In February 2009, I sat in a lecture room at Simon, listening to a presentation from Andrea Marron, founder of Studio 28 Couture. (I wrote about her some time before. You can take a read here.) During that presentation, Andrea told a story of how she had to turn down a “fabulous” business opportunity. Her reason? It wasn’t in line with her long term business goals.
10 months later, I found myself in a similar situation. The opportunity was great, but I turned it down. Like Andrea I refused to sacrifice my long term business goals.
I was asked to play a significant role in managing a very successful enterprise. This company had a proven world class product, which customers loved! The owner wanted to expand, and there was need for a team of people to facilitate this objective. That’s where I came in; I was seen as someone who could assist in executing the owner’s strategy.
My eyes were ablaze with excitement. Wow, me, Marita Greenidge, being offered this chance? I was ready to have the contract drawn up and sign on the dotted line.
After that initial excitement subsided, reality struck and logical thoughts began to flow.
This company was not operating in an area I was extremely passionate about. I’m a strong believer in doing what you love; it turns work into play.
I recently started a marketing consulting company with the goal of redefining marketing within Barbados and the wider Caribbean. My goal, my company, would disappear if I accepted this proposal. The owner guaranteed that my company would survive. However I did not think it was realistically possible to build 2 excellent enterprises in divergent industries.
Time: Working with my main client, the Barbados Entrepreneurs’ Venture Capital Fund offers an amazing blend of my passions – marketing and entrepreneurship. I advise the Fund on marketing strategies, as well as assist entrepreneurs seeking investment, with developing strategic marketing plans. Furthermore, I was recently inducted into the executive management team, and now I assist with the application screening process and other management related duties. This, as you imagine, requires quite a bit of time. Add to that the fact that I teach at our local University and participate in some local volunteer programmes. Also, the Barbados Entrepreneurs’ Venture Capital Fund is not my only client! Unless I was able to add more hours to the day, pursuing this new opportunity would not have been possible.
With these concerns, I returned to the owner of the enterprise and explained why I had to turn down the opportunity.
As an entrepreneur, many opportunities will arise before you, and with each one you have to weigh the pros and cons of pursuing. Overall, if an opportunity does not add value to your long term goal, it’s not worth it. (Consider what happens when a company drifts away from its mission.) Just remember that as long as you refuse to sacrifice quality in whatever you do, more opportunities will arise, so letting a few that aren’t a good fit slid won’t doom you.
*Many thanks to my mother and my mentor, Winston Moore, for entertaining my long conversations as I sought to make a smart business decision. Thanks to Andrea Marron for sharing a valuable story in decision-making.