It works like this:

A client sends an assignment flying back:

“This is not right at all. Everyone felt it was a bit flat, off the mark. We have to rework this, or try something else. Call me.”

No, we don’t get all huffy and testy. We don’t panic or go fragile.

We do not flash a finger at the screen. (Except maybe once, briefly.) We know this is not personal. 

We are in pro mode. There is something that needs fixing. So we fix it and forget it. We are the still same writer/designer/illustrator we were yesterday. What do clients know, anyway?

We move on.


We’ve been courting a new client with a juicy project. We are so close we can almost taste it. And we get an email:

“It was nice talking to you. But the team decided to go with another freelancer this time.”

No, we don’t get all dejected. It’s not personal. It’s not about us. We are not suddenly incompetent and lame.  It just wasn’t a fit, is all. We’re the same designer/illustrator/writer we were yesterday. What does the team know, anyway?

Forty minutes later, it’s forgotten.


You hear from a client:

” !!  You nailed it! Everyone here is doing backflips over what you did. I’ve never seen them that excited before. Can’t wait to get started. Onward and upward.”

This, of course, is entirely and utterly personal. This is indeed about us. A fist pump and three laps around the office. We re-read the email nine times.

We are not the writer/designer/illustrator we were yesterday. We are now freakin’ over-the-top talented geniuses.

This client gets it. We re-read the email four more times.  We feast on this for a week.

Illogical? Inconsistent? Hell yes.

We’re freelance.  We can have it both ways if we want.