When it comes to projects that you take on do you ever wonder, “What am I getting myself into?” I certainly find myself in this position from time to time but I have come to learn that not every new opportunity is the right one. Here are some questions that help me decide which projects to choose.
What is the real challenge? Prospective clients seek help from consultants and coaches when there is a problem they want to fix. Very often, you will find that by going deeper, what appears at first glance may not be the true issue at all. For example, in my practice, I enjoy helping sole proprietors figure out what keeps them from the top of their financial game. This is always the first step before digging into how to resolve the issue. In other words when I pull back the layers I expose the true challenge. When it is something that I can solve and add real value to, then the project is a win-win.
What makes this the right project at this time? Your intuition serves as an internal compass that shows up in many forms. Some people recognize it as a soft voice that guides them in their decisions. Others relate to stomach flutters, faster breathing, or gut instincts they feel inside. However it shows up in you, just know that your intuition is tuning in to facts and working on your behalf to guide you to the right answer.
What more do I need to know before making my decision? Many times what you see is not always what you need to understand at first sight. In times when you are unclear, be willing to dig deeper to get to the bottom of things. You need the facts to see if an assignment is the right fit.
What is the client’s ultimate goal? This is perhaps the most important question to take into account. It is going to require complete honesty on your part because you may find yourself turning down a lot of contracts in the process. That’s o.k because you are making room for the projects that you can really excel in. Consider the problems that your potential client has to see if your skill set and interests match. If they do not, you may decide to turn the contract down because you will not be performing at your best. Keeping the client satisfied is priority one and nothing ruins a relationship faster than being a mismatch for the job.
Hopefully these questions can help make selecting projects a lot easier because like the old saying goes, “You can’t always judge a book (or project) by its cover.”
I’d love to hear your comments. How do you tell which projects are a good fit? What do you do to weed out the wrong assignments?