Unless you have been living in a cave, you have probably witnessed the heated debate over healthcare via news articles, Twitter, and Facebook. The subject got me thinking about how if you are a business owner (including direct consultants) or you have a special interest group that is not political ( i.e. a playgroup), your best bet is to keep politics out of it.
Yes, you have a right to free speech. However, think about what would happen if you lose business because of a sign you put in a shop, an email you send to customers or people in your interest groups, or because of something you posted via Twitter or Facebook. I can say from experience that I have dropped two vendors from my store because of emails I received that went against my beliefs. Not everyone believes the same way, and that is fine. However, because not everyone believes the same, if their views oppose yours, they may think you are trying to cram your views down their throats.
I know it is hard, especially if you are very passionate about a political cause or candidate, but you also have to remember that you need to have a separation between personal and professional. As for me, I do not even post my political thoughts on my Facebook page because I network with people. I have joined different groups and fan pages, but I never suggest those pages and try to stay out of politics with those who are in my network.
So next time you are tempted to put a political sign in your shop window or say something on Facebook, please remember that it may not have the desire effect you are looking for.