Last Updated on April 9, 2017 by Editorial Staff

saying no to opportunities

By Vanessa Vinos.

Sometimes it’s good to say no to opportunities!

OK, so this particular week started the same as any other week. I had lists everywhere of all that¬†needed to be accomplished (but I was still wasting time on Pinterest and Instagram ūüėČ

And then the phone rang. It was the BBC.

What!!! Were they going to close my road¬†again because they were filming some period drama or something (which is quite typical). ¬†¬†It couldn’t be to film scenes for Downton as that was all¬†done and dusted.¬† Or maybe they had ‚Äúheard‚ÄĚ about my divine Spanish almond cake and were inviting me to be on Bake Off. My ‚Äúpinnie‚ÄĚ and whisk were already in my hand.

However, it wasn’t that. No, they were inviting me to¬†appear on Dragons Den (the equivalent of Shark Tank in the US).

WHHAAAAATTTT!!! My heart sank but not for the reasons you think. I just knew this would never be my kind of gig-ever.

So after chatting some time to the researcher I politely declined.

I later spoke to friends and mentioned it in some of the business groups I belong to, and 99% thought I was mad. Crazy. A coward. A chicken. That I would regret this for the rest of my life. That NO publicity is bad publicity so I should just pull my big girl pants on and get the hell out there……….it went on (all with good intentions you understand).

But here’s the thing. I knew immediately this was not for me (and thankfully my husband verbalised everything I was feeling).

Here’s why it was not for me:

  • I’ve not invented anything. I have a fabulous¬†boutique, but there is nothing innovative about¬†what I do; I am under no illusions
  • I watch the programme every week and say to my husband every single time, “they¬†could never pay me enough to get me on that programme!”
  • The “Dragons” can be brutal and I know it would take my confidence a long time to recover from their public mauling
  • I know these programmes need “fodder” to pad out each episode; they need some definite “no’s” to make the programme more entertaining and the ¬†“yes’s ” more exciting. I was not prepared to be that fodder
  • I don’t¬†believe that no publicity is bad publicity. I¬†believe the “wrong” publicity could be bad publicity and could seriously damage your brand; I was not going to go down¬†that¬†road for 15 minutes of fame.


More importantly I just felt it in my gut. I’ve been trying to learn to be more intuitive to my feelings and what they are actually telling me ( as I am by nature a left-brain thinker). However, the minute I knew what the phone call was about I knew it was not for me.¬†Let me just say I am the MOST¬†indecisive person you can¬†meet. It can take me a¬†whole day to decide what book to read next. It can take me hours to decide whether to exercise or not (by which time all the decision making has left me too exhausted to do anything!)

So for me to feel so strongly that this was the wrong publicity for me was a coup in itself.

But here’s the thing. Despite all the fab arguments¬†my friends and¬†acquaintances put forward (and they all had my best interests at heart-every single one of them) it just felt wrong¬†for¬†ME.

It’s a lesson I am going to take forward and hopefully can draw on for future meaningful decisions that need to be made; the skills of which I am still trying to develop.

Despite what the pragmatic, logical self may be saying, if the “feeling” doesn’t resonate (or does resonate), then¬†I should only act then, and not act out of fear i.e this¬†opportunity may never happen again.

Final thought. If sometimes that small voice is speaking…………. just listen. You don’t need advice from everyone and their Auntie. Sometimes the answer is closer than you think.


You may also like our Thoughts On Feeling Invisible In Midlife And Beyond and Life Lessons From 98-Year-Old Yogi Tao Porchon-Lynch


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img_3882bwVanessa Vinos¬†an ex-Criminal Psychologist who swapped ‚Äúbad boys for bling‚ÄĚ after living 13 years in the Mediterranean. She admits to running most days on grit, chocolate cake and Hail Marys!¬†When she is not knee-deep in sparkles she can be found cooking up a storm, watching any series by Shonda Rhimes and also watching Ice Truckers (don‚Äôt ask!). She has a phobia of cats, grass and nuns (not sure how that happens to a good-ish Catholic girl. You can check out her website Luxuria.


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