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STOP! HALT! Keep Quiet … or Lose Business
Last week two of my friends invited me to participate with them in a local March for Our Lives event being held Saturday. If you are tuned into the news and politics of today, you know that marches were held to support gun control to keep people, especially our children, safe from being victims of mass murderers. Hundreds of thousands of individuals marched on Washington, DC, and in hundreds of other cities to bring attention to this issue. To my friends’ invitation, I replied no. I couldn’t / wouldn’t go. But maybe not for the reasons you might think. It’s not that I don’t believe in peaceful protests – because I do. I remember being inspired by the civil rights demonstrations in the 1960s. I participated in peaceful protests over the VietNam War when I was in college. I even (metaphorically) burned my bra! But no, I did not attend the March for Our Lives. Here’s why. Because as a smart business owner, I know it can be the kiss of death to publicly display one’s politics. Because I am first, and foremost, a business owner who already knows she is having a positive influence on a population of people without injecting my political and personal beliefs into my work. And because I feel I need to lead by example to those of you who read and embrace the work I do in advocacy, and want to create and grow good, strong practices of your own. Support for my refusal to be publicly political: Suppose I told you I am pro-life. If you are also a pro-lifer, then you would cheer. But if you are pro-choice, you would cluck in disgust. Now, instead, suppose I told you I am pro-choice. That changes things! If you are pro-life you would begin to question whether my leadership is all you thought it was, while pro-choice believers would just smile and agree. In all cases, everyone would pass judgment. Everyone would side with me or against me. I would lose respect. And that affects my ability to do business with and lead you.…