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Professional Deal Breaker

What is Your Professional Deal Breaker?

Deal Breaker:
Noun (1): something that breaks a deal or agreement.
Noun (2): someone who breaks deals or agreements.

Famous actress, Queen Latifah, has an ironclad clause in all her movie contracts; her character doesn’t die. It doesn’t matter if the movie is a standalone, limited series or a standard series – Queen Latifah just never dies in a movie. That’s a primary professional deal breaker for her. Like Queen Latifah, every serious creative should have a deal breaker that signals that a gig or business deal isn’t good enough for them.

On today’s edition of Creative Gist, we ask creatives – what is your professional deal breaker? If you’ve ever had to back out of a deal, are at the crossroads to backing out of one, or are wondering what to do if you ever find yourself at such a crossroad, you should read till the end.

Dolapo Ogunbadejo


Two major professional deal breakers for me are double-mindedness and lack of integrity. Although I can’t remember a particular situation at the moment, I’m sure at some point, I have worked with someone who lacked integrity. I also know that I’ve been more careful in observing people who try to be double-minded with me or lack integrity. I can’t work with such people.

Oronti Temitope

Home Scientist/Baker

My business has taught me much about perseverance and patience, regardless of who I work with. However, my professional deal breaker is when a job is taking too much from me or mentally exhausting. That will definitely make me back out of a deal. Another professional deal breaker is if the client violates my standard business ethics. I prioritise my mental health, and regardless of how juicy an offer is, I'd pick my mental health over anything.

Kike Johnson

Creative Director/Visual Artist

The professional deal breaker that can make me back out of a business deal is when a client breaks a contract we both agreed on. Another professional deal breaker is when a client undermines my work, experience, skills, or ability to do the work they hired me for.

Odunaro Sandra Oreoluwa

Medical Student/Makeup Artist

I don’t back out of anything I am determined to do. If I choose not to do anything anymore, it’s not because someone wants me not to do it. So basically, no one can take me out of a deal unless I want out of it.

Anibeh Reuben


My professional deal breaker would be when clients or work partners do the following;
A. Demeaning and disrespectful statements that undermine my ability as a writer.
B. Refusal to accept unavoidable changes. It shows you don’t trust my judgement.
C. Unnecessary delays, especially without proper excuses.

Outline Your Professional Dealbreaker to Avoid Professional Heartbreak

It’s clear from all responses that a professional deal breaker depends on a person’s values, priorities, and even personality. What counts as a red flag for one person might be a challenge to another person.

During an episode of The Drew Barrymore show, Queen Latifah finally revealed why she has a no-death clause in her movie contracts. Early in her career, she played stereotypical characters that died an awful lot. So it became her priority to stop playing characters that died.

You’re no Queen Latifah, but what is your professional dealbreaker? Please share with us in the comment section.

PS. If you would like to contribute as a respondent in the future episodes of the Creative Gist, send us an email to [email protected] or reach us via WhatsApp +2348088809311

Deborah Alfred

Deborah Alfred is a content writer, UX writer, and copywriter. A published author, she is the founder and community leader of WriterPreneurs' World, a writing community of over 2000 people. She employs simple yet effective writing and storytelling techniques that draw and capture her audience. Her moniker, Insightful Parrot, is a testament to her ability to see minute details that are usually oblivious to others and can improve any situation.

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