I Passed on an Opportunity & Learned a Valuable Lesson

How much opportunity is too much opportunity? Before you think I’m saying not to “go for it” and take a little risk to win a lot of gain, you have to separate real opportunity from distractions. In business it is easy to be pulled in multiple directions. As a business owner, times those distractions by 100. You’re meeting new people, learning about their business, getting pitched on what to invest in, what products should be added to your sell list, how you should plan your next quarter; the next big thing is right here, you just have to listen. Now PAUSE. You went into business for you right? Remember your vision, you know the one that started the entrepreneurial journey you’re on? Make sure that is always first and foremost when you’re deciding if you should take more business opportunities on. If new ventures or innovative products fit into your business and doesn’t distract from your goal, but gets you there faster, then those opportunities deserve a second thought. Opportunities that take away from what your business is about aren’t opportunities, they’re ideas that you need to take a pass on.

One way that I’ve learned to separate what is good for my business and what isn’t, is the branding test. A few posts back I talked about the importance of your business brand. What makes your company different from your competitors? It takes time to establish a brand because you have to craft every part of your company to fully reflect the image you want to portray towards clients and competitors. A great logo and good website is just a very small percentage of your brand. You must factor in company culture, niche marketing, business reputation, product recognition, and so on. My business partner and I know exactly what our brand is and how we want our clients and their industry to familiarize with our business. Our marketing plans, match up with our products, that align with our clientele, who know us as Energetek. So the branding test is simple. Is this new opportunity or product in sync with the brand you are building or will it take away or even confuse your target market?

The other but equally (if not more) important test you can pin opportunities against is the money test. If your business is loosing money, whether that is actual dollars or your time, the opportunity is no longer valuable to your business and it is time to disconnect and move forward. Of course you need to evaluate your decision to stop the relationship or product by assessing positive and negative repercussions, but some decisions can be as simple as are you making or loosing money?

Making the decision to pass on an opportunity or cut ties with a current product or partner can be hard. You battle the what if questions and reassess if you maybe do have the time and resources to say yes. We have made these decisions in our business and will have to make more of them in the future, but I can confidently say that passing on some opportunities that stepped in front of us did get our business to more successful ground. We protected our brand, money, and time, and learned how to navigate the doors of opportunity unknown.

Witten by Eva Gerrits