Maybe this Opportunity Isn't Meant for You

Photo by DeathWing

I’m working on several projects and events that will offer some profound opportunities for others, yet it’s interesting to see how people turn down those opportunities at every chance. These are not people I’ve gone after with an offer of something grand, but rather, they’ve heard about my projects and have come to me.  While some are simply excited to have found me and will make any arrangements necessary to make their part of this connection happen, a surprising number of interested parties want to dictate the rules.  Not that they’ve ever initiated such a project on their own, but they’re good at making demands on how others should do them.

One person tells me he’s so excited to be a part of this project with me and has been yearning for years to do something like this.  BUT…. But he’d have to drive 5 miles to get to it and with gas prices ever higher, he’s not sure if he wants to put the gas money into it (he makes more than I do) so maybe I could just do this by phone or even meet him nearer his house or business. 

Another tells me she’s really interested and is amazed to have found me. BUT….  But could I make sure that there are no men participating in this project?  She’s always wanted to be involved in a project like this but only with women.

Another contacts me to see if this project if “for real.”  He’s been waiting for something like this for the past year.  BUT….  But he lives in Pensacola and that’s about an hour’s drive and, wow, he doesn’t really want to spend that kind of time on the road, so could I move the meeting location closer to him?  Oh, and the timing is bad.  Could I plan it for a week night because his weekends are full?

Another gushes over how wonderful this project is I’m working on and how much she wants to be a part of it.  BUT….  But she’s not comfortable being around people of other religions so would I please not allow people of those religions to participate?

There was a time when I would have tried to accommodate everyone–and driven myself crazy to do so. A perfect example of this was about 10 years ago when I developed a little book promotion sideline that netted me about $5000 a year. I had a well-scrubbed mailing list of bookstores that were great at handselling (meaning, the staff actively recommended certain books to customers and knew enough about the books to talk comfortably about the stories or the authors and if you liked that book, then you’ll love this one!). I collected a fee and a certain number of flyers (1000, I think) from a certain number of authors, collated the packages, and mailed them to the stores so the bookstore owners would have an idea of which upcoming books to order and push.  The problem was, a couple of authors would always miss a deadline.  I burned a lot of midnight oil trying to accommodate all the hard-luck stories and late flyers–mainly because these people were also friends–to the point where it was too stressful to deal with and I dropped the sideline altogether. It was a good moneymaker and successful for a number of authors, but I literally didn’t have time to accommodate everyone.

Something I learned from the Black Forest Clan was instrumental in my learning that sometimes it’s okay not to accommodate, even among those of us who were raised to be accommodating.  Someone had been on their way to a ritual and had been very, very excited about going.  On the way, they tripped and sprained an ankle, so that they could not participate in the ritual.  I was told that usually when something of that nature happened, it was because they weren’t meant–for whatever reason–to participate at that time. 

So now I have some wonderful projects happening and lots of interest. Whenever I’m told I need to make a special accommodation for them so they can be a part of it, I smile and say, “I’m sorry that I can’t accommodate you, but you know, maybe this opportunity just isn’t meant for you.”