Sin categoría, Translation

How to Say No

Hello everyone!

Today I want to talk about how to say NO.

As a freelance translator, I know how difficult it is to say no to a project or a client.

When we begin in this business, we can’t afford to say no to any work, otherwise, how are we going to find and keep clients? But many of those first projects are paid at very low rates or have tight deadlines and we drive ourselves crazy trying to accommodate.

After a while, if you are lucky, you begin to get more clients and more projects, some of which will bring a better payment.

So, you need to prioritize, which clients are bringing more work at better-paid rates? Or which projects are the ones that pay the best?

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Photo by Andrew Neel on

Here is when you will need to start saying no. Either because the rates offered are too low compared to how much other clients are paying you, or because the deadline is ridiculous.

Has it ever happened to you that you are asked by a client to complete a project, the same day, but they send it to you at 4:55 pm of that day, offering a low rate per word or per project?

You’d probably say yes and keep on working until late to get it done and sent. But when your business starts to grow, you also have to think about which and how many projects you can actually take, and which ones work best for you.

I know many people say you shouldn’t say no, but sometimes you have no choice. Saying no is not a bad thing, as long as you are very polite about it and you explain why you cannot meet the requirements.

It is not about getting in a fight with a client, it is about charging what you deserve to make for a certain project, especially if it comes with a tight deadline. You can say no or you can say, “I can do it, but I will need to charge you an extra fee for rush delivery or for a weekend surplus.”

I try not to take on projects during the weekend because it is the only time I have to spend with my family and with myself! Also, it is when I can run errands and do other stuff that I don’t have time to do during the week.

Also, I don’t take on long projects that have a 24-hour deadline. I know I won’t have enough time to finish it and proofread it, or if I do, I know it will be a rushed work that I won’t be happy with.

Of course, may clients say, “But it is not so many words, why can’t you deliver them earlier?” or “I thought you were available 24/7?”

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Photo by on

I love my work as a freelance translator, but that should not mean that I cannot have any sleep or that I always have to feel like I’m not going to meet a deadline.

Your health and your sanity will thank you for taking the necessary time to take care of yourself. If you are feeling great, your work will also be great.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t make exceptions for loyal clients, but you have to learn when and how you can make these exceptions.

What has your experience been like? Can you say no? Let me know your thoughts on this subject in the comments, and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!

Until next time, have a wonderful day!






2 thoughts on “How to Say No”

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