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Freelancing means the freedom to say no June 7, 2010

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices.
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I love freelancing. It affords me the freedom to work from home and to work when I want on the jobs I want. As freelancers we are free to say no. I just said no tonight and do not regret it one bit. I received an e-mail from a client informing me they were changing their payment terms to 60 days (“60 days after receiving the invoice, on the 15 or last day of every month” to be exact). They also informed me they would only be paying in Canadian dollars and only via Paypal. If I didn’t have a Paypal account I was to “please attain one, and provide us with your Paypal email address.” I sent them an e-mail asking them to remove me from their database. I am willing to accept quite a few things from my clients, such as a payment term of 45 days from my favorite client; however, it is a two-way street. Treat me with respect, and I will treat you with respect and bend over backwards for you (like translating 10,000 words during my move when I initially agreed to 5,000 and being happy to do so). I don’t like being dictated to, and luckily I am free to choose the clients with whom I wish to I work. They feel like they needed to change their payment terms because their clients changed theirs. I am glad that I at least have the freedom to say no.

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Comments»

1. freelance - June 8, 2010

yeah… i really love your title on your post… also the content… that’s what i really love about freelancing also i have the time of my life, plus the fact that i can only choose to work on those projects of my interest. I have also sought advices from an Outsourcing Adviser like http://pragmaticoutsourcing.com to gain more knowledge about that!

Alex Eames - June 8, 2010

Comment 1 from freelance is very general and containing three links to the same web site? (poster’s own site). Looks a bit spammy to me Jill.

jillsommer - June 8, 2010

Hi Alex,

It probably is. It is so hard to tell what is and isn’t credible sometimes. I prefer to give commenters the benefit of doubt though. At least this one wrote something that was tangential to the post, which is why I allowed it to go through. Whether people click on the link is up to them. I certainly didn’t…

2. Alex Eames - June 8, 2010

I agree with every word you wrote. If more translators would start standing up for reasonable business practice, then things wouldn’t be sliding down into the mud. Just say no. 😉

Oh, and while you’re obtaining a dedicated paypal account, into which we will only pay canadian dollars, we require you to pay us for the privilege of using our in-house system and we will regularly send you urgent weekend work with no surcharges. Yeah – right!

3. Tess Whitty - June 9, 2010

Way to go! People, say no to bad payment terms, low rates, impossible deadlines, weekend jobs with no surcharge and to sketchy terms and jobs. But most important, say no to unethical translations and projects. That is why I love being a freelancer too.

4. Sarah Dillon - June 10, 2010

Good on you Jill, and thanks for sharing. We do more for the profession as a whole by exercising our right to say no. That “line” might be different for everyone, but the point is to know where it is in the first place!

5. Benny the Irish polyglot - June 11, 2010

Too many demanding requests like this one mean that I have just said one huge no to everyone and changed careers… 😛

6. smtranslations - June 14, 2010

Yes, I think we should keep our ‘minimum requirements’. Agengies are taking advantage of the current situation! We have to remember what we are: freelancers and how we decided to become one in the first place! Cheers,


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