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In part 1, I talked about what I call the Control Freak Streak in freelancers – the desire to control our careers that can leave us trying to do everything without assistance, no matter how time-consuming, time wasting and stressful that is.

And that’s closely related to another problem – saying yes to every project we’re offered.


Fail 2: Being Too Scared To Say No

The first act of some deprived children, when first transported into a world where food and drink is freely available, is to take as much as they can and hide it away. This isn’t because they’re ‘bad’ people; it’s because behaving like this has been the only way they can survive.

I mention this because some freelancers exhibit this same desperation too. Even if those first frantic days of freelancing are well behind them and they’re charging a reasonable rate for work they find satisfactory, the temptation to say yes to any work they’re offered can be overpowering, no matter how badly-paid or mind-numbingly boring it may be.

It’s work! Work isn’t always there! Sometimes it disappears! It may only pay £8 an hour, but at least it’s MONEY, their brains scream at them. (Yes, this used to be me. I got over it).

But you have your reputation to consider, not to mention your mindset, and the hours you’re about to spend proof-reading the badly-written World’s 100 Most Unremarkable Plumbing Failures could be hours spent working on something far more enjoyable – for a far higher return. Plus, low-paid difficult and/or boring work can be very demoralising. Remember, you’re working to live, not living to work.

Sometimes, we also have a fear of letting a client down, particularly if they’re long-standing and we’ve built up a warm working relationship. If we say no to them, will they ever offer us work again?

How to Avoid Fail 2:


And guess what – even if the work you’re offered is well paid and appealing, there are still times you should say no. All will be revealed in Fatal Freelancing Fails – Part 3!



About The Author

Karl Bilby

We work very closely with our expert accountants to bring you the latest factually correct tax and accounting news. We also enjoy writing about small business news that we hope you find useful!

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