Question:

 
I run my own art-based business and I’m very politically conscious. Because of all that’s going on in the world — the wall, women and trans rights coming under fire, the travel ban, I’m finding it really hard not to let my personal opinions and beliefs seep into my business.
 
My question is, do you think there is a good reason that I shouldn’t speak my mind and say what I feel I need to say? Is there a reason why it wouldn’t be wise to speak out in the face of this injustice?
 
I’m sure people in my everyday life and my own creative circle won’t like that I’m bringing up politics. But our businesses are who we are and this is who I am. Thank you in advance!
 
Signed,

A truthteller and concerned artist

 

My answer:

 
i believe, in a sense, that business people are artists. We left the status quo to build something — whether it be a business or a world — that we believe in. Something that’s 100% in our image and vision of what we want the world to be and feel like. When the businesses we built are no longer a real reflection of who we are, then we are in the same situation that we rebelled against and left in the first place.
 
And we left the status quo to build something — whether it be a business or a world — that we believe in. Something that’s 100% in our image and vision of what we want the world to be and feel like. When the businesses we built are no longer a real reflection of who we are, then we are in the same situation that we rebelled against and left in the first place.
 
i am a strong believer that you are your business and your business is you. And if you are feeling strongly about something, you have a responsibility to yourself to express it. As my favorite business mentor, Melissa Cassera says: we are not just creating and selling things just to sell ’em, we are building a movement. And from everything i just read, it sounds like your social-political views are a strong piece of your movement.
 
They are in mine.
 
Have i lost friends, followers, and fans? Yes. But is my integrity and vision for my business and world still intact? Yes. And it’s fucking rock solid. And so are the people that choose to stand beside me.
 
Now more than ever we need dissenting voices. We need the personal to be political. But most importantly we need others in and outside our tribe to witness that there are people who are not afraid to speak out about the injustices being done. Because maybe, just maybe, our strength, our voice, and our courage can spark a tiny catalyst for change within them — and then we can rise together.
 
And the only way to rise is to speak up and out.
 
Do it.
 


 
ASK is my (free) advice column for creatives, writers, performers, other nontraditional artists and ‘others.’ Got a question on life, love, politics, queerness, activism, art or creativity? Ask me at brandi@brandiamaraskyy.com.

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