Saturday, September 15, 2012

Politics and Owning a Business

“He who stands for nothing will fall for anything.”
Alexander Hamilton

I had a conversation about the risk of being public and open about your political views and owning your own business.  I am not talking about being in peoples faces at work and starting conversations with your clients/customers, or posting signs and stuff at work.  I am talking about posting a sign in your front yard, or posting political views on your personal facebook.  He said he didn't want to choose sides because he was afraid to loose business.  I can sympathize with that fear, I felt a similar feeling when I (along with my dear friend Julie) made the Back Off My Babymaker shirts.  

First off, let me say that my friend has a pretty established business.  I just cant see people choosing to avoid him because they don't agree with him or patronize his business because of his beliefs.  Do people really care enough to do their research to find another comparable business?  With only 37% of the US eligible voters turning out for non-presidential elections and 56% during presidential elections... I really doubt most people will change their choice of doing business and their personal habits for the business owners personal political beliefs. 

The most important thing here is that if you are the best at what you do, people aren't going to leave your business because of your personal feelings.  This assumption comes from my intuition.  I tried to find articles about this subject, and I couldn't find anything off hand.  Well I did, it is from FOX news and I dont trust their intentions.  Here is the article.  It seems like they are trying to psych out the other team to me. 

Now I think if you bring your politics into your business the story is different.  

One of the most public examples of mixing politics and business in recent news has obviously been Chick-Fil-A and their stand against gay marriage.  So many people publicly boycotted the business.  But, I think it was the best publicity for Chick-Fil-A.  In the same time so many people stopped going(or said they would never go), the other side, the people and organizations against Chick-Fil-A started to flood their restaurants.  They drummed up so many new businesses, and even campaigns were serving their little nuggets at events.  It is now a symbol!  What more could that business want?  Mr. Cathy's business now stands for his beliefs. Although I completely disagree with him on his political view, his success at aligning his customer base with his beliefs and profiting because of that is enviable by most business owners.  

 I say: Stand up for what you believe in!

“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.”
Jim Morrison

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