Recently a former co-worker of mine (by way of company acquisition) reached out about a project he was hoping that I would work on. I declined but worked in a small bit of permission networking and made an introduction to one of my buddies because I thought that he may be interested in the project and I know he’d be good for the work.
I was then asked why I wasn’t interested in the project, because he knew I could accomplish it in my sleep. I told him the idea didn’t speak to me and I only take on projects that I am passionate about. I wasn’t taken back by being asked “why?”, but the fact that there was this implication that my skill level had anything to do with how I choose to spend my free time.
It’s like saying “you like to code and I’m giving you that opportunity, you should be appreciative of it”. I feel as if this same mentality gets applied to how much someone’s time is worth as well. If you’re able to do what you love to do, why would even think to charge for it?
To make matters worse, my buddy didn’t respond in a timely enough manner for him (reads: he didn’t get a response within five minutes) and he made it a point to mention that to me as well. I never thought that I would be considering myself any more ornery in my old age than I already am, but I let him know that he should be patient because we have lives outside of other people’s projects.
For me, this is just a reminder of why I don’t freelance. The right job or project will consume you in the best possible way. But this, this was just a job, nothing compelling, just exchanging time for money, and a bit of code. Based on the neediness of the guy, he flew his red flag high.