I was recently presented with a great opportunity. It was lucrative and would have supported much of what I do on a very large scale. I won’t say what it was, but trust me that most people who do what I do would be thrilled stupid to have this as an option. In the discussions leading up to a decision, some things just didn’t take things in the direction I felt they should go. At the end of it all, the decision was made to not pursue this opportunity.

While there were many great things about this opportunity, the few things that weren’t in alignment were of a significant priority that it made sense to walk away. It wasn’t for the typical reasons people walk away from things. It would have entailed a move, but I was okay with that (I’m a bit of a gypsy and love new vistas). The money I stood to make was significant (in the six figure range). The increase in street credibility was amazing (you can always improve that, no matter how good it is). The experience would have been invaluable (always great to grow professionally). So what was the problem? A disconnect in business perspectives and how to express them practically.

If I had decided to move forward with things as they were, I would have had to significantly adjust how I do business to make it all work. While nearly everything made this opportunity ridiculously appealing, I was so grateful I had taken the time to see the disconnect that would have been created if I wasn’t solid on my strategy. I know exactly why I am in business and refuse to “sell-out” to anything except that reason.

So let me ask you…Why are you in business? What is it that looks good in nearly every area, but will cause a significant disconnect for why you’re in business? Sometimes the best strategy we can exact is the one that tells us to simply quit what we’re doing. This blog post isn’t for everyone, but if it’s for you then you are painfully aware of it right now.

Quitting may be a good idea if it’s:

  • Counter to culture – There are simply things that are counter productive to the culture you either have or want to create for your organization. Culture is such a fragile thing, you don’t want to align your organization with anything that will undermine all the effort put into making a culture that supports your vision.
  • Just for the money – Yes we are all in business to make money, but you can sell drugs and make money. It has to be money made from fulfilling your vision. You will lose focus and market distinction if you begin down this road. Not to mention some of your best talent will quickly jump ship when it just becomes about greasing your palm. It breeds an atmosphere of distrust. People know what the sole pursuit of money does to both people and organizations.
  • Feeding your ego – The worst thing you can do is to align yourself or organization with someone or something simply for bragging rights or status. Leveraging relationships that have genuine synergy and are mutually beneficial is a good thing. Nothing in there about boosting who you imagine yourself to be in the process. Successful people and organizations aren’t egomaniacs.
  • Being desperate – Desperation is a stinky cologne. Don’t think that things are going to magically happen all of a sudden because of some mysterious connection or opportunity. It has happened to people on occasion, but it is not the typical way things happen. Drop the illusions of grandeur, roll up your sleeves and get to work already!