There are times when it’s fine to bow to popular opinion, to say, “Oh, I have my opinions, but however you feel is fine and valid too.”
There are other times where you need to be totally unyielding.
“I’m sorry, I don’t think we’re a good fit for each other”
“I don’t accept affiliates I don’t know, sorry.”
“I won’t do this. It’s against my principles.”
Whatever those principles are, you need to be absolutely rigid in upholding them.
This can be hard, especially if your principles are unpopular. You may, correctly, fear the blow-back from peers and colleagues (Well, we can’t all be Cato!) but as hard as that is to have people resent you and your principles, you will be all the more miserable if you relinquish them.
That’s not to say some things can’t be a matter of taste.
Joel has told me he will never use pop-ups— he doesn’t appreciate them as a user and he won’t condone them as a business person. I’m a little more lax on that myself, but I will never browbeat people into buying my stuff “for their own good.” Both Joel and I believe that the ends do not justify the means when it comes to client relationships. We’re here to serve, but not I, Robot style.
Discussions on the nature of principles and their enactment in our lives are some of the most fruitful and affirming conversations I have had in recent months.