Week 7: Mar 30-Apr 5
This week was hard. As business owners, I feel like we place a lot of emphasis on “yes”. We’re coached to tell a client what we can do instead of what we can’t. We’re taught to re-imagine failure (which could be interpreted as a form of “no”) as “falling forward.” We all know that believing we can do something is often the determining factor in accomplishing it. But sometimes we just need to say “no.” And sometimes that’s really hard to do.
I was in talks with a small start-up to do some ongoing work for them. This job seemed like it was going to be a great fit in a number of ways. There were a couple of red flags but nothing that stopped me in my tracks until I received their contract. (People, read your contracts.) The micromanagement red flags I had picked up on during the interview process became abundantly clear in the contract. I voiced my concerns and was told not to worry. But I was worried. I was going to sign a contract and commit at least, three months to them or else I would owe them money for the time they spent “training” me. Continued discussions with the CEO only made me feel worse about the situation until I finally turned it down.
I cried. I had just turned down repeat, monthly income. Was I crazy?! I wasn’t sure, at the time. Shortly after, though, a mentor of mine told me that being able to say “no” is what makes some freelancers better than others. She said, in her experience, the freelancers who don’t say “no” end up hating their clients and blaming it on freelancing. I found this incredibly encouraging.
Biggest thankful: Won 2 of 5 proposals–One from the Austin Freelance Gigs site and one from an agency contact.
Biggest lesson: Learning when to say “no” is part of being a success.
photo by hannah k @flickr