There are two types of people in this world: those who can say 'no' and those who cannot. While there could be a slim gray area in this spectrum, many people are all or nothing on this topic. When it comes to business, knowing when to tell someone 'no' is essential for your success and your sanity.
Saying 'no' in freelancing may be hard to get used to. After all,
why would you say 'no' to someone who is looking to hire you for your
services? What you have to consider before accepting each job is how
it will impact your business overall. If you are taking jobs that
provide very low wages, you may be setting yourself up for a hard
time when it comes to getting the good high paying jobs. This may not
be an instance where you decline outright, but it could be a chance
to negotiate the price. If it is still not within the realm of
possibility to take the job, decline it.
Another instance where 'no' works well is when a client wants you to
do something that you do not feel comfortable doing. "No means no"
works in a lot of situations and this is one of them. If, for instance,
a client wants you to write about their illegal gambling business and
you feel that is morally unacceptable (no matter what price they
offer) don't do it just for the money. After all, who wants articles,
graphics or other material in their portfolio for an illegal
business? More likely, the client will ask you to do more work than
the payment is worth or ask that your name not appear on your work.
When you ghostwrite or design, that should be agreed upon upfront if
you are comfortable with it.
The last instance where freelancers have a hard time saying no is
when the jobs just keep rolling in. If you are swamped with work,
there is a chance that you could miss deadlines, turn in
less-than-stellar work or just burn out before the projects are
completed. Know your limits before you take on too many jobs. The
great part about this instance is you can pick a fancy way to say
'no'—something like “I would love to accept your project, but my
schedule is full at the moment.”
Saying no? I'm a pushover and I won't sugarcoat that. It's a lot
easier for me to say 'no' online, but when I'm face-to-face with
someone, I often cave in. Maybe that's why I have chosen to work in
front of a computer screen all day with minimal human contact. This
belongs to an ever-growing list of things I would like to work on.