A recurrent theme of our trainings here at Aidpreneur is our belief that one of the most important muscles you can build as an independent professional or small company is the ability to say “no”.
No to clients that ask for more then they are willing to pay for, no to consultants who don’t deliver, no to working 24/7 …
… and no to bidding on every single opportunity that comes across your plate.
This is a classic mistake that both independent consultants and new NGOs/companies make. Instead of staying focused on the one or two things they do better than anyone else, they start to bid on essentially any work out there. The worst is when you see someone justify bidding on an opportunity by spinning their expertise into the opportunity (you know who you are!).
One way to stay focused and make sure you’re pursuing only those opportunities that make the most sense for you or your company is to have a no-nonsense filtering process. I’ve talked about this process in our training on Decisions and Prioritization.
The first filter I recommend you put every new opportunity through is something called the “Go/No-Go” filter. This process allows you to quickly weed out all opportunities that are impossible to bid for, unrealistic to deliver and are just obviously a bad fit.
The trick to having an efficient Go/No Go filtering process is to make sure your high-level decision criteria are written down. While it’s ultimately up to you to decide what criteria you’ll use for this, we’ve created a template to help get you started, with some of the more obvious criteria you’ll want to consider.
I suggest you add to this list we’ve started, but try to limit your Go/No Go criteria to five, and definitely don’t have more than 10. After all, you want at least some of the opportunities to get through to your second filter – the prioritization process.