I’m a yes-person.  If someone at my kids’ schools asks me to chair a committee I ask when I need to begin. If they want me to chaperone a dance, I’m there with a smile and the embarrassing dance moves that make my son threaten to stay home.  If they need me to bake 5,000 cupcakes for the teacher’s semi-annual appreciation luncheon committee meeting and fly-fishing tournament, I’ll get up at 2 AM and begin baking with a vengeance.  As you can see, saying no is not the easiest task in the world for me, even though the majority of my time is stretched pretty thinly to begin with.

However, if you want to be a successful home worker, you are going to have to become comfortable with “NO”.  Repeat it over and again if you must.  Practice in the mirror with a firm, serious look on your face.  Don’t be afraid to master the head shake along with the finger point and stern gaze combo that seems to work really well.

There are going to be people in your own corner of the world who know you freelance, they know you are serious about freelancing and they know you are working very hard to be successful at your freelance business.  Yet these same people who can be so patient and supportive are often the first people to play the “but you’re home all day” card. 

Case in point; my mother is a lovely woman in her late sixties who is retired yet still very active.  She used to call me up a minimum of at least three times a week wanting me to have lunch with her or take her somewhere to run errands.  (She can’t drive as her eyesight has greatly diminished).  Now, I have a lot of difficulty saying no to my mother.  She gave me life and made all kinds of sacrifices for me when I was growing up.  But my business will suffer greatly if I am constantly taking her places every day, and I am trying to earn a living and help support a family.

So she and I struck a bargain.  She has one afternoon a week where I am truly at her disposal.  We go out to a local deli or pack a picnic and sit among the shade trees in the park, talking and watching squirrels. Then I take her to run all of her errands and do her shopping for the week.  She is happy with this arrangement because now she is getting the attention and assistance she deserves from me and I still have four full weekdays to run my business and keep all of my ducks in a row.  Now that’s what I call a win-win for everyone.

11/1/2012 09:47:51

It sounds like a very good compromise with your mother. Maneuvering those things doesn't always go so well.


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