Learning to Say No

Just a quick post I thought I should share:


When I started designing web sites back in 2008, I was driven by an unquenchable thirst to acquire skills to design and develop web sites that would wow my clients and their visitors. Thankfully, the pieces began to fit together as my active pursuit of martian skills matched what you might call God-given talent.

For the first few months, I was happy to do absolutely any job whatsoever, whether it was a church site or a pro bono site for an NGO. However, as my skills and experience increased over the years, a tension began to arise. I was getting about five to ten offers to design web sites every month. Since I aspire to give my best in all I do, I was in a situation where I’d do three or four of those sites, charging very little because I had never dared to cross the common threshold of about 40k. By the end of the month, I was worn out, stressed, broke, and dissatisfied because I hadn’t paid as much attention to the design of the sites as I would’ve wanted to.

So what has changed since then? Simple. I learnt to say no. It’s probably the most important lesson I have learnt in the field so far.

For the creatives and developers out there, if you have paid your dues by acquiring skills the hard way, it may be time for you to start saying no. If people are hunting you down for your work, limit the amount of projects you do and raise the amount of money you charge. After all, that’s the practical logic of demand vs supply in business, right?

Of course they’ll be times when you will make sacrifices for whatever number of reasons. Feel free to do so. But when you do, let that be clear to the beneficiaries.

Be brave and try it, you’ll thank me…

Signed. Martians.