Death and deadlines<rant>

I’ve been to three funerals so far this year. Life is short. Life is for living. Not for agonising about deadlines.


Your freelancers don’t want to spend their precious time knocking themselves out trying to meet unreasonable deadlines.

If you’re late providing the brief, your freelancer may have to renegotiate the deadlines or charge a rush fee.

It’s not being greedy. What price would you put on losing your children’s playtime? Or missing the gym? Or spending time with your elderly parents? Or sleeping? That’s what your freelancer sacrifices when you expect them to drop everything and work evenings or weekends for you.

Don’t assume your freelancer has always delivered on time in the past so they always will, even if you’re late to provide them with what they need to do a good job.

They want to please you. They’ll happily deliver on time when you do your share.


There’s a phrase I remember from the ’70s: “Lack of preparation on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part“.

Don’t let clients mess you around. If you want to be treated with respect, you have to set boundaries.

If a client is late (or is otherwise abusing your good nature), go back to them. Tell them you need to charge more, or get in extra help, or move the deadline. Or sack them (walk away.) Do this before it becomes an issue, not afterwards.

Don’t be a doormat and let clients walk on you.

If they’re from the corporate world, they might not be used to dealing with freelancers. They might be used to delegating to employees who get paid the same no matter how much or little work they do. You need to educate these clients (politely, of course).

You have permission to take control. Manage the situation. The more confidence you have, the more you can charge and the more you’re worth what you earn.


My clients are all lovely and we have a relationship of mutual respect. But this subject came up in a group mentoring discussion recently so I thought it was worth sharing. I hope you find it helpful.

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