I've been pretty quiet on social media this week. I haven't even emailed my audience at my normal scheduled time, or put up a blog post like I usually do on Mondays. Instead, I paused and sat in the shock of what happened Sunday when 49 people died in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
I think this sort of pause is something that's missing from culture today. Too many people resume normal activities after tragedies, as if nothing ever happened.
Not only that, but too many businesses out there keep their normal operations. Too many solo-entrepreneurs--when faced with the choice to pause and sit still in the shock--choose to automate their social media channels instead.
For some reason, we can't stop working on our businesses, even when the most horrendous thing happens to our nation.
This week, while I sat in social media silence, I saw many entrepreneurs promoting their businesses. They weren't afraid to post the latest awesome thing that happened in their business, even though the nation was mourning.
There's a reason I feel gross when promoting my business during a national tragedy, and I think it's a good reason.
Maybe, instead of promoting our businesses, we should sit still and mourn with those who are mourning--not add to the noise of people touting their own horn.
Maybe, if we, as entrepreneurs, took the time to join with the cries of the hurt, then we can do more good than just earning a few extra dollars.
I strongly believe that if we are going to build businesses that matter, then we need to pay attention to what matters most in the world. When people are crying, we take notice. When people are broken, we come to their aide. When people are forgotten and stripped of their voice, we should be their voice. The last thing we should do is get them to buy our product.
I say all this because I want to propose something.
It's an extravagant feat that will lose people dollars for sure, but I suggest that more businesses should incorporate a moment of social silence.
Who said that a moment of silence should only be practiced in public gatherings offline?
I say, as businesses, we should stand together and promote a moment of silence for our activity online.
What does this mean? This means we pause our Facebook Ads. This means we don't automate our tweets. This means we postpone our latest blog post.
Instead of rushing to our computers in a moment of tragedy, how about we keep silent? Because I believe that if we truly kept silent instead of add to the promotional noise, then we could actually listen to what's breaking the hearts of so many people. Then we can be the empathetic human beings we're suppose to be. Then we can actually make a difference, and make our nation a better place again.
So entrepreneurs, next time tragedy strikes, let our first response be to stop what's happening in our business, and lean into what's happening in our nation.
And if you don't have a business yet, build your future business on this principle: that it's never about yourself or making a few extra dollars, but that it's always about making the world a better place.
Here's to the tragedies that struck Orlando this week. My business and I will not turn a blind eye to those of you who are hurting. If you haven't done so already, have a moment of silence for those who are still mourning.
This article was originally published on EssentialHustle.com.