It can be tempting when you run your own business or are working hard to get ahead to say yes to every opportunity.
You fear that turning something down will mean you won’t achieve your long-term goal, and as the old Australian saying goes: a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
But there's times when you most definitely should say no to opportunities that come knocking.
We only have a limited amount of work time each day and your success depends on how you work, not how long you work for.
But there will come a time when bad business arrives at your door and you’re going to need to see it for what it is and move on.
Sometimes it comes wrapped in a shiny package and by the time you realise it’s a terrible idea, the damage is done.
So here's what to look for:
When you’re starting a new venture or business, it’s common not to earn a lot of money.
You need to build a brand and reputation first before you can make the big bucks.
But that doesn’t mean you should work for a pittance.
If someone approaches you and asks you to work for well below your industry rates, but promises “exposure” and other hazy rewards, then tread very carefully.
These promises are very rarely honoured and you need to be very clear exactly what it is you’re receiving in return for your work.
This one is tough.
Over the years, I’ve managed to weed out the people who are rude or arrogant.
I surround myself with experts who are courteous and respectful, and who don’t flaunt their status or wealth.
But when I was starting out, I did come across a lot of people who seemed to be attracted to property just so they could flash their wealth.
I was very selective about who I worked with and for.
And you should be too.
Because a bad attitude is bad for business.
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If you associate with people who have this kind of reputation, you’ll get tarred with the same brush.
It’s natural for people to judge you by the company you keep, so steer clear of these types.
We’ve all been here.
Deals falls through, and promises don’t materialise.
That’s natural in business, of course, and you have to learn to roll with the punches.
But there are some people who are great talkers, but not great doers.
As I always say, if a business opportunity comes your way that sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.
Talkers will always do well in life.
The gift of the gab is an important skill, but you do need to be able to back it up.
Beware are people who just talk and don’t do anything else.
This may sound a little harsh, but often the best people for your business and your journey to success are hiding in plain sight.
They’re often not the ones out there promoting themselves though so make sure you look for them carefully.
If there is one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s that who you align yourself with is very important.
It has a huge bearing on your success, and whether you enjoy the road to financial freedom or not.
So by all means have your eyes open for opportunities and always listen to people’s ideas because you just never know where things will lead.
But by the same token make sure you're on the lookout for people who are more interested in taking than giving.
This requires you to be both open and cautious at the same time, or what I like to term 'cautiously open' to new ideas and opportunities.
Because the last thing you want to do is fail to embrace the opportunities that come your way.