My Never-Say-Never Rules for Freelancers

10/25/2012 03:51 pm ET | Updated Dec 25, 2012

Yesterday, a writer in my online community for freelancers said you should never listen to success tips that begin with the word "never." That got me thinking. Here's what I thought:

My Never-Say-Never Rules for Freelancers

  1. Never work for free. Unless it gets you on The Today Show, sells your product or bumps your book into the top 100 on Amazon.
  2. Never steal an idea another freelancer is pursuing.
  3. Never stop being enterprising.
  4. Never stop learning.
  5. Never take it out on the woman at the airline ticket counter.
  6. Never expect that buying a new car or a cherry-wood floors will increase your happiness over the long-term.
  7. Never climb someone else's ladder.
  8. Never mistake your present state for how things will be in the future.
  9. Never stay inside your bubble so long you forget what it feels like to take a risk.
  10. Never let the person who hired you abuse you in any way.
  11. Never be afraid to ask for what you want and feel you deserve.
  12. Never expect to have success as a writer without sitting down and writing.
  13. Never take one negative reaction as the end-all answer about who you are.
  14. Never start a blog about Honey Boo Boo.
  15. Never let sources read your draft before it runs.
  16. Never address an editor as "Dear Sir."
  17. Never work for mean people.
  18. Never send money to a stranger who emails you in the middle of the night about being robbed in Nigeria.
  19. Never underestimate the power of collaboration.
  20. Never neglect the parts of your life that really matter: love, relationships, health, dignity.
  21. Never shy away from having coffee with smart, interesting, creative people.
  22. Never believe you have run out of options, hope, possibilities or good ideas.
  23. Never say never when it comes to my favorite question about success: "Hey, why NOT me?"

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