I do a lot of reading.
To those that know me this should come as no surprise.
Recently I have read a series of articles that complained about businesses losing customers because of that business (or it’s owner) supporting a political or social cause.
The authors have decried the injustice of this as an infringement on the freedom of speech. As an attempt to silence the voice of the business by starving it of customers. I don’t see it that way.
I see it as a validation of the freedom of speech.
The business has a right to support whomever or whatever candidates or causes it wishes to, just like it has the right to decide what products to sell or services to offer.
The customer has a right to choose whether to support that business or not by purchasing its products or services.
A wise man once said, for every action there is an equal, and opposite, reaction.
Essentially, for every action there is a price.
Here, I’ll give a few quick examples.
Many moons ago, when my wife and I were both 19 years old, we got married.
After the wedding we showed up at the Holiday Inn here in town where I had booked a room for the evening. When I tried to check us in I was informed that since neither of us was yet 21 they would not let us have the room I had reserved.
I stood there, in my dress whites, next to my wife who was still in her wedding dress, and was told we were not old enough to do business with them.
They literally told us to leave and go get one of our parents.
We left alright. Left and never came back.
Twenty two years later I have yet to stay at another Holiday Inn or affiliated hotel. I will drive miles out of my way to avoid them. I’ll go to my grave never giving them one red cent of my money.
Action = reaction.
If I go to a business and have a horrible customer service experience?
Likely I won’t go back, as I said, I haven’t.
Push my Jeep 20 miles down the road?
That cost a gallon of gas.
Supply a service your clients like?
You will find happy clients that will continue to use your services.
Forget to pay your utility bills?
Hope it’s not winter time, because they shut you off.
Support a cause your clients disapprove of?
You will likely lose some clients.
Just like anything else in life free speech does not exist in a vacuum. Your words and actions carry meaning, and when taking sides on any issue you will always be alienating some who disagree with you.
Just remember that when you decide how you want to go about exercising your rights.
It is said that freedom isn’t free.
Free speech isn’t free either.