The Catholic Economy, Part 2: Pro Tips For a Catholic Business
Here are a few principles to inform your business decisions and some typical tests that businesses use, with a Catholic focus. Listen to more on the podcast or on the YouTube video.
Catholic Business Principle 1: Truth vs. Profit
Catholic business owners need to think about the truth of every word and action of the business. This is not relativism, or "my truth," but it is THE truth. Your words and actions in business must be true. A Catholic business owner, or employee, can not sacrifice truth for profit. By profit, we mean wealth, competitive advantage, pricing, profit, etc.
Catholic Business Principle 2: Integrity vs. Profit
Integrity is related to truth, but slightly different. It is that every word and action of the business are consistent with each other. How you make, design, market, guarantee your product or service must be reliable, honest, and stable. People, customers, and employees alike, must be able to count on you doing what you say you will do. It is Christlike- to be the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow- in business.
The above principles govern the pro tips. These tips assume that you have some very basic business knowledge and some acquaintance with Catholic teachings.
Catholic Pro Tip 1: A Cost-Benefit Analysis
Every decision you make in business requires a cost-benefit analysis. As a Catholic business owner, you make a cost-benefit analysis between heaven and hell in your business decisions. Or you can think about it as choosing between truth and lies. Will you be tempted to make claims that are not 100% true regarding your products?
A typical cost-benefit analysis produces a number, such as 60/40. If it's 60% in my favor and 40% not, I will do it because the 60% benefit outweighs the 40% cost. A Catholic cost-benefit analysis will claim that it must be 100/0 regarding truth vs lies and heaven vs hell. There is no compromise when making business decisions that may break commandments.
Catholic Pro Tip 2: The Sanity Test
This is a test businesses use regularly. It's very simple- if an idea makes no sense, don't do it. The Catholic sanity test is also simple- if Our Lord would not respect the decision, don't do it. We are Catholic in our business as well as on Sundays.
Catholic Pro Tip 3: The Legal Test
The business decision must be legal in my territory, state, country, municipality, or I can't do it. This is the due diligence businesses must do before implementing decisions. For the Catholic business, we must take it a step further. Some laws of the state are unjust according to God's law and the natural law. Our legal test has a higher authority than the state. If it is legal but immoral, we must not do it.