Yoga Girl’s Good Karma Marketing and Integrity

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How integrity matters when it comes to online business

One of the reasons why I love yoga is because it makes me feel human; it makes me feel part of a whole, a whole that is made of human beings trying to learn about the world and themselves, have epiphanies, figure things out, learn about how to act better around others & feel good in their bodies (just like me).

Back when I first typed the word ‘yoga’ on Instagram, there were not so many people doing yoga; Rachel Brathen was about the only one or at least the first one that popped onto my screen to follow. 

So I did follow her; I liked that she shared about the good and the bad of life, the highs and the lows, the epiphanies and the tough moments before the epiphanies, and all the beauty there is in all that.

Rachel Brathen has provided me with countless prompts to look at my own shit.

I grew quite fond of her, making her an inspiration for my yoga journey; she’s provided me with countless prompts to look at my own shit as she puts it (she is a very straight-forward person).

About a year ago, she started a podcast (From the Heart, Conversations with Yoga Girl). Over the past couple of weeks, she’s been talking about a project of hers, about opening an orphanage on the island where she lives, Aruba, and about doing good karma marketing. She defines good karma marketing as advertising for big corporations to use their money for good causes.

This time, I felt angry and heartbroken

For her first ever ad, she has chosen Tide, the laundry detergent company that does little to no good (even causing some harm) to and for us humans, animals, the planet; the money she’s getting for advertising for them will go straight to a foundation she’s creating. Nonetheless, seeing the ad made me very angry and heartbroken. I didn’t understand why it made me feel that way. After all, she’s using a big bad corporation’s money for something good.

A little walk down her comment section made me understand why I felt so angry and heartbroken. To me, her action showed lack of integrity (and judging from the comments she got, I was not the only one thinking that way); I couldn't stop the questions from coming in, couldn't help but think about the bigger picture.

Can you say you’re doing good if you’re closing your eyes on an issue to get another one settled?

Can you allow yourself to go in a direction you’ve been criticizing, sometimes judging? Is it okay to show 2.1 million people how you’re showing them/encouraging them to use harming products because you need money to do something really good? Integrity is when your heart, mind, body are going in the same direction. Is everything going in the same direction when you say you’re doing good, and in fact doing good but also doing a little bad?

For a long time in my life, I didn’t show integrity - and I'm still very much working on it. It took me a long time to realize why integrity mattered - because it builds trust. If what you see here aligns with what I do, plan, dedicate my time to, then you can trust me. You can trust that if we met in real life, what you’re reading here is what you’d see. And if I fail to show you integrity, then I am not trustworthy, then you can't rely on my words or actions, then no relationship can be built. Then you won’t want to come back. 

If I'm untrustworthy, that's my business. But what if people followed my lead? 

After all, it would be okay there because it's only about me, my website. But then it's also my job, so I'd lose trust from the people I teach and connect with, maybe from you. And then what happens if this lack of integrity shows in my relationships, in my daily life, in everything I do? Or worse, what if people followed me? What if they copied me, imagining I had 2 million reading what I share? Say only 20% of them follow my lead. Then it's 400,000 people thinking it is okay to go in two opposite directions if there is a good cause to justify for it.

And that's quite a lot of people thinking it's okay to show lack of integrity.

with love and curiosity, Ely