Your intuition is your most powerful decision-making tool. No matter who is in the room and no matter how much pressure you feel, know that it’s okay to walk away with strength and conviction.
I want to share a story about when I decided to go against my intuition and why my lesson learned is so important for all women to hear.
I walked into a panicked room of a major corporation that wanted to engage me to consult on a project. They wanted to pick my brain on women entrepreneurs, and they wanted a long-term partnership.
“Angela, you are going to save us. Our jobs are on the line. Can you come in on Monday for a major meeting? We are flying in professionals from all over, and we really need you there.”
We had been in talks for a while, and there was a lot of hurry-up-and-wait happening.
“Scott, I need the contract signed before I step into any room to give my hard-earned intellectual property. What I have to offer is extremely valuable, and I can’t walk in without that contract.”
My main concern was making sure that anything I shared for the partnership would not be taken by the corporation without the partnership in place.
“I promise, Angela, on Monday at 8:45 AM, our attorneys and your attorney will have hashed out the deal.”
Monday morning at 8:45 AM. I met Scott and we both walked into a meeting room to sign the contract.
The corporation’s attorney looked up and said, “We have a little issue that I need to work out with your attorney, Angela. It’s not a big deal, and I promise that this will be signed by noon.”
Silence. My intuition said, “Walk out now. Don’t enter into the consultation without the contract.”
Scott turned to me. “Angela, we flew everyone out here from all over for these two days. We really need you to be there. Please. I promise you that this will be signed at noon.”
Again, my intuition said, “No.”
But my “I need to help, please others, and be nice” side kicked in. I felt the pressure of his statement and didn’t want to let the entire team down. We agreed to a noon signing of the contract.
My personality is an “All-In” type, so we rolled up my sleeves and got to work. They had a program for entrepreneurs that they needed feedback on, and they needed access to the woman entrepreneur brain. I was their brain.
The program needed a lot of help, and they were stuck. I kept hearing that their jobs were at stake, and I felt the enormous tension in the room. If they couldn’t produce a program that they had already spent millions on, game over.
Lunchtime. I called my attorney. “Is the contract ready to be signed?”
“No, she’s not returning my calls. I promise you that I will take care of this. They are fine with the consultation fee you are charging, and it’s just a matter of getting through the red tape to make sure your ideas are protected. Go back into your sessions. This will be signed soon. Promise.”
Again, my intuition said, “NO” but I went against it because now I was in knee-deep.
So it went. Scott kept assuring me that the contract was inches from being signed, and I wanted to believe him.
At the end of the two days, I realized that their program was not going to fly. They realized it, too. It didn’t have enough meat that would hold women entrepreneurs’ attention enough.
Scott turned to me and said, “Well, at least we have that signed contract, right?”
I said, “You know we don’t” and walked away knowing that I had just given their team amazing content that I had created for numerous years and that there was nothing in place to protect my intellectual property. They were free to use it for future programs.
And they did.
Here’s the thing. I’m not angry, and I have no regrets. Frankly, in the spirit of Savor’s Give, Give, Get philosophy, I’m happy my ideas and content are helping women entrepreneurs no matter where, what, how, or why.
However, please let my story be an example of allowing your intuition to be a powerful decision-making tool.
Your intuition is not always the loudest voice in the room, but it’s the most powerful. You don’t always have to be the nice girl. If you feel something’s not right, know your value and walk away.