The arduous art-form of saying “No”

Artwork by Neha Lee
  1. Trust your gut. Where there is smoke, there is fire.
  2. Read the contract. Not once, not twice, but AT LEAST three times.
  3. If you have a trustworthy person in your life, a partner/husband/wife/business consultant/friend, let them read it too. Sometimes having an extra pair of eyes helps you see things in a completely different light and from a different perspective.
  4. If you are a auditory learner, have the contract read to you.
  5. Be clear about your base pay.
    Your hourly rate needs to make you happy. If it makes you unhappy, you will be unhappy performing the task EVEN if it is something you love to do. Do not settle for less- you’ve worked hard to finesse your skills.
  6. Do not let someone tell you your hourly is too high when you have the experience. Remember as a self employed person you are in charge of paying your own taxes, your insurance, subscriptions, softwares, hardware and other utilities that help make your space a functional work space. You are running your business. Don’t let a stranger disrespect that.
  7. Be precise about your job description.
    DO NOT let an employer add services you do not provide in your contract. These words are legally binding. Failure to perform services will put you, the freelancer, in a bad position subject to legal repercussions.
  8. Just because a job “looks good” doesn’t meant its good for you.
  9. When verbal agreements do not match the written contract- RUN.
    Unless you want to negotiate. That’s YOUR choice. You are offering them YOUR services, not the other way round.
  10. You do not have to explain your decisions to anyone.
    If you weren’t happy with the terms and conditions you do not have to explain anything. They are not entitled to an explanation. However, if you want to point out where mistakes were made then you have every right to as well. Remember, its your business.
  11. Poor communication from your potential employer is a RED flag.
    This will be a factor that will affect you adversely. Waiting on someone for a response, especially if he/she/they are bad communicators, is disrespectful of everyones time especially yours.
  12. NEVER lie about your skill set.
    If there is a task you don't do as well as others in your skill set be honest about it. Lying about a skill you don’t have will hurt you, directly or indirectly.
  13. Do not compromise on your goals for the sake of a temporary contract.
    Do not let a stranger make you feel small because you said no. Again, it’s not their business. It’s yours.
  14. Contracts do not need to have tricky language.
    They only need to be clear. Using words that can mean many things can lead to vagueness and miscommunication. Do not use words you don't normally use to describe a task. Every word is legally binding.
  15. Opportunities come and go. Don’t beat yourself up.
    My father would always say, “As one bus leaves, another arrives.”
  16. NEVER sign a contract right away.
    Let it simmer. Think about it before you make a decision. What might feel great at the beginning might start to rot in a matter of hours.
  17. Mistakes happen. We are humans. NOT cogs.
  18. Keep Hustling. Yes, it can be discouraging but don’t stop the hustle. It pays off. I guarantee it.
  19. Your intuition is not as random as it seems. We might not always realise it, but the brain is constantly comparing our current situation with our memories of previous situations. So when a decision feels intuitive, it might in fact be based on years of experience.
  20. Be kind to yourself, Always.




Visual Story Teller.

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Neha Lee

Neha Lee

Visual Story Teller.

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