Here’s something that we teach our kids all the time but as adults, we need to be reminded of this as well.
The world of the Internet is amazing. It’s given us the ability to communicate with more people all over the world faster than we’ve ever been able to in history.
Of course, like all other great advancements, it comes with a step of responsibility.
Once it’s there, it’s there forever.
I speak to kids all the time about being careful about what they post on their social media sites or on their blogs.
When I’m talking to them, I talk about safety and thinking of the future. (AKA don’t post pictures of you partying with your friends or ranting about how much you hate your boss. They WILL find it.)
But as adults and especially those in business, it goes even further.
I’m all for the 1st amendment and that you should be able to say whatever you want about whatever your want.
But… it all comes at a price. Your political views, right or wrong, will affect the opinions your prospects and clients have of you. Your opinion of the latest news stories seen by the CEO of that big contract you’ve been trying to land could easily kill the deal if they disagree.
I generally keep my opinions to myself in more heated conversations. I’m not that I’m trying to be neutral and “politically correct” with anyone. It’s more about, asking one question.
“Am I willing to lose these people as clients or advocates if they disagree with me?”
For you it might be yes, but for me, most of the time, I don’t think that the topic is so important that I would be willing to lose that person because of it. Right or wrong, their opinion is theirs and I’m ok with that.
Also, just like protecting our kids, we need to think before posting things as well.
Here’s a great example that I love to share. I knew a girl that had her own business and was struggling a bit. I mentioned that a seminar I was doing would really be able to help her with her marketing and suggested she come.
She said she didn’t have the money because business was so slow.
The next week, I saw her posting pictures of her dancing on the table with her friends at a bar. Based on the pictures I’d estimate that she had spent easily over $200 in cheap beer for her night of entertainment.
Now, I’m not condoning having a good time. Good for her, but when I see that on her social media profile, I wonder how responsible she is as a business owner. Especially after our conversation.
It hurt her reputation. I personally don’t care so much but actually a couple of other people we know in common had actually mentioned to me that they wondered about her because of the pictures.
To make it worse, she did this pretty much every Friday and Saturday night for months.
Needless to say, her business didn’t last and last I knew she was working 3 part time jobs just to keep going.
Remember that what you post online can be found by anyone and it might even be found years from now.
Think before you post. Is it something that will possibly cause you to lose respect from prospects or clients.
Oh, and before I forget, here’s another question to ask yourself as well…
“What would Grandma saw if she saw this?”