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Should You Mix Your Religion And Your Small Business?

Finally, someone had the courage to bring up a very controversial topic. Discussions having to do with the mixing of business and religion bring out some pretty intense emotions, and opinions. Kristin King, from BizChicksRule, started this little discussion. Thanx, Kristin!

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I am not sure if it because of the upcoming Presidential elections, or what, but the subject of religion is a very popular topic, lately.

Let’s discuss mixing business and religion. I am totally against it. I think it has the potential to cause problems that just don’t need to be problems. In my career, I have had my share of very uncomfortable situations that were caused by folks that were trying to “spread their message.” Some could argue that if I am the one who is uncomfortable when someone tries to shove their religious views down my throat, then I have the problem. Not. The problem would not have existed in the first place, if the party in question didn’t try to inject their religious views into a non-religious conversation in the first place.

In my franchise consulting business, I meet with a lot of couples. One party has usually lost their job, and are in my office to learn about some non-traditional career opportunities…in this case, franchise ownership. During these face to face consultations, I am asking a lot of questions. The questions I ask are designed to help me learn all that I can about these folks…what makes them tick, what their interests and passions are, etc.

On more than one occasion, some of my franchise candidates have said, “Joel, I want to make sure whatever franchise concept I decide to invest in has the same values and principles that we have.” Fine no problem, so far. Their statement really helps me. But, the game-changer for me would be if they added this:

Those values that I am talking about are “_____________” values.{Insert the religion of your choice} “Now my spouse and I need to pray on it for a couple of minutes.” {Right in front of me!}

I am not saying that there is anything wrong with prayer. Maybe I pray. Maybe I don’t. It shouldn’t matter to you. {Which is my point!}

Let me share another example of a wonderful way that religion and business mixes:

A certain coffee franchise has been having some real serious legal and ethical issues regarding it’s refusal {on the most part} to refund franchise fee deposits to disgruntled franchisees who can’t seem to be able to build out their coffee houses. It seems that the contractors are actually a “shell” company or something. {They don’t like sell shells, they are a fake company, supposedly}

The person that just bought this company is someone who is a frequent commenter in the franchise blogosphere. Before this person bought this company, he had thrown his religious views into some franchise related comments. Turned off a lot of people. When I read them, my first thought was, “Well this person is full of S _ _ _.” I will not apologize for pre-judging this person. That is because my past experiences with folks that quote the Bible in business related posts turn out be pond scum. I am not kidding. I don’t have the exact data in front of me, but in my experience, 9 out of 10 times someone starts blabbering Bible quotes off in rapid succession, {in business posts and comments} the person doing the quoting turns out to be less than ethical. {Folks this is my experience. Yours may be different. Please let me know in your comments…}

I have plenty of experiences in my business life in which someone tried to impose their religion on me. I disliked it, and was made to be really uncomfortable each and every time. I am not slamming religion. {Organized or not} What I am trying to say is that business dealings can be complicated enough, nowadays. Must someone put the “value add” of their religious views into the business relationship?

Have you experienced anything similiar?
If so, has it made you uncomfortable?
Did you say anything to the person imposing their views onto you?
Am I wrong?
Am I right?

{By the way, in my real life experiences with folks who I have worked with who did say that they were going to pray about their decision on a franchise that I matched them up to, in both cases, neither franchise candidate ended up purchasing the franchise. I have no idea what that means, I just wanted to put it out there…}

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joel libava

I'm The Franchise King®, Joel Libava. I help prospective franchise owners avoid bank account emptying mistakes. For over 20 years, I’ve been showing people how to make smart, informed decisions on franchises to buy, and I can help you, too!
P.S. I'm not a franchise consultant/broker.

“I've been a fan of Joel's for years. He's picked a niche and made himself the undisputed expert. I'd recommend him to anyone looking to start a franchise. "
- Gene Marks, Business Expert, Keynote Speaker
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