Monday, October 26, 2009

Just say no

I have a lot of trouble saying no. Part of it is my freelance background. I never know when the next project will show up so I can't turn anything down. This has created some periods of feasting that were too much too handle. A few winters back I got the green light on 3 Chronicle projects (literally 3 days in a row) all due 4 months later. I ended up in the hospital halfway through, laptop bedside, working the whole time. Another part of me hates disappointing people. There's my need to be liked. And then the hard-to-shake anorexic mindset that I can do everything. With no help.

So saying no last night to an intriguing opportunity was exceedingly hard. My ego is having a field day, in fact I think it hired a cheerleading squad to pound my failure into me. I knew it wasn't a realistic situation to pursue. It would have been a huge time committment working with people I don't know on a project that hadn't been thought out based on a point of view I didn't quite get.

I've learned serious lessons this particular go-round. I have to believe wholeheartedly in what I put my energy into. I have to work with people I like and trust. Professional relationships should stay just that. I don't need everyone to like me. I have a far stronger backbone than anyone gave me credit for, including myself. I fight, hard, for what I think is right.

And my skin is still thin.

I sent a couple of gracious emails to those I declined and they weren't received particularly well. I know I'll be spinning that, along with the thought that this was the last opportunity anyone will ever give me for anything for at least the rest of the day.

Sigh. Day 27 is fraught with self-doubt.


Joy said...

I have a terrible time saying "no" as well. Owning my own firm, I have that same feast or famine mindset. But you did the right thing. You have so much to do to get ready for the FLOW release and to support it - and if you don't "get" the project, that lag time would eat up precious days you would need to be working. I'm proud of you for saying no!!

Jeremy said...

Saying no is so difficult for those who have freelance gigs. I experience that from time to time, and it's definitely painful to have to say no.

Gordon and Silber, P.C. said...

You don't seem to have the problem with me.

Alan Underkofler said...

Well I don't seem to have any problem saying no to clients but it does come up for me in other places... Typically charitable causes pull my heart stings and before I know it I am saying yes... I cannot keep track of how many times I have had to go on a yes diet for months at a time because my plate was just too full!