Saying No – Why I turned down the biggest piece of work I’ve ever been offered

As smaller business owners, with the pressures of paying bills, keeping roofs over our children’s heads and food in our family’s bellies, us women are very quick to say yes when big work opportunities come our way.

Before the summer I was contacted by an American Author who was turning her book into a TV script, to support her in editing the script to make it an incredible show for the likes of big channels.

I was thrilled that my writing and creative skills and abilities had been recognised and that I had been contacted about this huge opportunity that would offer continuous long term work and do wonders for my representation in the arts scene.

So after some backwards and forwards between me and the Author I sensed that we weren’t really going to gel – the communication was very demanding and blunt on her part and turned out that as I had not written in this field before the pay would reflect this (which I was fine with to a point, but I found out it was close to minimum wage, which was extreme and a tiny fraction of the ‘normal wage’ in the industry for this type of work).

So, I went against my head and my heart turned down the work.  I emailed to communicate this, explaining that due to the very low wage and increasing demands before I had even started the work, that I didn’t feel the role was suited for me.

Then the reply shocked me.

It was nasty, spiteful and direct, with more demands and rudeness.

My heart was right.  I’d dodged a bullet.  Can you imaging how this relationship and situation would have turned out if I had accepted the job?

As female entrepreneurs we need to follow our gut and hearts when it comes to opportunities.  Especially as sometimes they seem too good to be true at the start, then we realise this too late.

The opportunity has to fit our purpose and overall goals in life, if not it is not a true opportunity.

The main reason I became a business owner was to have more flexibility, not be treated like an employee by being confined to others demands, and to spend more time with my young children as they are growing up.  Taking this work would have gone against all that is important to me, even though it would have been amazing for my reputation.

But reputation isn’t more important to me than spending time with my children and having the freedom I have with the work I do!

So, even though I turned down the biggest piece of work I have ever been offered, it provided me with a good lesson to share with you…

The next time you are faced with an ‘incredible opportunity’ make sure you think about all the factors in your life first – your purpose, mission, goals, circumstances, family, and friends – rather than just focusing on the opportunity and what it will give you. 

Listening to your heart and gut, as well as your head, might mean you dodge something that could have been damaging to you and those around you.

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