221: When to Say No to Opportunities

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As a first-gen, you’ve probably heard that the key to success in life is saying “YES” to opportunities. Be enthusiastic and take on as many opportunities as you possibly can. You never know; one of those ‘yeses’ might change your life. I know I operated from such a mindset because I believed growth could only happen when you say yes a lot more. But here’s the thing, not all opportunities are created equal. And while there will be times when it’s good to try out something new, there are many times when it will be wiser to say no.

Sadly, most people say yes a little too much and without enough thought. Remember, just because an opportunity popped up doesn’t mean you should take it up. I believe experience is not about taking up all available options; it’s about choosing the right opportunities at the right time.

If It Doesn’t Fit With Your Spirit – 02:23

I’m a big proponent of intuitive entrepreneurship. Yes, your business decisions should be guided by research. Of course data, facts, and advice from mentors can make or break your chances of business success. But what about your gut feeling? Why do so many people disregard intuition when they know it plays a crucial role in supporting conventional wisdom?

If somebody ever offers you an opportunity that doesn’t sit right with your spirit, don’t do it. It can be a date, promotion, or job opportunity; just say no. It doesn’t matter how lucrative the opportunity is; just say no. Your spirit knows better. And looking back, things always went wrong when I ignored the spirit within me.

If It Doesn’t Align With Your Goals and Your Values – 04:05

If something doesn’t align with your goals, don’t do it. Every decision you make in life has consequences. That new opportunity you think could be transformational for your business has potential upsides. 

If somebody offers you a job that you’re unsure of, ask yourself whether the position aligns with your values and goals. If they’d like you to be a butcher and you lead a vegan lifestyle, it would make sense to say no regardless of the pay. Another example is if you want to become an entrepreneur, a job opportunity is not something you should say yes to. Your values and goals should always influence your priorities and dictate how you want to spend your time.

If It’s Not Up Your Alley – 06:17

People will offer you opportunities all the time. I know I’ve been offered speaking gigs in subjects I’m not really an expert in. Sometimes it makes sense to take up those offers because you won’t know until you try, right? Plus, experience is built by tackling new adventures and seemingly impossible tasks. 

However, it’s never advisable to take up opportunities way out of your reach. Think about the time and energy it will take you to complete the task. Go a little further and ask yourself if you can guarantee high-quality end-products. If not, then don’t do it. You know what you’re capable of doing, and you know the things you’re strong at. If an opportunity is not something you can confidently do, say no. Your reputation is at stake here.