Saying ‘NO’ as a Designer

Often as designers, we tend to try and get a good number of clients so that we can build a well sized clientele. This is more common with freelance designers such as me. For me, saying yes is much easier than saying no. It took me time to realize that I was mistaken all this time. Remember, it’s never too late to learn or realize something. Here is why sometimes saying NO can work out better for you : —

Not Every Opportunity is Worth Your Time

As a commercial designer, I get invited often to design conferences and seminars all around the country. But, there is limited time and a lot of work to be done. I generally type a polite yet straightforward email, letting them (the organizer) know I wouldn’t be attending. Keeping a schedule noted down somewhere really helps to organize my workflow and helps me in deciding what I should fill my hands with, and to what I should say NO to.

Filter Out Your Freelance Projects

Be suspicious

It’s okay to send out a hundred proposals to potential clients in one day. What’s not okay is to send proposals to people or firms posting jobs without giving enough detail and without confirming their payment options. You absolutely do not want to work for somebody who pays late, or ends up not paying you at all. If a project doesn’t seem legit or is further away from your skill set, just say NO. You will not lose credibility. After all, there are plenty of fish in the sea.

Creativity is Not Secondary, It’s What You Do Best

If you believe in something, Stand for it.

If you’re not standing for your designs, you’re not doing it right. If a client is telling you your designs are not right or they’re ‘BAD’ according to one of my older clients. Tell him/her to cancel your contract. This one is especially for for freelancers, be it a beginner or a well established face. Take criticism, learn from it, and move on. Also, try and take opportunities or jobs where you get to design freely under a few guidelines. Such opportunities will help you grow as a designer and also keep your creativity, wild and wide.

End of The Day, Ask For Advice From Someone At a Higher Position in Your Line

If you’ve related to this post till now, you’re definitely on the correct path. But, often I get stuck in making a decision, as it could be something new I’m about to try or maybe just another opportunity which knocks at my doorstep. The best and fastest way to get out of such a dilemma is to make sure you get some advice from a senior in your workplace, or from a designer you know who can give you the right set of ideas and guidance. I remembered being called to Mumbai(India), for a design project to work on. I asked somebody who’s been in the software and design business for a couple of more years than me, and he gave me a good insight into what I would gain and what I’d lose out on if I accepted the project. This helped me make my decision and confidently say NO to the project.

Be straightforward, be smart and believe in your talent.

WORD OF THE DAY — OPPORTUNITY ( something designers get, but only the smart one’s can make the right decision )

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