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A Challenging Question

In talking with Chris Brogan for his new podcast recently, he said something I’ve been thinking of ever since. It was a question that you ask yourself when evaluating new opportunities.

This question didn’t actually come from Chris—I believe he said it was from one of his other podcast guests—but Chris is the one who implanted it in my head.

The question is:

How will this new opportunity help me serve the community I already have?

Wow. Tough question.

Regular readers may recall that I’m all about saying yes to new opportunities. I completely disagree with the common advice about saying no all the time. You’ve probably heard this advice before:

“You should say no ten times for every yes.”

“You should be very selective.”

“Great entrepreneurs are constantly saying no.”

My response is usually: yeah, great entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs (before his untimely death) or Richard Branson may have become somewhat selective out of necessity at some point. But when you’re getting started, say yes wherever you can!

Nevertheless, Chris’s question puts a whole new spin on it, because it’s not simply about saying yes or no. It’s about weighing the new opportunity against existing commitments to the community you are privileged to serve.

As I said: wow. This perspective changes the game, and as I consider the changes I’m making in my business for 2013, this question will be front and center.

How about you? Do you consider new opportunities in light of existing commitments?


Photo by Dio