Sometimes life throws us all sorts of opportunities to partner with others and collaborate, doesn’t it? But how can we avoid getting burned?

Do your due diligence. Stay patient. Trust your intuition. If it screams it’s too good to be true, there’s usually a darn good reason, and you are 110% right.

In June 2018, I was given what I like to call a “jaw-dropping, decent proposal.”

I sat across from a wildly successful entrepreneur I deeply admired in the community over lunch as he shared how perfect I’d be for this upcoming role with his company to build this idea with him from scratch.

I felt as though my prayers had been answered and THIS was finally my big break. I had been searching for it for some time now.

I was torn as I had already been hired at my part-time job (check out rule of life lesson #92), and this new opportunity and the humongous paycheck sounded extremely promising.

When he asked me how much I needed each month financially to make it worthwhile to not take the part-time job I was offered, I thought, “Is this for real or am I being punked right now?”

He backed it by saying that money was no object.

See? Decent proposal.

I excitedly went home and shared my dilemma with my husband Sean. Take the stable part-time job even though I didn’t want to but had already promised him I would? Or hold out for this incredible, golden opportunity and turn the job down because it was “guaranteed” to pay me more than I could ever imagine?

Decisions, decisions.

I was extremely grateful to this man for acknowledging my gifts and talent speaking and interviewing on stage and decided the smart compromise was to start the part-time job knowing it would be very short-lived…one or two months tops and I was out of there.

I trusted what he said and I waited and casually followed up here and there wondering when I could ditch the job. One month. Two. Three months went by. Followed up. Then waited some more and nothing ever happened. I kept my hopes up and after waiting six months…

I was confused.

Why was I torturing myself waiting for a golden opportunity to come around that was all talk and no action?

Shame on me for believing that my decent proposal was right around the corner and being too trusting of a gal. I fall for that a lot. I want to see the good in people, but I always seemed to get the short end of the stick.

I was hurt, but picked myself back up by my bootstraps and went on with my day job while I hustled in my business to get out of there as quickly as humanly possible.

Fast-forward another year, he reached out again asking me to meet and apologized that he wasn’t quite ready to start our collaboration before. But now, he was.

I totally understood, got excited once more and thought finally, this is it! Met the team. I submitted my ideas to move forward. And then?

Nothing. It was an exact repeat and I fell for it just as I had before.

We never did work together. In fact, the last text message I sent was to wish him good luck and never reach out to me again. I had no more time to waste as I had bigger opportunities coming my way. No idea when I just knew it.

He apologized and never sent me another message ever again.

The last I heard, his company ran into legal troubles and had to let go of all the staff I met just the year prior.

So, did I dodge a bullet? Was it the blue pill I should have taken or the red one?

Whatever it was, you decide.

Which brings me to another thought-provoking life lesson.