One of the great things about owning my own business is that I can professionally support ideas or causes that are personally important to me without having to answer to anyone but myself. I take the risk, and I assume the risk or reward.
This was not something I was ever allowed to do in any of my previous jobs, “working for the man.” Fair enough — a large organization has to avoid taking too many stands, as they represent a multitude of interests. However, as an entrepreneur, I don’t always have to share this same concern.
Yes, I know that I might not be able to book every customer every time because I’ve expressed an opinion or supported a cause, but that’s a risk I’m willing to assume and happy to take. I do avoid trying to be overly political at the risk of losing business, but I’m not afraid to use my own values as the foundation for my business decision-making.
Having just completed an interview with Sarah Bradshaw at the Poughkeepsie Journal on my DJ company’s support of same-sex marriage(http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/article/20120625/NEWS01/306250021/Milestone-equality-Gay-marriage-1-year-later), when I saw this article over the weekend, I thought it was outstanding:
Jay-Z, Gay Marriage: Obama’s New Stance Is ‘The Right Thing To Do’ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/14/jay-z-gay-marriage-obama_n_1516614.html
Maybe someone doesn’t agree and doesn’t buy Jay-Z’s next record after this interview. As a successful artist, record label executive, and business owner he’s made a statement that clearly, they’re not the person he wants buying his music anyway. He’s made a choice to support a cause that matters to him.
What stands have you taken in your professional life? What causes do you believe in? What risks have you taken that were “the right thing to do?”
Business is risk — don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe it right. It’s one of the privileges that comes with success.