3 Signs You’re Just Too Damned Nice
I picked up freelancing about a year and a half ago, and as I look back I see how it changed me not just as a professional, but as a person.
Now you’ll see what I mean about the personal part.
Because at the beginning of the journey I’d be glad to get just any deal, from anyone, even if it meant working long hours for peanuts. I was just too damned nice.
It cost me both money and time.
But you avoid this mistake easily if you’re aware of it.
So here’s 3 signs you’re just too damned nice and how to avoid this costly mistake (even if you’re not self-employed)
1. You Can’t Say No
Sounds obvious? It is less so when there’s money and a “great” potential long-term gig on the line.
I think there’s no freelancer in the world who didn’t get screwed because they couldn’t say no to a bad offer at least once during their career.
Here’s how it goes:
You’re a rookie, eager to please so when someone makes an offer to you…
You know, the first gig is cheap cause they don’t yet trust you yet, or because right now they just don’t have the money, but they will soon and then you’ll get more jobs, at a higher rate and all that…
And you nod your head in agreement because it’s a logical proposal.
Except it’s total bullcrap.
Just think about it. They’ve already seen your portfolio, and if you work for a couple of bucks now, why’d they throw the big money at you later…when they already know you don’t value your time.
This doesn’t only apply to freelancing.
If you pay attention you’ll see this con being played all the time, with different spins. And if you can’t say no, chances are you’ll be on the receiving end of it.
That unpaid internship where they can fire you in the first 3 months with no reason at all but might just land you your dream job? Oh yeah.
That slacker you know who asks you favors all the time, then makes promises just to break them? Yup.
Even that girl at the bar who just might start paying attention to you once you buy them a couple of drinks? You betcha.
Long story short, fuck them all.
Value your time, prove your worth and don’t take a deal that’s stacked against you. And shiny promises of the future which might or might not happen shouldn’t be considered.
That said, this advice isn’t your wildcard to be an entitled a-hole if you have no worth to prove.
2. Your Value-First Approach Doesn’t Get You Deals
This is kinda like the first one, except in this case there’s not even a distant promise deal on the table and you’re still busting your ass.
Giving some value first to get deals, good faith and all that later is solid advice in most cases…
But only if you know how to turn it into a deal later on.
If you have no clue and find yourself working hard to please everyone and get nothing in exchange, you’re just wasting your time.
From a freelancing point of view, here’s how it looks:
You’re eager to get a job, so after carefully reviewing what your potential client asks you get to work. You do his bidding to your best knowledge before even having a solid contract on the table…
Maybe you even deliver it to the potential client so he just has to fill in the blanks or just finish what you’ve started…
And you expect your would’ve been client to pay.
Well, guess what?
He just got exactly what he needed for free. You’re officially and royally screwed over. Why’d they pay after you’ve already delivered all you had without any assurance they’ll pay whatsoever.
Value-first means you give them something valuable to demonstrate your usefulness, but this ‘something’ on its own shouldn’t be enough to get the job done.
Maybe it’s obvious when I put it like this, but I’ve been guilty of this when starting out.
And chances are, if you’re just too damned nice, you have been too. Maybe you don’t even realize it.
Now onto the last one.
3. Questioning Your Choices…Long After You’ve Made Them
Remember that client who didn’t want to pay what you originally agreed upon, but was kinda nice and cool to work with after all?
Well, you shouldn’t.
If they screwed you over once, they’ll do it again if you give them the chance. Even if there’s a point where it looks like they won’t do it ever again. They will.
Because they’ve already done it once. And if you gave them a second chance, that only means they’ve gotten away with it.
So what’s stopping them from doing it again?
The fear of actually losing you this time?
Please let me take a break to have a laugh.
So the point is if you’ve made up your mind once, just stick with it and go forward. There’s no time to waste second-guessing yourself and making the same mistakes again and again.
This applies to biz partners, employers, partners, friends, and every human relationship whatsoever.
There are plenty of fish in the sea.
So What To Do Instead Of Being Too Nice?
Well, you could try being strategic. Unlike I was in this long, venting post.
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