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Code Of Honor

Principles or profits. Can you have both?

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This story appears in the August 1996 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Embedded in any decision between what will soothe your soul and what will boost your profitability exists a moment in which many an ethics-conscious entrepreneur has dwelled. It's the space where, before your principles kick in, all the temptations of avarice beckon.

For Ralph Warner, co-founder and owner of Nolo Press in Berkeley, California, that moment occurred when, on the eve of shipping out his self-help law books, a major tax overhaul was announced, suddenly rendering the books' contents moot. Warner's decision: whether to feign ignorance and send the books out anyway, or scrap the books and start over, at great expense.

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