Rejection: The First Step to Freelancing?


I officially got dumped by a client this week. I had been regularly writing articles for this specific client for a couple months now. Out of the blue, I receive a notice that my writing was not what he wanted any longer and he had to add too much to it before publishing. Mind you, I would bold words – he tells me he would take care of them. I add pictures – he tells me he prefers to do the illustrations.

I can honestly say I was not doing my best work. I made sure to never spend more than an hour researching and writing each article because the pay was not enough to even spend that much time. The client expected me to spend my own money to download apps and then research before writing each article. Downloading the apps alone cost more than how much he was paying. This means before I start to write, I am into negative payment. I did ask him on two occasions if there was a budget for apps purchase or if there was any way to increase the pay. Never once up until this point did he tell me he did not like my writing, and I had written at least ten at that point.

After reading the rejection letter, I felt cheated. I felt personally attached even though it is all business and nothing personal. However, my personal brand is ME both professionally and personally. It makes me sad to think someone did not appreciate my work. What it does mean is that I put myself out there and out of all the clients I have gained, there has only been one rejection. That doesn’t seem too bad.

I try to take everything as a learning experience. This teaches me that not everyone is going to like everything I do, but I need to keep going because there are many who do like what I have to offer. It also teaches me that I really need to focus on every project and not let any out the door that would not have my stamp of approval, no matter what I am being paid.

Have any of you received a rejection? Tell your stories in the comments below.


4 thoughts on “Rejection: The First Step to Freelancing?

  1. Drachen Dame

    Anybody who ever applied for academic jobs will have received rejections. Each university has a certain idea of what type of researcher and research they are looking for. They read your proposals, and either decide that they are interested, or that you are not a match. It doesn’t say anything about the quality of your research ideas. It just means that in this particular case, you and the department don’t match.
    I think you will discover the same in your job. There are jobs/people that match with you. Others won’t. The lesson you learned is a good one – only let things go out the door that have your own stamp of approval. Currently, your life is tought on that part, as you are trying to build a client base. In the future, if somebody isn’t willing to pay what the job is worth, you can politely say “I’m not interested.” I pray that this day will come sooner rather than later! But come it will, as long as you continue on your current path. When I first started my job, anything that could be considered as “sign of respect/standing”, I had to accept that job. Now, I don’t. I’ve said “no” to things, because they weren’t worth my effort. Or because I felt like it wasn’t a match. Or because I had other things to do.

  2. Editor

    Hi Andrea,

    A lot of it comes from client expectations, eg they expect you to download apps etc in your own time.

    The next time you do a project, state the ALL project related tasks will be billed for, though you may want to word it more gently 🙂


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