When to Say No to the Money

money, money, money...I turned down a lucrative offer this week. Actually, I’ve been doing that a lot lately – passing on opportunities, projects and contracts that would have, could have, should have added to the bottom line. Wait a minute! Why would I do that? My job as a business coach, marketing consultant and mompreneur mentor is to help other people MAKE money in their businesses. So this may seem contradictory coming from me, but sometimes you have to JUST SAY NO to the money.

Here’s why: It’s not about the money. Yes, I know you want to make a profit and believe me when I tell you that I do a happy dance every time one of my clients makes her first sale! But we all know we’re not in this business – whatever business we’re in – JUST for the money. We’re in it for a bazillion other reasons – like making a difference…sharing our gifts with the world…expressing our creativity…solving a problem…leaving a legacy…fulfilling our purpose.

So what happens to all of those noble and wonderful intentions when somebody waives a checkbook in front of us? Sometimes we are overcome by a case of “Intention Amnesia.” All of a sudden, we can’t remember WHY we do what we do in the first place. We forget that the purpose of our business is to support our family lifestyle – not to compete with it.

Solo entrepreneurs in service-based businesses are particularly susceptible to Intension Amnesia. We have a nasty habit of taking on too much work because we don’t know when to say no to the money. And we end up working more than we want, feeling guilty for the time it takes away from family and becoming a slave to the business we thought would bring us freedom.

If you’re ready to cure Intention Amnesia once and for all, ask yourself the following questions next time you are approached with a potentially profitable opportunity:

1. What is my reason for saying yes? If the ONLY reason you can come up with is financial, you may want to rethink your answer.  You might even ask yourself: If I had a million dollars in the bank, would I still want to do this project? If the answer is yes, then you know it’s not about the money!

2. Am I afraid to say no because I’m worried another opportunity like this will never come again? Or that my success will be short lived so I need to take advantage of it now? This is where you need to rely on faith. Remember, God has plans for you to prosper! He promises and abundant life. But what do we really want to have in our lives in abundance?

3. Will this opportunity take me further toward my goal? Sometimes the project itself is not all that rewarding but it will bring you closer to achieving your long term vision. Other times the opportunity is so completely out of alignment with your goals that it could sidetrack or even derail you from your mission.

4. Will this opportunity take too much time from my family or take a toll on my health and wellbeing?  This sounds like a no brainer but some of us are great at justifying and defending our choices in a way that makes it sound totally reasonable to work 60 hours a week and travel two weeks out of every month. 

5. How do I honestly feel about doing the work? It’s important to consider how you feel about what you will be doing. Will it leave you feeling energized and excited? Or depleted and drained? When you wake up in the morning, will you feel joyful or resentful about the work?

I know a lot of mompreneurs who have asked themselves these questions and decided to turn down the work. Passing on an opportunity isn’t easy, but when you do it for the right reasons, it’s a relief. What about you – have you had to say no to the money? I’d love to hear your story in the comments below!