Business values

New business projects: Do you need to believe?

- June 25, 2007 < 1 MIN READ

As soloists, we tend to have a fair bit of influence over what new business projects we take on, and what jobs we let through to the keeper. This is one of soloism’s great attractions.

But deciding if a certain new business project is suitable isn’t necessarily easy. For me, it’s generally about the people. If you’re working with great people then the specifics of the job become less important.

What happens, though, when a new business project comes up that you just don’t believe in? Not because it’s unethical or dodgy, you just think it’s a dud idea.

What do you do then?

The professional in you might say “It’s your job to tell it like it is. They’ve come to you for advice and it’s up to you to open their eyes”. Or “I’m just going to politely decline. I can’t do a proper job on a new business project unless I believe in it”.

But then another part of you might decide to reserve judgement. “Who am I to decide on what’s a good idea or a bad idea?”

Plenty of stupid ideas have turned out to be rippers. For example:

  • A developer might run a mile from plans to build an opera house with wings;
  • A web designer might scoff at the concept of people posting their diaries online;
  • A consultant might advise against starting a music band aimed at toddlers.

But then again… most ‘crazy’ ideas do turn out to be just that. And it’s not fun to work on a new business project that turns out to be a gigantic flop.

Want more articles like this? Check out the business values section.

Is it our job to advise clients that they’re dreaming, or do we simply knuckle down and do our best to make their dreams come true?

Have you worked on any big flops or surprise successes in your career?

We’d love to hear your experiences.