I have a problem with saying no to anyone, especially when it's for a good cause. I was recently asked to help design the look/feel for a website for an organization that will be putting on a business conference in SLC next month. I was excited to help where I could and knew that there wouldn't be a normal payment involved (we were going to work out a deal where I'd get some sponsorship - i.e. put my logo, etc. there at the show. I couldn't resist and agreed to help them out, even though I was fearful of the tight deadline they put on it.
As I started to work on this project, other deadlines for current customers were constantly popping up (go figure). And of course, as this occurred I was forced to put the website design project down the line on my task list. Making everyone happy is nearly impossible, but I always try my best.
I ended up failing. I failed to give the client what he was looking for and I failed at communicating my overloaded schedule with them so they'd understand why I couldn't do it as quickly as I thought I would. But it doesn't matter that I was going to do it for next to nothing. And it doesn't matter that the reason I couldn't was because I've got a lot of other pressing deadlines on my plate. I told him I would do it in the first place and I ended up failing.Failing hurts.
It hurts not just me but the client. I'm reluctant to even mention this on the blog, but I do it hoping that you will learn from my experience. I'm a bit of a perfectionist on many levels, so it hurts badly to have failed in a few areas at the same time. But I can't afford to wallow in despair about it. I must stand back up, dust off my clothing and keep on running. And now I'm more determined than ever to be more realistic with my answers (both "yes" and "no") when asked to work on something. I'm determined to do what ever it takes to come through when I commit to do something for someone, whether it be pro bono, paid or trade.