Politics may conjure a picture of dread, boredom and anguish as you read it. Politics is not only resigned to government but starts to invade any organisation where power is involved. The power to escape office politics through running your own business has been seen as an appealing draw for many entrepreneurs but how practical is that notion?
The policy of avoiding politics
Image Source: Commons by Jsnape40 – No owner link available
A definition of politics:
“Activities aimed at improving someone’s status or increasing power within an organization.”
Why then, is working for yourself more fulfilling than working for an establishment?
- You can negate this rather tiresome aspect of working in a hierarchy where your best interests are not always served because you become top of the pyramid.
- Often you will be working peer-to-peer or business to business, business to customer, eliminating the bureaucracy that you may have been used to.
- As a dictator you can decide on your tradeoffs, decide where the line is drawn on what you will and won’t do.
Let’s then throw in the “e” bomb
Entrepreneur, sounds sexy French doesn’t it!
In reality all it means is a business owner. It doesn’t mean genius, it doesn’t mean hero; it means business owner.
Many people wrongly presume that Entrepreneur means successful, winner, awesome. The truth is that you can be near bankruptcy and still be an entrepreneur because all entrepreneur means is business owner.
There can be successful and unsuccessful enterprises.
But one thing that entrepreneur does mean is a tip of the spear, top of the pyramid, devoid of politics because the only politics that evolves is that beneath you, when you start to have employees.
But is politics completely devoid of a blog owner, a sole trader?
An important word to consider when asking this question is “Position”.
As a business to avoid competition you position yourself into a market that gives you enough honey to be a well fed bear. With that position follows the greasy unwashed smell of politics. The position is known as a “niche” or “sub niche” (which you should be familiar with if you are a blogger) and basically all that equates to is a market position, a place to eat some honey. As niches become full and you get less honey for your efforts you diversify into “sub niches” to capture a more unique “segment” of the market.
How does this equate to the notion of politics?
Through having to find a position, you are fighting an establishment, those who came before you (incumbents). This establishment may place a boundary on your reach to your audience and limit your growth.
You have to gain acceptance from others in order to become an authority (domain authority or DA being a measure that search engines depend on).
This requires an increase in “Status” and “Power” and thus these are key indicators of e-politics in action.
What introduces the notion of e-politics?
The easy answer is search engines and social media exposure (or lack therein).
Where does the politics originate? It originates from the actions of the audience. They choose the voice they feel provides them the most warmth and has the highest trust based on a very quick analysis.
This analysis is based on pleasing factors, weight of number and general ease of presentation. Most searchers don’t look far past results page one, it is an unpleasant fact. The only time someone is prompted to look past page one is if the keywords they used resulted in an abstract result where page one bears no resemblance to what they were looking for.
You can guarantee that the analysis will involve some form of popularity assessment.
Thus politics is the popularity contest.
Impositions such as negative reviews and negative comments can have a negative political outcome for our blog or quite the opposite depending on the strength of our status and power.
Which leads to “Talking a good game”
Because talking a good game is more evidential than playing a good game, even though you have to play a good game to talk a good game, are you with me?
If you don’t spin a good yarn, people won’t be interested. Often black and white isn’t good enough. Dramatic flair pays dividends.
Yet talk is not enough, fandom is key!
Followers or acolytes are needed, engaged supporters as they are better known. They don’t have to agree with your views but they have to show a “numbered” presence because when you have enough support, passers-by are far more likely to join in, call it a collective pressure. Whilst many expert bloggers might try to figure out a tipping point, I strongly believe that each article is unique and the tipping point of comments from community required to spur visitors into action varies.
It’s the law of queues!
If you see a queue for something where many people are waiting expectantly, you might be tempted to question what they are waiting for. You might be further tempted to join that queue even though you have no idea what awaits you at the end of it.
In a theme park, you know the best ride is normally the one with one of the longest queues.
If you flipped that onto blogging, some of your best articles may be those that have the most social shares and comments. (This doesn’t always follow, depending on the content, as certain content by its nature attracts more comments and social activity.)
Your power and status will determine when and how that queue forms.
You have to be a leader to have followers. The meek will not inherit the Earth!
Being the top of the pyramid means you have to make choices. Not all of those choices are good ones and sometimes you may be answerable to a community by not providing what you had intended or in the time that you had specified. Expectation has taken on a different shape since computers can run 24/7 and since communication is decidedly more instant.
You might decide to use images that have a defined copyright that certain owners protect rather fiercely, in which case you might have to expect that this owner will find you, contact you and ask you to cease in the best case scenario. In the worst case they could sue you for breach of copyright which could carry a court case and a large fine. Even attribution may not be enough, if the image has restrictions on its licence.
How you decide to respond to trouble maker commentators may have negative ramifications down the line. The saying goes; “Don’t feed the troll!”
You risk alienation for providing a contrary view if in reflection your contrary view of a topic was wrong. Further still you might have to make an announcement that you were wrong which in turn weakens your legitimacy on the subject. Whether you conform to the rule of “never apologising” or being “humbly apologetic” bears some reflection on your political stance. The difference between being cavalier or upstanding is a decision for you to make but it pays to be consistent.
So you can’t avoid the politics, you just change where you sit at that politics and how much autonomy you have. Are you a natural leader or are you meek?