape his destiny.
The conversation delved into the definitions and differences between ethics, morals, and values. Ethics is understood as moral principles that govern behavior, morals as standards of behavior or beliefs concerning what is acceptable, and values as the importance, worth, or usefulness of something. Jon emphasized the importance of aligning these elements to live an ethical life and foster a business culture that upholds integrity and purpose.
2020 posed unique challenges for businesses worldwide, testing their ethical boundaries and resilience. Jon discussed how businesses had to make hard decisions, often at the risk of compromising their ethics and morals. He stressed that short-term gains achieved by forsaking ethical principles could lead to long-term detrimental effects, essentially “selling one’s soul.” Instead, businesses should adhere to their core values, ensuring longevity and integrity.
Jon’s approach to business and personal growth is holistic, involving physical health through his involvement in a health food manufacturing company, mental fortitude through continuous learning and mentorship, and spiritual alignment through adherence to personal values. His journey underscores the significance of having a “North Star” — a set of unwavering principles that guide one through life’s challenges and opportunities.
For those at the crossroads, whether starting or struggling in their journey, Jon’s advice is to accept the current reality, take inventory, and align actions with goals that bring them closer to where they want to be. He also emphasizes the importance of mentorship, continuous learning, and surrounding oneself with people who reflect the values and success one aspires to achieve.
As 2021 approaches, Jon West looks forward to expanding his consultation practice and food manufacturing business, continually guided by his personal ethics, morals, and values. His story is a reminder that true success, in business and in life, is a product of not just what one achieves, but the principles one upholds along the way.
Business, Consultancy, MGMT.
Group & Independent [Art] Collaboration