Thanks but no.

January 3, 2013

Authenticity

no thanks broI met with a potential new client yesterday. As the meeting went on, I began to realize that I just wasn’t feelin’ it.

When you’re starting out it can feel like you need to accept every project that comes your way. I struggled over what to do. I can certainly use the money. And of course I could make it work, force myself to become what they need.

Every time I checked my gut it kept saying: I don’t want to. I just don’t want to. This gig doesn’t sound fun.

And I remembered the motto of Derek Sivers: If I’m not saying “Hell Yeah!” about something, then say no.

So, I said no.

I’m enormously happy with my decision. Yesterday I was wrestling. Today I am relieved and confident. I did the right thing for everyone involved.

Isn’t one of the benefits of working for yourself that you get to choose which projects you take on? There’s no boss to tell you what you will be doing next.

Some clients want something closer to an employee. And some freelancers want a big client that is more like working for a company. That is great for them. I, however, do not fit into this setup.

Meeting with this client and feeling the “I don’t want to” forced me to think about why I don’t want to and what I do want. I want more control: of my time, of the content and quality of the work I produce, of the projects I contribute to.

And (key point here) I’m willing to trade control for certainty. This client probably would have given me a steady stream of work and regular on-time payments. In exchange, they would ask for more control of my time and output.

I’m not the right gal for the job. And I’m free to say so. No thanks. Thanks but no. What a powerful feeling.

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Image: bixentro

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5 Comments on “Thanks but no.”

  1. gretchen Says:

    Amazing how many of you have had similar experiences. I guess having responsibility for choosing the right clients is a good problem to have but a challenge nonetheless.

    Reply

  2. Lindy Siu Says:

    Good on you, Gretchen! I’m currently in a similar predicament. I don’t want to have to compromise on my values but I could seriously do with the extra cash. I guess it comes down to how much one is willing to compromise. But as you said, the whole point of working for yourself is to have control. Glad to know I’m not the only one feeling this way, because most people I know seem to just zoom in on the money first, which isn’t who I am. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Reply

  3. azenfullife Says:

    I bet that did feel great. Years ago I helped a minister put out a booklet. His expectations and the price we agreed upon were on 2 opposite ends on the spectrum. Nothing would have pleased him short of a high price book production. My gut told me not to do it, but my wallet said to do it. It was a miserable experience and I finally had to tell him that enough was enough when he wanted to change the covers after it was printed.

    Reply

  4. Karen Marston Says:

    I fired a client this morning. So liberating! And it’ll give me time to work on the projects I actually enjoy. Win! Good work Gretchen 😀

    Reply

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