A few weeks ago, I was approached about a web design project. I’m not sure why as I am not skilled with web design nor do I promote myself as a web designer. I am a writing coach, writer, poet, and artist, not a web designer. Yes, I tinker with my site, and I dabble with HTML and CSS, but neither of those things make me a web designer. They only make me realize how inadequate my web language skills (Not my coding skills as I consider coding to be the realm of Ruby on Rails and C++.) are.
A former version of myself might have tried to figure out how to accept the web design project. That version was naive and desperate for work of any sort. The person I now am refuses to take work that is not within my frame of reference or that does not contribute to what I’m trying to build at Write Right. As a result, I declined the project and sent the person to someone I hoped could help her.
That wasn’t the only result; two days later, I was asked to help tell the story of The Pineapple Project, an in-progress mobile- and web-based application that will help determine the best tropical crops to grow in certain regions of third-world countries. My responsibility, if I accepted it, was to turn what the developers were doing into something relatable and intelligible, unlike the binary code with which they were working. Although it was an unpaid and short-term writing project (one full weekend for the time being), it fit within my parameters as a person and as a business owner. The desire to tell a story? Check. Service-oriented? Check that, too. I accepted the project, then I laughed. The reason I could say “yes” was that I had said “no.”
Have you found that saying “no” sometimes leads to bigger and better opportunities?
Photo: Quinn Dombrowski (CC BY-SA 2.0)