Author’s Note: This is a re-post of a note that I wrote on Facebook on April 2012, shortly after I started working as a freelance web designer.
If there’s one truth in economics that translates completely to life, it is the fact that something has value because it’s finite. Whether it’s air, fresh water, or that girl/boy you know that will clear her/his schedule completely to just hang out with you for 10 minutes at the 7-11, anything that is always available is never valuable to you.
Learn the power of the word “no.” People avoid responding to requests with “no” because it is abrasive and can be perceived as “negative,” but I actually love the word. I love the surprised look and chuckle people give me when I tell them “no” when they already assumed that I would comply with their requests, no matter how ridiculous or unfavorable it would be for me.
If you provide services, be sure to place limits on your work, whether is based on time, money, or milestones. Otherwise, your clients will assume that you are a slurpee machine and all they have to do is push the knob for more “slurpee.” Now, if you believe “the customer is always right” and that it’s a good idea to bend over backwards to satisfy them, then best of luck to you. I’m sure they’ll be happy to empty out a slurpee machine for $1.29.
So always be willing to say “no.” Whether it’s in the course of your work, your social relationships, or with family members, if you treat your time as valuable, others will do so as well.