Following Intuition, Not Logic
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Tilt.
Nothing makes me acknowledge my intuition faster than a primo business deal that everyone else thinks is great, but it just doesn’t feel right to me. People are shocked when I don’t agree. They expect me to explain myself, to defend my decisions not to take advantage of the opportunities they give me.
There was a time when I would have given in just because the idea sounded so good and I liked the person seeking me out. No more. To their shock, no more.
Recently, during a writers’ conference, a very successful businesswoman and her partner approached me with an idea that had my enthusiasm bubbling. Because the conference was wrapping up and they needed a yes or no within 24 hours, I had to tell them no. Why? Intuition, and absolutely nothing more that I can put my finger on.
Logically, the deal would have been very advantageous to my little publishing company-if it worked the way they planned-though it would have been a considerable investment of my limited personal time and publisher time and without a direct financial return. The proposed joint venture would bring me lots of potential new customers in a new market, but not necessarily customers who would buy my type of spiritual books.
The woman and her partner, both of whom I believe honestly did have my best interests at heart in inviting me to be part of a deal they were brokering, were extremely upset at me for not jumping at the chance to work with them and a small consortium of writers and publishers. They could not believe I’d say no or have any doubts about this deal.
They felt that my decision not to participate was a slap in the face and something was mumbled about “not bothering to do anything else for you” and that I was un- grateful for their help. I was both hurt and peeved by their condescending attitudes and I know, without a doubt, that there won’t be any potential partnerships in the future. Even if I felt that a new proposed project would work out wonderfully, they won’t give me another chance because they think I snubbed them.
I wasn’t ungrateful. It just didn’t feel right. And I fought not to feel guilty for saying no because before, I would have relented even if it didn’t feel right. I would have put their opinions ahead of my intuition. I’ve had some minor publishing disasters over the past half dozen years because I went against my intuition, and I’ve learned from those hard lessons.
Today, I talked to someone in the consortium about the potentially prosperous project I turned down. In the past month, it’s fallen to pieces. Money and time that’s been poured into the project have been for naught be- cause one of the earliest participants has become an obstacle to every vote taken by the consortium. I also discovered that the potential new customers have shifted to a predominantly Christian market-unlikely to have brought me more than a handful of sales in exchange for several months of full-time work on my part.
What seemed logically the right thing to do would have been a time sink and a financial disaster. The intuition to say no seemed really dumb at the time, but I’m glad I listened to it.