On second thought.

Have you ever made a decision under some kind of pressure and later realised you don’t want to do what you agreed to?

Like say an overbearing client talked you into working for a lower pay. Or a sweet-talking client conned you into visiting their office every week. Or you said you’ll do something on a Sunday that you don’t want to.

Remember that it’s okay to change your mind. Don’t hesitate to call and say, “On second thought, I’ve decided against doing what I agreed to”.

  • Of course you can’t do it often, else it’ll seem like you are unreliable or flaky.

  • Don’t take too long to change your mind. Say, if you agreed to deliver something on Monday for the upcoming Sunday. Don’t wait until Saturday night to change your mind. Any later than Tuesday morning is too late!

  • Have a strong reasoning for change of mind. If you feel that you have under-quoted and want to revise your proposal, build a case for why the project deserves more.

  • Suggest an alternative, if you can. If you’re declining a project, offer to refer other people. If you’re raising your rates, offer a credit note or something for future discounts.

  • Always call or meet in person when you do this. An email can seem definite, curt or even rude. But you will be able to negotiate / clarify during the phone call.

To prevent getting in that situation though, I have a rule. I don’t make decisions without sleeping over them. In the early days of freelance anxiety, this used to be the case for every single decision. Now, it’s just the big ones. Either way, saying, “I’d like to sleep over it” gives me the space not to be rushed into something by other people’s confidence / urgencies.