Every time we say yes to a new project, we’re saying no to other things – our own projects, our friends and family, our self-care. There may be pros to saying yes, but what if there’s a method to figuring out what to say yes to?
Instagram tips for business are good, but what do you do when you need to negotiate multiple business opportunities? Which one’s do you say no to?
You might be thinking, why would I want to say no to an opportunity? There are plenty of reasons. The most being, do you want to spend more time creating based on the visions of others over your own? Do you want to own your work, or give that license to others?
The least being, partnerships can go bad, bleed beyond what you originally agreed to, or they may contradict your values. Certainly chasing a cheque makes sense to ensure you have a roof and food, but if the work compromises your principles the deal might not be as sweet as it looks. Above all, don’t hit the nail on the wrong project just because you have a hammer.
Before you decide, know the three C’s of analyzing a business opportunity. Being in the thick of the moment – you’re sitting across a brand, or fun opportunity that might blind-side you. Also, negotiation from execs who spend and hire are not to be over looked. Or, they’re your friends, and you have a difficult time saying no. As a result, you need clarity, conviction and choice.
- Clarity – Understand what the business opportunity is very carefully. What’s the ask, the budget, scope, and who owns the work? Will more work be added later, how will that be billed? Are there additional expectations you need to know about?
- Conviction – understanding the opportunity might be simple , but does it align with your values, mission and where you see yourself in a few years? What are your principles and will this impact your reputation in any unforeseeable or irreversible ways? Will it help you, or will it exploit you?
- Choice – consider your options before anything. Negotiate terms you don’t like. Saying no might mean you’re putting yourself in a better position in the long-run to work on your ideas, your longevity, and not just the immediacy of an opportunity bait dangling in front of you like a carrot.
Say no, and focus on the attention your craft needs, such as quality and reputation. Say yes, and sacrifice time, and possibly creative vision and values – but above all, only you know what will work for you. You might have to go through some experiences to grasp your convictions. Or, speak with an established artist for mentorship.
Finally, think the opportunity through, and see with new eyes using the three C’s. If possible, negotiate the terms of the work to reach a middle ground. Perhaps you’re building your portfolio, but will it benefit you? You can’t say yes to everyone – your talents and vision won’t evolve that way.
Community Economic Development, retired analogue photographer, and other fun social justice chit-chat. Toronto. MBA ’19. Twitter @SalomehA