It never fails: my services are never more in demand than right before I leave town for a trip. Since I have a lot of travel planned for April, I shouldn’t have been surprised to be flooded with requests.
I’m not exaggerating. In four days I got requests to do seven major projects, all with the bulk of the work falling right in the middle of Travel Month.
By the time Request #7 arrived, I was in a bit of a panic. I really like this client and I wanted to do the project, but between the mid-month wedding and the end-of-month conference, how could I meet the April 29 due date, particularly when I had other projects to balance? I felt overwhelmed and considering the other projects on my plate, I just couldn’t see a way out.
I drafted the email response, declining the project. But I stopped myself just before I clicked send. What if there was another option?
I deleted the original email and composed a new one. I explained that I was booked with other projects for the first part of the month, but that if she had flexibility with her deadline, could we start the project on the 12th? That would give me a solid week to generate a first draft, a relaxing respite at the wedding while they did their review, and then three days for me to work on the second revision between my return from the wedding and my departure for the conference. Again, they could review in my absence, and I could finalize upon my return, just one week later than their initial target date. I held my breath and clicked send.
Much to my surprise and delight, she said yes. We now have a carefully structured schedule built around my needs, one that should allow me to not only travel, but also travel with a clear conscience.
As my mother always said, it never hurts to ask.
Has anyone else tried this? (And I can just imagine what the workload will be as I get ready for the Creative Freelancer Conference, June 23-24 in Chicago!)