The deeper into your chosen path you get and the more work you put in, the more likely it is you’ll be presented with new opportunity. People pop out of the woodwork as you move closer to success. You might see more LinkedIn invitations—connections and messages.
This isn’t limited to your career. Salespeople at stores and advertisers try to drive you to make new purchases—these are opportunities to spend responsibly or save your money. The people showing you the opportunity may not always have your interests at heart.
How Does it Help Me?
There’s a common phrase in business, abbreviated WIFFM—What’s in It For Me? After all, nothing is truly free. In basic economics, we learn that every new chance has an opportunity cost. This isn’t just about the money you would spend to engage in the opportunity—it’s also what you might miss out on because your focus is somewhere else.
Once you have an idea of the cost, look at the benefit. Use your best judgment and don’t rely on what the person trying to sell you on the opportunity says. What specific goals is it going to help you achieve? What are your potential upsides and how likely are they to happen based on what you’re being told? A new opportunity is an important time to look out for your own interests first.
What’s in It For You?
The other side of the WIFFM coin is WIFFY—What’s in It For You? Take an honest look at the opportunity being presented. Remember that the person selling you has also taken the time to figure out their own opportunity cost. They wouldn’t be pursuing this opportunity themselves if there wasn’t something significant in it for them. Sometimes it’s as simple as asking someone—what do you get out of this deal?
Things that sound too good to be true almost always are. Don’t get swindled by someone who’s mostly just looking out for themselves. Remember that you are in charge of your own success!
Is it a “Hell Yeah”?
Think about a time where you took a chance that paid off. When you heard about the opportunity, how did it make you feel? Did it get your blood pumping? Did your brain light up with possibility? A new opportunity you’re not excited about is probably a waste of time.
Derek Sivers is an accomplished entrepreneur and blogger. One of his most popular entries covers what he thinks is the most important consideration: Does this chance make you say “hell yeah?” He believes that if it doesn’t, then you should just say no.
For him, this includes anything from business ventures and interviews to events and parties. There are some personal obligations we don’t want to get rid of even if they don’t make us shout from the rooftops. Most of the time, a new opportunity should get you up out of your seat and excited about possibility—anything less and you should pass.
The only way to really know if a new opportunity is right for you is to try it. But do your best to assess what makes sense for you before diving in. Your time is limited so choose wisely.