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Business and Politics: Finding Your Balls as a Businessowner in a Time of Hyper-Partisanship

Nov 25, 2020 | Business & Enterprise, Short-form

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Business and politics. Do two things repel each other any better? Having spent a little time in each world, I can assure you, they seem like polar opposites sometimes.

At least that appears to be the game.

In politics, it’s said that things move slowly by design. And compromise is half the battle. Even so, you also have to deal with conveying your values. And your views are out in the open for the world to opine on.

Contra-wise, you have business. People favor decisiveness; they want things yesterday, as the saying goes; and to hell with compromise, we’re here to win. Still, you might want to maintain a certain image. And it doesn’t hurt to stay neutral or even play both sides. Your best game face will serve you well.

Then the world started to collectively lose its mind. What happened next?

In the 2020s, you can, ridiculously, get shut down for not staying shut down.

While business and politics have always been intertwined, a single strategy used to be the norm. And that’s how, if you’re in business, you stay above the fray. Sure, you might make philanthropic gestures for good PR. Or go on about your mission to the world.

But you always stay focused and on-target.

And although that might be distasteful for some to accept, it’s been a staple of business for decades. This is why you don’t often hear corporate executives or small business owners screaming their political opinions from the rooftops. In any event, not unless there’s a business reason.

However, my readers who are businessowners know: that strategy has now been thrown out the window. And you can see this fact in the tweet above.

Merely staying open is a political act now.

Yet, for me, probably one of the saddest aspects of our age is watching businessowners struggle with this new reality. Indeed, in my metro, it’s become a microcosm of the national scene. Absurd government mandates, woke customers screaming about racism, and fear about getting caught up in the tempest.

Business and politics. How do you handle it when the rubber meets the road?

First, you don’t do what many business owners have done. And that’s, you don’t act like an abject coward, not when it’s in your face. Black Rife Coffee Company is the most recently example I can think of, although they handled the situation better than some companies.

Nonetheless, many businessowners I know couldn’t find their balls if they tried.

Some have attempted to ride the line and talk out of both sides of their mouth. Black Rifle isn’t far off in their recent snafu. Others cry and complain in private or half-pretend they’re resisting. It’s very clear that many are very short-sighted. All the while, they follow along with whatever nutty state of affairs is next.

Then we have Adamson Barbecue from the first tweet, above.

Or take Stocking Mill Coffee in contrast to Black Rifle. This lesson is instructive, in that, they were both responding to the same, highly politicized national event. Namely, Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial.

At the time of that tweet, their website appeared to be crashing regularly due to the amount of traffic they were getting. And it wasn’t even a very nice website. But they were expertly capitalizing on Black Rifle’s cowardly business mistake.

Regardless, the point stands, you are going to be forced to take sides. Sooner or later.

This is true if you’re in business and politics or in nonprofits and charity. Your customers, your industry, and likely your government is going to lock you into a position. And they aren’t going to take “no” for an answer.

So, accept this fact: you’re already playing a game for your livelihood. And it’s time to get more savvy. As noted with Stocking Mill Coffee, don’t try to bat it away with some slight-of-hand. People are wise to that trick nowadays.

Rather, decide where your line in the sand is. But don’t make a big deal out of it.

For Adamson Barbecue, it was the humiliation from bankrupting Covid measures. For Stocking Mill, it was the second amendment. For me, it’s being asked to kiss the ass of ignorant, evil globalist technocrats.

Because, as a business leader, I’m not a bitch.

Conversely, I’ll ask my fellow businessowners, where do you stand? The world won’t wait forever.


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