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I know I talk a lot about pricing and profitability. It really is something I am passionate about. After all, you’re running a business and if you aren’t generating a sizable profit, then what is the point? There is a “usually” less traumatic life to be had working for someone else. So don’t take this article as a minimization of the importance of profit. However, profit is not the only reason to take on a project or embark on a new entrepreneurial adventure.

Here are eight other reasons to say “yes” to an opportunity.

01: Profit

Ok, I know I already mentioned this one in the intro, but it still needs to be on the list. If you can make a profit from an opportunity, that reason is valid enough take it on. It is a lot of work to run a business, too much effort for it not to yield a positive financial return. Therefore, “profit” ranks highest on the list of reasons to say “yes” to an opportunity. But, as I said before, it isn’t the only reason. Keep reading.

02: Portfolio

If the project provides you with a really killer portfolio piece or case study, you might want to say “yes.” I had a few of those in my portfolio for many years…not so profitable, but super cool work.

03: Network

The client you are talking with is well connected and could open doors to new opportunities or a new industry to pursue. However, I only took these on when it was my observation that the relationship could be valuable. If the client said something like, “I know a lot of people and will refer you, so give it to me cheaper,” I was turned off and passed on the opportunity.

04: Award Potential

The project has potential to be a long term showcase piece for your business, worthy of award submission. When Pepsi approached us to create the marketing website for their new product, Tropicana Tropolis, I knew it had massive potential to be an award winning site. Even though it was a big budget project, I didn’t think (or even care) about the profit. We went “all in” to create something awesome. The result, we won our first FWA award and our first Webby Honoree award. I still showcase that project today (12 years later).

05: Philanthropy

If the opportunity can help humanity in some way, then you may take it on to satisfy the desire embedded in all of us to help one another on our journey through earth life. Due to financial needs of our business, we usually can’t say yes to working for free for every non-profit. But if the cause is just and you are passionate about it, philanthropy is a noble reason to take on a project.

06: Industry Access

Taking on this project will open doors to a new industry or type fo work. If you’ve been wanting to break into the “Energy Drink” design market for awhile and you have an opportunity in that industry, then figure out how to win the project in spite of the profit (or lack thereof). One industry showcase piece has the power to open doors.

07: Trade of Goods

The client has something they offer in trade for your work and what they offer is actually something you want. The second part is key. I am ok with a value for value trade, but I’m not ok with accepting any ol’ trade offer that comes my way. (I still haven’t received the beefalo steaks we were promised by one client during the Great Recession. Haha.) My preference is still to trade my services for my client’s money, but sometimes a trade of goods can be an acceptable reason to take a project.

08: Just Cuz You Want To

You can say “yes” to any opportunity just because you want to do it. It is your time to spend. If you “kind of want to take it” for any reason at all, you can. And you don’t need to justify it to me, or your mom, or anyone else.

Any of these reasons are valid justification to say “yes” to an opportuntiy. I have done all of them with no regrets.

Michael Janda

I am Michael Janda, an executive level creative leader with more than 25 years of experience in both in-house creative departments and agencies working with some of the greatest brands in the world including Disney, Google, Fox, ABC and NBC. I create books, courses, workshops, lectures and other training materials to help creative entrepreneurs run successful businesses.