I Am My Why And Not My What My Integrity Doesnt Have A Fucking Price Tag

Ali Kaukas

“You know Janne, I sit at a lot of tables with a lot of different business people. A lot of owners of companies. Very few or only one or two know what they do. You define yourself by your why. You have a purpose and you have a cause. I see you. You just happen to write books. You just happen to sell clothing. You have integrity. You’re not here to make money—I get you. I saw you across the table. You believe in what you’re doing strong enough and put it out there and therefore there is value in your work. Your making money and success if just a result of your beliefs.” — someone I sat at a table with last week and talked business with

I smiled so, very, very large when I heard these words on the telephone—like fire into my heart.

I had a meeting to discuss shipping rates a few days ago, in which many things were thrown around.

Many people in the online world who own stores overcharge for shipping to make a profit.

If you don’t know, now you do.

People can set whatever they want as a flat rate and sometimes they make a dime off shipping.

I have been having a lot of conversations with a lot of intelligent people who I respect the last 4-6 months to try find a way to get better shipping rates for my international clients.

Lots of abandoned checkouts and comments and emails about the cost of shipping being the same as a tee.

I get it, and also making made in USA goods can’t really make a profit in wholesale so international distribution through stores isn’t my solution.

The answer I found was a distribution company—who gets a company shipping rate which I would never get as a small business owner.

It’s funny, because I find since entering business with This Is For The Women my integrity gets challenged daily.

People are business minds—and they care about making money, and many of them are very smart and I appreciate their intelligence. Some of them also care more about making money than anything else.

I am not one of those people.

Mugs in china cost $1.50.

Do you know how much my made in USA mugs cost?

$8.50

Eight-fucking-fifty.

But, it matters.

I’ve stepped out of alignment in my integrity in this lifetime long enough to know that the only place I want to live in, is in integrity.

This mans words meant something to me, because I felt seen. I felt appreciated. I felt like he got it—it which is my why.

Which is what most of us are running around trying to find.

Our why isn’t the money, or the success—it isn’t any of that.

It is what gives us joy.

I am excited about writing, and making art. Art that means something to me.

I would wake up and write anyway, even if every single person who reads my poetry fell out of love with my voice—because it is what gives me joy.

I am not defining my life by anything other than what gives my joy.

I do all these things—anyway. I just happen to also share it with you. I just happened to put some of them in a book. I will just happen to put a few more in books. I just happen to also put it on clothing now.

You are your “why” and not your what — integrity doesn’t have a fucking price tag.

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