My work focuses on writing electronic newsletters and other “publishable” things (white papers, interviews, articles, etc.).
Occasionally, however, clients ask me to do other things, some of which can be pretty far afield from what I’m really good at. I’ve learned to say “No thank you.”
1. When I do work that doesn’t come easily to me, it takes me longer. Since I bill everything on a prearranged fee basis, that means I do more work for a given amount of money.
2. When I do work that doesn’t come easily to me, the output is not as terrific. That means my clients, while hopefully ultimately satisfied, are not as thrilled as they are with the other work I do.
When you add it up, that means I have to work harder and work longer to make the same amount of money, and my clients are given an inferior product.
When I stick to my sweet spot, on the other hand, it’s easy, fun and fast, and I can ultimately make more money since that leaves me more time (and energy) for other work. And few things feel better than when a client sings your praises and cuts you a big check in the same breath.
“Never say ‘No’ to a client.”? If you ask me, that’s just one more piece of solo professional mythology that needs a closer look.