It is a common expression that you should always be looking to open doors and never close them. Most of the time, I would absolutely agree with that. Doors here are a metaphor for clients, opportunities, and the kind of work that we are doing. But while we need to stay in an open and ready position, that doesn’t mean that there doesn’t come a time when some doors just need to stay closed.
Being open to more clients is always a good thing, especially if you genuinely want to expand your business. But you will meet clients that are more of a hassle to work with than others, ones that will drain you rather than provide you with interesting challenges. You need to get a sense of those toxic clients and limit your exposure.
While we should be mindful and open to new opportunities; they will not always be equal in terms of the experiences that they provide. That is not to say that we should turn down new opportunities, but we should recognise a poor fit. Try everything once, sure, but get to know which opportunities are best left unexplored.
When it comes to creative work, there are a thousand permutations to what we do, and we can’t be experts on all of them. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t stretch our limits and try new things. New challenges teach us new techniques and expand our overall abilities. But sometimes you just know that the kind of writing is not going to contribute anything of value to your development.
With open doors, we must consider the return on investment. While all work has value, not all work is going to be valuable to you. On rare occasions it’s better to leave doors closed.