ON OUR MIND
A Bad Mix
It’s generally a bad idea to mix business and politics — unless, of course, your business is politics. But for most of you
it’s probably not. While politics might play a starring role in
how you make some important business decisions, it’s not
Occasionally, when business and politics do mingle the
resulting reaction can be memorable. For example, as we collected anecdotes for our cover story on the merging of business and politics I discovered a story about a bar owner who used his blog to share his opinions
about illegal immigration.
Soon, his comments were a trending topic on Twitter and eventually it
became clear that despite what people say, not all PR is good PR.
The problem with overtly leading with your politics is that it’s almost always going to self-select who will do business with you. I also stumbled on
a website with a prominent “Welcome Christian Small Business Owners”
on the homepage. No matter how awesome that company might be at what
it does professionally, the message it sent was that some people are clearly
not the clients it wants. Maybe that business is fine with a winnowed universe of prospects but most of you probably are not.
When most of us build relationships, any relationships, we look for what
we have in common — not what will keep us apart.
What does watching football games, late night beers or eating cheesecake have in common? Building relationships, of course, and that’s the kind
of business you’re in — not politics. Why do you think people bond more
over sports and books than donkeys and elephants?
THE PROBLEM WITH
LEADING WITH YOUR
POLITICS IS THAT IT’S
GOING TO SELF-
SELECT WHO WILL DO
BUSINESS WITH YOU.
Erin O. Pressley