I’ve always had a problem saying no to people. I feel horrible when I disappoint someone, so I am constantly saying yes. Saying no is something that I am learning is not such a bad thing to do at times.
Before I became a full-time freelance Technical Writer, I was blogging for several blog teams. In addition to that, I was also guest blogging. One thing about blogging is that it takes time, unless it is a subject that you consider yourself very knowledgeable in.
I quickly came to realize that the money in blogging wasn’t really worth it. Here was the breakdown:
- You get a topic that you do not know whatsoever. You just faintly know about it because you read other feeds that cover it, or you hear it on the news.
- Due to the fact that you don’t know it, you have to do extensive research. Research is not something that takes five to ten minutes. It usually takes about an hour or two for you to familiarize yourself with the topic.
- You have to check sources to ensure that they are credible. Also, if your client wants SEO titles and descriptions, you have to deliver on that as well. Tackle on another 30 minutes.
- You begin writing, but you are constantly checking yourself, so it takes longer than expected to write the article. The writing part takes about another hour.
- You edit, edit, edit. As much as you edit, you still feel like you’ve missed something. Add 30 minutes.
Total Time = 3-5 hours
Even though I decided in the Spring to not blog for anyone but myself, I still agreed to do it for a non-profit organization. During the same time, I was writing my handbook, working on my workshop, and meeting with a few individuals on other ventures. I learned that I do need to begin saying no to jobs that I don’t feel comfortable undertaking because I only disappoint the client and myself. Being that I was overly busy, I didn’t take the time that I should have on the blog post. Therefore, it turned out to be a disaster. The only good thing that came out of it was that I learned a little bit more about a topic that before I had no clue about. However, I was upset that I let the non-profit down.
Learn to say no. People don’t like to hear the word, but it’s better than placing yourself in an awkward position that you will later regret. The only thing that will suffer is the quality of your work, your integrity, and brand. My mother made me feel better. She said that everyone makes mistakes, and all you can do is learn from them. She continued by saying that from now on, I will know to focus on the things that I want to work on, like technical writing and proposal writing. Those are my two greatest loves, and I can talk about those two subjects to death. I have been doing it for over nine years, so I can quickly write an blog post about it because I know so much about the topics.
When you are starting your own business, it is especially hard to say no. You want to make money, and you want to get your name out there. Nevertheless, you have to still remain true to yourself. I love blogging, but about the subjects that I love writing about. I had this conversation with a blogger who was starting out. I told him that if he didn’t know much about the topic, it was going to take a long time to write the blog posts. He later contacted me, and told me that he found that to be the case. I think that from now on, I will say no. It’s better to disappoint the person for the first five minutes than in the long run. It is a great business lesson to learn from the beginning.