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Donald Feury
Donald Feury

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Let's reflect on a failed business discussion

So just a few days ago, I was discussing an opportunity that came about from me being approached by another YouTube channel that ultimately fell through. I will simply call the channel that approached me "the other party." I thought it would be useful to do some self reflection on my part of the conversation, more specifically, the last message I sent that seems to been the catalyst for making the other party bow out from further discourse.

The Offer

The other party was interested in me coming onto the channel to do a guest video. I expressed interest in wanting to work with them and so we had a healthy back and forth about what type of subject I could cover in the video.

We settled on a topic and they expressed that I could start whenever I wanted to. Which was fine, however, I wasn't done with the conversation.

The other party has a bigger audience than me, and is large enough that the ad revenue from YouTube wouldn't be insignificant, at least when compared to the earnings showed by other channels of similar size.

The Value Proposition

So we currently sit at the current arrangement:

  • I am to create for the other party, a video, that will be posted on their channel.
  • There is the possibility that if the video does well, we would continue working together.

Now, what does this mean for each party in terms of what value is being offered?


  • I am giving my own time to create a video for them.
    • This video will ensure they can post consistently, improving their performance on YouTube.
    • They will monetarily benefit from the ad revenue off the video.

The Other Party:

  • They are providing exposure for my work to a larger audience.

The Smoking Gun

So here is my message that seems to have put them off:

Oh sorry, I wanted to inquire about one thing.

Is the possibility of some form of monetary compensation on the table? I understand the sheer amount of exposure that comes from this carries more value than I can probably comprehend.

At the same time, part of me isn't a big fan of trading my time for exposure.

The response I got following this message was and I quote:

Sorry, there isn't. Thanks anyway

This came off to me as sounding like the other party was no longer interested in discussing further. Despite two follow up messages, no further response has been sent by the other party. At this point, I can only conclude that the conversation has ended and an opportunity has been missed, by both sides.

Lets break down each part of this and I'll give my thoughts, as well as any angle I can think of as to why it why it may have put them off.

The Money Conversation

Is the possibility of some form of monetary compensation on the table?

I don't personally feel this should have been off putting, if it was. There is already the subject of money involved in this exchange, as per the previously mentioned ad revenue.

Notice my tone here, I'm not demanding that we have the money conversation, nor am I demanding money in exchange for my content. I am simply requesting if we CAN have the conversation about money, nothing more.

In retrospect, this probably should have been the end of the message. Everything following should have been saved if the conversation continue but we're gonna talk about it anyway.

The Value Conversation

I understand the sheer amount of exposure that comes from this carries more value than I can probably comprehend.

The way this is worded has two purposes and meaning. First, I am phrasing it in a flattering sense, acknowledging that yes indeed the other party has a large audience than me and therefor I most likely like the experience to comprehend the amount of value that may bring with it.

The second meaning is more literal. When we're talking about the value of "exposure", which is ultimately what this arrangement is about, I have found it to be very unstable. Meaning, I literally cannot comprehend the value of it, as its very difficult to determine in general.

The Closing Statement

At the same time, part of me isn't a big fan of trading my time for exposure.

This is probably the main part I could've worded better. I don't regret expressing my apprehension about trading time for exposure, for reasons explained previously.

However, I could elaborated that I was still interested in pursuing the conversation further, even if the value being offered by the other party remained only via exposure.

The Takeaways

Since the other party never expressed why they ended the conversation, I can only speculate. So I will do just that.

  • Perhaps by framing their reach as a form of value made it appear that I was only interested in that and not actually helping their audience.
    • Understandable, but also seems a tad hypocritical on the part of the other party. We are both running a business and I think its only natural to view an arrangement from many angles. Of course I would've liked to engage with and help the audience of the other party, but I still want to consider the business aspect of this arrangement.
  • They simply were not interested in having a discussion about compensation at all.
    • While I don't think this was the case, its not an impossibility.
  • The wording of my last statement gave the impression I wasn't interested if the only form of value being offered by the other party was exposure.
    • I feel this might be more likely and I said above I would most likely re-word that in retrospect.
    • However, they could've simply asked for clarification in regards to if I was still interested in working with them or not.

Ultimately, I feel the people who missed out the most are those I will now not be able to reach with my video. Both parties have failed to establish an exchange that would've possibly benefited a few people, by helping them learn something new.

The Roast

Thank ya'll for reading my little self reflection on this missed opportunity.

Now, this where ya'll come in. I'm interested in hearing ya'lls opinions and views on this failed arrangement.

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