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Building a business makes relatively sane humans do some insane things. The past 10 years have been the modern day gold rush for tech. And I mean that in the sense where lots of people risk everything and make nothing while a few hit it big.

And that “gold rush” culture makes people do some desperate things in the name of business survival.

Every day founders have an infinite number of tiny decisions to make and it’s easy to get decision fatigue. In a moment of weakness you may do something dumb that hurts you, your team, your company, your brand or any one of a thousand other things.

So here’s an easy rule of thumb to help you when making decisions: keep it classy.

Seriously. It’s that easy. Just ask yourself, “Am I being classy?” If the answer is anything other than “yes” you’re likely taking the route that may have short term gains but long term negative consequences.

You don’t want to be a low class business. You never want to leave a bad taste in someone’s mouth. You’ll almost always regret your decision later on if you go the low-class route.
Copying others’ product designs, badmouthing competitors, taking advantage of customers, overworking your team…there are just so many problems that aren’t solved but actually completely avoided by keeping it classy. Don’t make it harder on yourself by choosing the low-class option.

Successful businesses, the ones that survive the ups and downs, are built on having class. Sure, the occasional bad apple slips through and for whatever terrible reason the universe lets them succeed, but nobody actually wants to be the sleazy used car salesman. Deep down we all want to be respected by friends, family, peers, coworkers and customers. That doesn’t come from taking the low-class route.

Make decisions you’re proud of. Decisions that, although maybe not the easiest route, don’t leave you feeling icky at the end of the day.

Keep it classy.