If you decide you don’t want to mix your business and politics, you can still speak out by:
- Using a pseudonym – so you can separate your views more effectively.
- Separating your properties (your social media, blog, websites). In this way, you can keep your politics on your personal properties without deliberately interfering with your business’s message. With that said, nothing on the internet is either completely private or separate from anything else. If you’re truly concerned about anonymity, using a pseudonym is relatively safer.
- Paying someone else to speak for you. This is how many corporations do it. They support lobbyists, professional associations, activist groups, political parties and politicians at arm’s length. Again, even the Koch Brothers couldn’t keep their channels of influence secret forever, despite making great efforts to do so. If someone really wants to know, they will find out.
If you decide you want to publicly align your business with politics, Forbes suggests you:
- Ask for permission.
- Know your facts (and admit when you don’t).
- Know your triggers and watch for them.
- Frame it as a learning opportunity.
- Don’t stand for disrespect.
- Know that your social media is public and permanent.
- Agree to disagree, if need be.
Our view on mixing business and politics
Here ends the objective part. Now we’ll tell you what we believe.
There is no doubt that when choosing whether to mix business and politics, there is an easy way and hard way. The easy way is to avoid politics. The harder way is to become engaged in the issues.
In most circumstances, the risks of speaking out politically outweigh the benefits. This is probably why we have a “don’t get too political” norm in our culture.
But, is political ignorance good for society?
We don’t believe so. We believe that not talking about politics is what gets us into undesirable, if not disastrous, political conditions. We believe we must be both politically aware and politically engaged, if we seek to improve our society.
Furthermore, we believe we can’t dissent in the digital space alone if we expect ourselves to be heard. We must get off our chairs, step out of our doors, and walk the streets if we are to rally the public support required to demand real change.
Today, people of all political stripes must ask themselves the question: Are we moving so far beyond right and left or conservative and progressive, that we’re venturing into territory that is abhorrent or dead wrong?
We ask the business owner: Is your profit and loss account more important than your humanity?
If you’re struggling with this, consider what you’ll do when the business problem you have chosen to tackle becomes irrelevant in the face of an oncoming political force?
What will you do when you become aware of an existential threat? Will you still remain silent? What’s your line?
We believe that if you’ve ever wondered what you would have done if you lived during the darkest times in human history… you needn’t. What you would have done is exactly what you are doing right now.
With that in mind, we’ll leave you to consider these ideas in the context of the unforgettable words of the philosopher and British statesman, Edmund Burke:
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”