By Laura Wallace  |  September 30, 2016

We’re in the month where costumes and masks are the norms. Kids are transforming into their favorite superheroes weird clowns are popping up in all the wrong places and for a day or two of the year, it’s ok to be Chewbacca or a sexy Disney character.

This got me thinking about how opportunity sometimes wears a mask, pretending to be one thing but when you take the mask off, is another.

Rewind to earlier this year when I turned down the biggest opportunity of my career. I was approached by an agency out of Florida that was booking people to be on the Kathy Ireland show. We’d fly to California, be on set with Kathy and film a show that would be broadcasted worldwide.

How on earth did that happen?? Naturally, I was excited, optimistic and ready to do it. This was an opportunity I couldn’t even make up!! But then it hit me. This was not right for us. My gut kicked in and I did my homework. While we’d be in front of a huge audience, it wasn’t the right audience for our target market. This would bring in a rush of inquiries that my team and I were not prepared to handle. The set of the show did not align with our purpose and branding. And not to mention, this came with a price tag that I was not prepared to agree to.

This opportunity was wearing a mask.

I’d like to encourage you to think about the opportunities that come your way. Most are amazing and just what you need at the right time! But there are a few that try to work their way through that may not be ideal for who you are, what you do and what your company stands for.

Here are a few signs I’ve learned along the way that tells me it’s not right for us:

• You have to change who you are to do it

• It doesn’t align with who your core clients are

• It causes you to change the way you work

• You get nervous when you see this come across your phone or email

• It’s going to cause long-term stress and anxiety

• It doesn’t align with your goals and where you’re taking your business

Turning something that feels amazing down is not easy, especially if there is financial gain. Think about what you’ll need to sacrifice in order to make this happen and if the gain outweighs the risk. Sometimes opportunity comes with short-term hustle to make it happen. I love that excitement! But the hustle shouldn’t change who you are or where you’re going.

What opportunity, project, client or decision feels like you may want it now but deep down you know it’s not for you long term? By ridding yourself of these space-takers, you can open up room to new and exciting opportunities that are 100% right for you.