It’s the Principle of the Thing

Its the principle of the thing. No, it ain’t…it’s the “principal” of the thing! At some point you’re going to bang up against a situation where you decide to stand firm “on principle.”

Dumb.I remember times when it wasn’t the money that mattered, it was the principle of the thing. And I’ll tell you what, knowing what I know today, I’d have eaten the principle thing in a New York minute.

Hey guy, it’s a business. Stuff happens. The trick is to convert the sticky situations we encounter, from time to time, and resolve them the best way we know how.

We’re in business to make money

Keep in mind that we’re not here to prove our moral superiority or teach someone a lesson. We’re in it to make a buck–period. And sometimes that means you gots to do what you gots to do.

Standing on principle, while noble indeed, makes bad business sense if it ultimately ends up costing you money.

I once had a seller renege, and it cost me a resale of the property I’d bought from her: A big brick apartment building downtown I’d somehow figured out how to buy, and incredibly, I’d lined up to flip for more than $120,000 more than I paid for it.

Even better, I was scheduled to walk out of escrow with a check for nearly $60,000 (more money than I’d ever seen before). But that wasn’t even the end of the story.

I had it sold on a contract where they were paying me 10% interest, and I only had to pay 8%.

That meant I’d not only have that $60,000 cash, but I’d also be collecting another $500 per month for the next thirty years! How cool is that?

My buyers were solid. They weren’t pretend investors. They had put up thousands of dollars in earnest money to show they were for real and were eager to close. Talk about heady times.

The principle cost me the deal

The seller I’d bought the place from wouldn’t approve of my buyers unless I agreed to bump up her interest rate a point. She had no right to require this, and it made me angry when she did.

It was clear that she was trying to steal money we both knew was rightfully mine, and I refused to cower to her demands.You did say she just wanted to raise the interest rate a point, right?

Sure, it’s only a point, but she had no right to try to squeeze me like that. She and I made a deal, fair and square, and I’m going to make sure she sticks to her end of the bargain.

Psssssssst, Joe…its a freakin’ point.I mean, why should I have to cough up an extra $150 per month? That’s my money, and besides, a deal is a deal.Dude, IT’S A FREAKING POINT!Forget her. I ain’t doing it. (Go ahead and say it along with me)…”It’s the principle of the thing!”Dooooooooooh!Think I might like to do that day over? No doubt about it.

Have you done the math yet and figured out what that little moral indignation ended up costing me when my deal fell through?

Me neither…and please, if we ever meet in person, and you decide to do the math, don’t tell me. Frankly, I don’t want to know. I think “a lot” covers it well enough.

Standing on principle is overrated, and as I discovered more than a couple times, expensive. We’re in business to make money, not to show who’s right and who’s wrong.

Moral victories have their place, and if moral victories are your thing, more power to you. Me, I’m taking the dough eleven times out of ten.

By CREOnline Contributor

A content contributor to the original