Have you ever been offered an opportunity that might have made you money but wasn’t really something you wanted to do?
Maybe it’s because the opportunity isn’t what you want to do, or maybe you don’t necessarily want to work with the people attached to that opportunity. Maybe that’s not the kind of work you want to be connected with, or something you don’t want your name attached to. Maybe people want you to do something “for the exposure,” but you just aren’t feeling it.
IT’S OKAY TO SAY NO!
This is something I’ve been grateful to have gone through in my businesses over the last few years. I have said no to things that weren’t in alignment with my business’ mission and walked away from opportunities that didn’t match up with what I was doing or where I was going.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the last few months because I’ve in the last year I’v turned down some business opportunities I knew weren’t right for me. I value my brand, so I turned down opportunities that weren’t on target with what I was doing…even if I could have made some money from them. I’ve done this in all of my brands, not just my book world brands.
Then today I caught a live broadcast from one of my business mentors and he was specifically talking about the fact that we need to “say no to opportunities that aren’t in alignment with what you want to do.” Because ultimately we are in charge of designing our businesses/brands. Ultimately WE are the ones protecting our work and our brands. No one else can or should tell us how to run our businesses. These people don’t see the inside of your brand, after all, they don’t know it like you do.
Does this mean people will get mad at you? Yes.
Does this mean people will yell at you, say mean things, and even stop talking to you? Yes.
But for most of these people, all they see is dollar signs. They don’t see the mission or value of your brand. And that’s okay, because that’s not their job.
You need to have clearly defined lines for what you will and will not do in your author brand. That might mean that you won’t work with specific people or groups. It might mean that you do not participate in certain events with your author friends or represent certain things. Maybe it means putting your foot down about an off-genre cover you know won’t sell well, saying no to partnering with your author friend as co-writers, OR EVEN WALKING AWAY FROM A BOOK DEAL.
In the last few years that I’ve been focused on this particular part of my business I have turned down a number of “deals” that would have made me money, gotten my name out there, “put me on the map” as I was told. I walked away because it’s not what was best for my business.
And you know what?
I was right every. single. time.
A few months after most of these things, the people or companies that wanted me to work with them, completely melted down. As in, bad, bad stuff happened. And in retrospect, I would have burned with them had I been attached to them.
Would I have made money? Yes. Would my name be out there? Yes. Would I likely have a few legal battles on my hands….oh, yes.
People told me I was crazy for saying no. People were mad I didn’t take the money. I even lost a friend or two because they were so angry I wouldn’t do things their way.
But you know what I still have? A business I’m proud of. Work that I happily show off because it is quality. And a direction that is specific and planned and is getting me exactly where I want to be.
So what if it’s not on other people’s time table? So what if it’s slower going and requires hard work?
I’d rather have something built on integrity, that is taking me to my goals, than to have a tiny bit of money I picked up from something I didn’t really want to do, and be forever attached to something/someone who didn’t represent the quality and integrity of my brand (see my video on How Book Stickers Relate To Your Author Journey-it’s a good one about the choices you make in the industry!)
My brand/business has a very direct and specific path. When I focus on that and say no to the things that don’t directly align with the mission, it will grow and succeed and flourish while everything else stays stuck in that same place of complacency and unhappiness. I’d rather stay true to my brand than have a couple of dollars in my pocket and step away from my brand’s mission…because each step I take off that path makes it harder and harder to get back on track.
Define your brand’s mission. Stay true to your path. Grow knowing that you’re taking care of your brand. It makes all the difference.
Also, I thought you’d appreciate this-because we were all thinking it: