I’ve been practicing saying “NO” recently so I can say “YES” to what I am focused on and so I don’t over-extend myself and stress myself out.

Writing a recent email with the “no” was uncomfortable, but better than all the work, etc if I had said “yes”.

Much of the NO was based on a bad contract… words like “irrevocable” and “unconditional” are huge red flags.  You never know what direction you or another company might go moving forward and if you suddenly become very unaligned for one reason or another, there is no way to re-negotiate or change things when the contract has that sort of language.

Another piece of the contract issue was the “what happens in case of breach”… I had no rights or recourse, they would be “entitled to whatever injunctive or equitable relief they deemed appropriate” – what does THAT mean?  It could mean anything really!

So what do you do in this sort of situation?  Do you walk away, discuss, negotiate, stomp your feet at the inequality of it all?

Any of the above really – you can be presented with any kind of contract someone wants to create – it is up to YOU to decide if it is in your best interests to sign it.

In this case, I chose to walk away.  The potential up-side for me for going through with the deal wasn’t big and my schedule is tight in the next few months.  I have a vacation coming up (YEAH!) and SURTEX is less than 100 days away.  My YES’s need to be aligned with me keeping sane and getting ready for my biggest trade show of the year.  Reduce distractions.

If the deal had been for something that could have had good long-term benefits in the way of income, exposure and more – a conversation about the contract would have been merited.  I thought about it, made a decision, waited 24 hours to make sure I still liked my decision, then sent the email.  Done.  No more energy distracting me from my focus…

I know I’ve talked about saying NO to things so you can say YES to others before but thought this was a very real and concrete example of it in action!

Think before you say YES.  Be deliberate in how you spend your time and energy and you will be amazed at how much more you will accomplish and how much happier and lighter you will feel!

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

P.S.  Here are two books that I recommend related to this conversation:

The Power of a Positive No

The Power of a Positive No by William Ury [affiliate link]

How to Understand Art Licensing ContractsHow to Understand Art Licensing Contracts
By Maria Brophy & Tara Reed