Trust is the Only Currency You Should Value

By Jeremy Choi, CEO of Choi Ventures and an EO Toronto member

Do you have a pet peeve? I know I do. It’s being wrongfully accused of something—lying, cheating, stealing, breaking a promise. That’s because trust is a big issue with me. In fact, it’s the single most important thing in my life—besides my family.

Trust is my “Why.” I was known as the “priest” in school. Friends knew I’d protect their secrets. Even today I hold their secrets sacrosanct. My wife and friends never worry about me when I go to a casino. I tell them my game plan, establish a limit, and stick to it—no matter how much I might lose. A friend I knew for only a few months, later turned business partner didn’t hesitate to lend me $3,600 to buy my first set of wheels to compete in a car show. He knew I’d pay it back. And I did few months later. My parent’s backed me when I needed a lot of starting capital to run JC&JC full time. They gave me the money without questions. I paid them back fully, with interest, in less than a year. I’m still close with all my childhood friends. We may not talk daily, weekly, or monthly but they know they can trust me. It’s evident whenever we get together.


Trust is a big issue with me in all aspects; personal and business. It’s why my executive administrator is still with me today. I told her who I was as a person and how much trust meant to me. She knows I want everything to be open, honest and above board. She also knows I’ll do everything I can to keep her trust. It’s the same with many people who are close to me. If you can’t live by your core values, then what’s the point?

Living by a set of core values seems odd in today’s a world where it’s often easier to a lie than tell the truth and where some people, if not most, are posers. But believe me, decisions are far easier to make when you do live by your values.


Make no mistake. Often, I go above and beyond to keep someone’s trust. A decade ago when I had to shut down my hosting business. I moved all my clients to competitors at no cost to the clients. Some of these clients still appreciate today what I’ve done.

Why? Because my clients and my friends put their trust in me when I’ve made promises to them. I wanted to keep their trust and I did. And trust can sometimes lead to negatives in your life. Some people may take advantage of your trust.

With business, it can mean that someone will ask you to do work and then more work until you’re over-stressed. You have to work to find ways to handle all the work or learn to say “no” to certain opportunities. This allows you to maintain your reliability and trust with clients.

When everything is going bad all you have is your trust and your reputation.

While money can buy a lot of things in life, it can’t buy trust. It’s the only currency you should value.

Striving for trustworthiness often produces valuable insights:

  • Live your life authentically and you’ll attract similar types of people
  • If you always tellthe truth, you’ll never have to remember anything
  • Confronting someone is better than living with guilt and resentment
  • Those who don’t like you are the same people stopping you from living your life by your values
  • Trust is fleeting. You have to practice it daily. And you have to live by it to reap its rewards

Categories: Best Practices Entrepreneurial Journey Lessons Learned

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