I’m freelancing right now to earn a little extra ‘start-up capital’ for e.m.papers. It was always my back up plan, and last year’s website investments have necessitated a little padding of the ol’ business bank account.

When I started my current gig, it was supposed to be for a limited time, and only three days a week. So far it’s gone weeks and months beyond the original agreement, and my three day week is about as common as a pink unicorn.

Why? Because it’s hard to say no. Especially when one is in the throes of an intense project, with a large client. Even though I know this rationally, I still find it hard to set firm boundaries.

What helps, is to remind myself that when I end this freelance project, I still need a business to come back to. Reviewing the scope and plans for my business reminds me of the stepping-stones I’ve set up to help accomplish my goals for e.m.papers this year. This makes it easier to remember that saying ‘no’ is a commitment to doing what I’ve set out to do to grow and nurture my indie biz.

This all comes back to defining scope. The hardest thing about defining scope is emotional, rather than technical. Deciding whether to use a mind map, or a series of lists is a lot easier than deciding what you’re going to say yes to and what you’re going to say no to.

The fact is,once we define our goals, we have to commit to certain actions and work that are not going to leave room for all of the other things that the world constantly presents us with. This doesn’t mean we can’t be flexible and consider incoming opportunities, but we have to do it consciously, fully aware of what will be sacrificed in order to take the new work on.

Here’s to making next week a three day week.

Photo by Guercio