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Caring for Family

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I’m the emergency point of contact for more than a few of my family members: my work means that I don’t have to ask for leave and, at least in theory, I can drag my laptop along to emergency rooms and elsewhere with little concern. The situation makes sense to me and I don’t have nearly the qualms about it that I have when friends and relatives ask me to drop everything and wait for their cable man.

But caring for family can go beyond short-term emergencies. When a longer-term situation comes up, the fact that a freelancer works at home and has more flexibility makes us the obvious solution. My grandmother passed away a few years ago and I spent her last month caring for her. It was a situation where everyone knew what was coming and wanted to provide in-home hospice care for her.

I made a conscious choice to be a caregiver. Other family members stepped up as well, but I spent several weeks living in the spare bedroom and working from there. I am grateful for the time I had with my grandmother.

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When Do You Say No to Clients?

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We’ve covered firing a client, making a “not to do” list, and coping with client fall out, but what do you do if you just can’t say no? As a new freelancer, I am still loathe to say that I cannot complete a clients request.  My answer right now is “Yes!” – regardless of what they need.  Requests like “Can you do websites?” or “Can you create a 10 page, long copy sales letter about the efficacy of acai on middle aged men in Ohio?” gets the same response from me – “Yes!”

If it’s something I can do, I do it.  If it’s something I can learn, I try and find a way to learn it on my time.  I don’t think it’s fair to learn on the client’s dime.  If it’s something that I can’t do myself, and can’t/won/t/shouldn’t learn how to do it, I will find a provider who can provide the quality I require.

I know this isn’t an ideal business model, but I am confident that there are many readers that find themselves in this situation.

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What to Do When a Client Kills a Project

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So, there you are, working away on a project, and oh, is it a good one. You’re having fun, the client’s loving your work, and then…

…the whole thing comes to a screeching halt.

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