When Politics Meets Entrepreneurship

Votepost by Stephanie Nelson

No matter which side of the aisle you’re on, I think we can all agree that this was a pretty brutal election season. And even though we’re about a week out from election day, tensions still seem to be pretty high for everyone. There’s been one interesting phenomenon I’ve seen coming out of this, though – that of politics meeting entrepreneurship.

For me, this has come to light in that professional colleagues have come to me and said, “[So and so client] just said [political statement colleague didn’t agree with]. I’m not sure I can keep working with them.” Or a client has said, “My [whatever service] vendor said [fill in the blank]. I don’t want that kind of attitude around my business. Can you suggest someone else that does that service?”

When I’m asked for advice in these situations, I really don’t have a solid answer. I’m actually partially writing this post in hopes that someone who does will comment. The best advice I have is to trust your gut. If you don’t want to work with a particular client or potential client, you’re going to dread doing their work and you’re not going to be giving them your best. If you don’t want to work with a particular vendor, you’re going to dread having to talk to them, which won’t allow them to do their best work for you, either.

That said, you don’t need to be ugly during the “break up.” Think about the fact that how you treat your contact during the break up could very well help you…or hurt you… in the long run. It could affect referrals this person is willing to give you, the reviews they leave for you and your business, etc. A brief but honest version of “I don’t believe we’re a good fit” should suffice.

So what’s your take? When someone’s very vocal about holding different beliefs than you, how do you handle it in your business?

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