It’s generally a bad idea to mix business and politics. (Unless, of course, your business is politics.)

My friend Deborah Brody pointed me to this story on Friday about a bar owner who used his blog to share his opinions about illegal immigration. By the time I focused in, it was a locally trending topic on Twitter.  And, no, not all PR is good PR.

The problem with leading with your politics it that it’s almost always going to self-select who will do business with you. I recently happened upon a Web site (a business recommended via Twitter) with a prominent “Welcome Christian Small Business Owners” on the home page. No matter how awesome they might be at what they do professionally, the message they sent was that I’m not the client they want.

Maybe you’re fine with a winnowed universe of prospects. I’m not.

When I build relationships–with friends, colleagues, prospects, clients, etc.–I look for what we have in common. Not what will keep us apart. Toby Bloomberg similarly tackles this theme in a recent post in which she asks:

What does watching football games, a fractured foot, a party gal, a nap, late night lattes, a hotel PA system, and eating cheesecake have in common?

 

(Building relationships, of course.)

Why do you think people bond more over sports and books than donkeys and elephants?

Photo by A.M. Kuchling (Flickr).