I posted a slightly smug message yesterday about how I was going to leverage an opportunity. However, after meeting with the potential client, I’ve got cold feet.
He’s young. He’s ambitious. He’s got big plans. These are all fantastic traits. What he doesn’t seem to have is a solid business plan. Don’t tell me how you think you’ll have 100 people working for you in a year without a solid plan of how you’ll do that. Or any financing in place. It makes you sound like a jackass.
Ambition is great but only share it with people if you can back it up. Keep your dreams to yourself until you’ve got something more concrete: a plan that makes sense and stands up to scrutiny.
I know many people advocate telling EVERYONE about your dream since you never know who could help you. There is wisdom in this. But it’s the difference between expressing a dream and expressing a business proposition. If you tell me your business proposition, I expect you to have worked out some of the details. Like where your revenue is coming from. Like how you will go from no employees to 100 in a year (without paying them!). And if all these eager, talented young people are working for you for free, what are they getting out of it? It’s not sufficient to let them bask in your amazing marketing presence. They need structured learning and how will you deliver structured learning to 100 people? Where’s the plan?
Anyway, rant aside, I said I would write a piece. For free.
In the clear light of morning, I realise that we are judged by who we do business with. Is this person and organisation (despite noble motivations) really something I want to be associated with? If I’m using it as a calling card, does it accurately reflect my brand?
The answer is no.
So the only option is to retract my offer and wish them luck.
And then go look for opportunities that better reflect who I want to be as a writer and creative entrepreneur.
What’s the craziest pitch you’ve been given? Hit comment below, ’cause I’d love to hear it!