freelancing · safeguarding your business · tips for freelancers

1. Learn to use and trust your instinct


Lessons in freelance translation, n. 1

Trusting your instinct is crucial when it comes both to personal relationships and client relations. How many times have you heard yourself say “I knew this would happen. I should have trusted my instinct”.

But you didn’t.

It’s a common belief that first impressions count.

But how much attention are we actually paying to them?

Of course, I must say that, under normal circumstances, we ought to give people the benefit of the doubt, a second or even a third chance.

That’s what I always did.

But then I kept realising that something which is wrong right from the start, is not going away.

As far as freelance translation is concerned, if you see that something’s “iffy” about a project or a client, it’s your call to stop it and to safeguard yourself from any possible negative outcome.

There are many examples in a freelancer’s life that teach us that we should stay away from situations that can be too challenging to cope with. Too challenging doesn’t always mean that it’s bad. It just isn’t right for us. The moment we see that something feels wrong we need to take that shield and be strong enough non to proceed.

Saying “no” applies to dodgy translation clients, projects that require a lot of hard work for little money, outsourcers who want to pay as less as possible expecting an impeccable translation ASAP. I am sure you can add something to the list as we have all been there.

I once read in “Women Who Run with the Wolves”, a great book by Clarissa Pinkola Estés that using your instinct requires that you first develop it which translates to listening to your inner voice each time it starts to talk.

If you ignore that inner voice, you are only making it weaker and weaker.

Our inner voice is there for a reason.

Let’s do our best to listen to what it says.

Before we find ourselves say that same old “I knew this would happen. I should have trusted my instinct”.


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