Opportunities present themselves in different costumes. Heuristics can be helpful, though only to a certain extent; sometimes good opportunities present themselves as bad ones first. You have to know what you want to get out of a project.
Is there something specific that you want to learn? Will it be a case study for a future line of business? Or is it just the necessary first step in a much grander vision?
When Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson signed the deal for the first season of his TV show, Power, he was only getting paid $17,000; a fraction of what he could’ve earned for an appearance at a party.
His vision for Power was to create a franchise: “My goal wasn’t just to launch a single TV show. I was looking to create a franchise where the characters were so compelling that eventually they could support their own spin-offs. What Marvel had done in movies, I wanted Power to do for TV. I wasn’t trying to create a planet. I wanted to create a universe.”
That vision kept him moving through the relatively low paying gig; “Even as I was hustlin’ on the set, in the writers’ room, and on the promo runs, I never for a second thought my true value was only $17,000 an episode. That was just the number I had to agree on to jump-start the process. My true value was going to lie in executive-producing and starring in a hit TV show that would birth multiple spin-offs—and multiple revenue streams. Everything I was doing in Season 1 was meant to put me in a better position to make that happen.”