NO is just as important as YES. I know it's hard to hear when you have bills to pay and a reputation to keep but saying yes to every project or new venture could actually be the death of your momentum.
Let's imagine you are at a farmer's market. The fruits and veggies are looking stunning so you start to say yes and buy one of everything. You know you can afford the costs and everything will fit on your bicycle so you find no reason to say no.
You get home and lay out all your goodies only to discover you are only one person and can only eat one fruit or veggie at a time. Over the next week you do your best to eat up the bounty but by day 7 lots of your goods are going bad. You are at your last resort...smoothie. You blend together all the last fruits and veggies into some orange looking concoction that smells of grass after the rain.
Just because you can say yes doesn't mean you always should.
As a freelance artist you are only one person and only you can protect your time, your quality, and your brand.
When you are considering the income of a project you always have to weigh the costs. If you take on a project for a friend completely off brand and too large, the cost will be less time to focus on smaller on-brand projects and taking new exciting client meetings. If you say yes because you need $300 right now - have you stopped to considered any other ways to earn that $300 within the clients and projects you are already booking? Have you looked at your income for the whole month? Do you actually need a new project? Can you push it back to next month when you income and time is lighter?
The ability to say NO takes courage. You must trust in your art, your connections, and your business to pass up what might look like "easy money" for "good money".
The courageous act of saying NO is a privilege that I know not every freelance artist can afford, but when the time comes be brave and say NO so you when the right job does come to you, you are avialable to say YES.
“Saying no elevates your expertise; it allows you to charge more and create scarcity around what you offer—and higher profits,” - Pia, Owner of Worstofall Design