Taking Work as it Comes
The challenge comes in deciding what to take and what to refuse. I have heard many advise to take everything, especially when money is tight. One of the popular quotes cited lately by Richard Branson concerns opportunity:
If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!
The interpretation by many is to simply take every opportunity that comes along and then figure it out. Yet, that’s not really what Branson is saying here. You need to emphasize the word amazing in that; for it is the amazing opportunities we don’t want to pass up as they don’t come very often and are usually the launching points for greater things.
What’s an Amazing Opportunity?
How we define an amazing opportunity is what makes a difference. An opportunity for steady work, or to increase our reach, or increase our income significantly is not necessarily an amazing opportunity; especially if it takes us into areas that don’t speak to our strengths.
[snaptweet]We are most significant when we embrace the amazing opportunities that utilize and challenge our strengths.[/snaptweet]
Anything else not only is second best, but threatens to compromise everything we have worked towards prior to that.
Saying No to the Amazing Opportunity
That doesn’t always make it easy.
Earlier this week, I was presented with an opportunity to lead training on a course in Social Media for Business. I had nothing else income generating going that week in question and my first impulse was to say, “why not?” It’s important to note that while I blog (as you can see here), have a Facebook fan page for both my company and for the L2:Learn-Lead Orlando simulcast event, post frequently on Twitter, have a LinkedIn page, and a Google+ page; I am not what you would call a “social media expert”. It would have been a significant and sharp learning curve to overcome to be considered authoritative enough to teach a course on it. It’s not my area of strength.
[snaptweet]I have a policy that I stick with what I am good at and try not to pretend to be good at something I’m not.[/snaptweet]
It speaks to my integrity with myself and others and to my core values. I never want to present myself as an expert on something I’m not and just as important is I don’t want to spend my time trying to be good at something I’m not and neglect getting better at my areas of strength.
I turned the job down. As I said, I’m not a social media expert but fortunately I know people who are. So I was able to refer them to someone who was able to meet their needs and provided an “amazing opportunity” for someone else.