Why Do We Use Loopholes To Skirt Our Ethical Responsibilities?

Looking for loopholes comes naturally for those of us in business today. Actually it starts long before we get into business. It starts, when we are kids, and we look for loopholes in doing our homework, being home by curfew, or even cheating on our tests. I think it boils down to the fact, we never learn the dif- ference in the “letter of the law” and the “spirit of the law.”

Shakespeare wrote several plays dealing with the letter vs. spirit antithesis, most times coming down on the side of “spirit.” We can even see this issue when it comes to the interpretations of the U.S. Constitution which have historically divided on the “Letter vs. Spirit” debate.

From company founders to the average independent entrepreneur, we all try to get around the rules, policies and regulations to find and exploit wiggle room. Whether at work, home, or in our spiritual lives, we’re always looking for a loophole. Seth Godin once wrote “all marketers are liars.” At the time I did get it, but I realize now where he was going with that statement.



We all love loopholes! Some marketers use incidental products or   services to try and skirt regulatory issues with a compensation plan. Others will not come right out and say their product “cures” a medical issue, but come as close as they can, while others use subterfuge marketing in order to justify cross-recruiting their former team into a new company.

Loopholes like incidental products, potential medical claims, or using subterfuge in cross-recruiting allow us to keep the letter of the law while ignoring its spirit. Loophole marketers ask, “How close can I get to the unethical and still be legal.” As independent marketers we need to stop looking for loopholes and start asking ourselves one simple question “Would I want someone to use this loophole against me?”

Call it the Golden Rule of Business! If we want folks to treat us with respect and to trust our motives, then we need to treat them as we want to be treated!

So before you go looking for loopholes, stop and give some thought to how you would feel if the loophole was used to hurt your business!

 Here are a few of questions to think about:

Are you a stickler for the rules or a rule-breaker?

How is looking for the loopholes playing out in your business?

Which parts of the policies and procedures are you most tempted to ignore? Why?

We’re all guilty in one way or another of looking for loopholes. How have you caught yourself using loopholes in the past?

It’s human nature to apply rules to other people more than we do to ourselves.

How can you use the question “Would I want someone to use this loophole against me?”

And how can you challenge the loophole tendency?

Is there someone you’re currently judging for the rules he or she breaks? Are you breaking some of the same rules, regulations, policies or procedures?

A few years ago, we all watched as Wall Street was hit hard by folks who had used loopholes to gain uncommonly high short-term monetary yields. Now we here on main street are faced with example of Wall Street for short term gain, or are we willing to look at the bigger picture and create true life changing prosperity for our families and our- selves, by ignoring the loopholes?


Troy Dooly is recognized internationally as an influencer in the areas of personal branding, leadership development, marketing campaigns, organizational expansion, and corporate launch strategies.

His clients include start-up companies, multi-faceted public companies, billion dollar private companies, international marketing organizations and well-respected field organizations.

Dooly is a highly sought after mentor, speaker, results coach, and radio host. He is a founding member, show host (Beachside CEO) and News Director of the Home Business Radio Network, and Christian Power Radio,

Dooly is a founding member and serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of Network Marketing Professionals, working with both companies and distributors around the world in network marketing.

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