Entrepreneurs: How to Write a Personal Ethics Statement
Are you an entrepreneur looking to expand your customer base? One way to do it is to create and share a personal ethics statement, recommends Charlene Walters, Vice Provost of the Strayer Digital Entrepreneurship MBA.
A personal ethics statement expresses your core values and gives people a sense of what it’s like to do business with you. “If you’re just starting out, a personal ethics statement can differentiate you from your competition,” says Walters.
Personal ethics statements should be brief—one page or less. If you’re not camera shy, Walters suggests turning your statement into a video to showcase your personality in addition to your ethics.
How to Write a Personal Ethics Statement
Students of the Strayer University Digital Entrepreneurship MBA program are guided through the process of writing a personal ethics statement and turning it into a video. But you don’t need to wait till class is in session to write your statement. Walters recommends writing it in three parts with these prompts as inspiration:
1. Introduction (1 - 2 paragraphs).
What life experiences or conditions shaped your ethical stance? For example, if you grew up with a physical disability, perhaps this experience made you a strong advocate for inclusion. Or if you grew up without a lot of money, maybe this shaped you into someone who stands up for those in need.
2. Body (1 - 2 paragraphs).
What are your core values and beliefs? What are the words you live by and do business by? Do you have a professional mantra? (e.g., “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”)
3. Conclusion (1 paragraph).
How do your personal ethics make you a great business partner? What do you promise customers when doing business with them?
Where to Share It
Once you write your statement and/or make a video, how do you get it in front of potential customers and business partners? Here are a few possible ways to share your ethics statement:
- On your professional website
- In a blog post or article
- On LinkedIn, either in the “About” section or in a post
- On Facebook, YouTube, Instagram
- Include it with your resume/CV when applying for a job
“A personal ethics statement is a great way to let customers know what you stand for, and why it’s a good idea to do business with you,” Walters says. “It might be the one thing that really enables you to connect with a potential client.”
Helping you craft a personal ethics statement is just one way the Strayer Digital Entrepreneurship MBA prepares you for a successful career.