When I was a newbie freelancer, I feared the word “no.”
As in “No, I’m sorry that rate is too low.”
Or, “No, I’m sorry that deadline is unrealistic.”
And, the biggie, “No, I’m going to have to take a pass on that project because you seem like a potential PITA.”
Of course, I didn’t say those things. But I thought them. Then I would say “yes”—against my better judgment. Before I knew it, I was mired in unfulfilling, unrewarding, depressing work that was not a good fit for either of us.
Definitely not why I became a freelancer.
I freelance because I want control over my schedule, my life and the kind of work I do.
I don’t have to hang onto stuff that’s not good for me. I get to choose. Somehow, early on, I forgot that.
So just yesterday I passed on an opportunity that could have been fairly lucrative and long term with a well-known organization. Why?
Because, for me, the client was not my ideal.
It was clear that our approaches to even the most basic aspects of the project were not aligned. And I had reason to believe that their processes, including how to give feedback, would be less than productive for both of us.
Yikes! Did I just turn down cash-money for some ethereal, philosophical mumbo-jumbo?
I turned down an invitation for work that was clearly not right for me and my business.
It’s okay, freelance friend, to do so. In fact, I highly encourage it.
If you’re good at the craft, hard working, pleasant and diligent, you will have other, better opportunities.
Of course, I agonized momentarily over the decision. Should I or shouldn’t I?
Which is why it helps to be connected with a network of other writers.
Seek their wise counsel. Then make your decision to engage or politely decline and move on.
That’s what I did.5 Comments