I stopped into Owosso Community Pharmacy today to buy some sort of magical goo that would make my canker sores go away. I asked for help, and a couple employees came over to survey the options. We asked Dave (co-owner of the store) for some help and he suggested I use salt instead. That's what he does, apparently. Just rub salt into the sores - it hurts like hell, but then they go away the next day.
Genius that salt can solve my problem and genius that Dave opted to give me good advice, even though it cost him a sale of $8 pain relief goo.
Genius because I'm going to keep going back there.
Genius because he's going to easily make that $8 back in future business from me.
Genius because I talk .... a lot .... and I'm going to tell tons of people about my great experience there.
In most markets, this king of genius is an option. There's a way to do business that is both neighborly and technically savvy.
You can be a good community member and make money at the same time.
You just have to choose to do business that way and then have the creativity and the guts to follow through on it.
If your work requires cruelty or manipulation or apathy or negligence, it's probably not because that's the only way to do that particular kind of work.
It's probably because you're being lazy and stupid.