Losing The Bid


I’m fairly rusty with freelance. Frankly, my last freelance gig was almost a decade ago. A lot has changed since then…namely starting a family. But alas, with 2020 being so unique, I thought I’d take a stab at getting back into this arena part time and I wanted to outline some things which happened along the way.

Long story short, I did not get the job.


Through word of mouth, a colleague of mine connected me to one of his clients in Los Angeles. Their company – an app based service for home cooked meals. They had a web app written in AngularJS and looked to add new features on an existing screen.

After a few days and filtering the true needs to be met, I emailed a quote. Thereby getting this reply:

$…for one screen being updated is way out of our budget. I thank you for your time.  Perhaps we can do something together in the future.

– Client XYZ

What Now?

I can’t knock the receiving end for saying no. I too am a customer and I empathize that every scenario is already influenced with a prefixed budget in mind.

But could I have done something else to have supply and demand equal out?

Honestly…no. That said, I thought it’d be best to leave a checklist for those of you in similar scenarios. Here are my essentials I obsessed about behind the scenes before ever striking into a conversation.

Freelance Checklist 2020

✅ Do I really want the gig?

Seriously…do you? Have you spent enough time on your own deeds? Would family time be in jeopardy should you say yes? Decline immediately if you’re on the fence. Neither side will benefit if you’re not all in.

✅ Are my conversations free?

Some people charge like lawyers. I’m not one of them. Free conversations (albeit, you must time box them) is the opportunity for you to filter out what the true needs are from the client.

✅ What’s my quote?

The hardest part. Honestly, the best advice I received as of late came from two fronts.

First, my colleague who connected me. In short, billing from total project cost is recommended if you’re absolutely sure of everything you had to quote. If you have a sense of uncertainty, bill by the hour.

Second, what rate to charge? Make it up (thanks CareerFoundry.com).


At this point, what matters most isn’t that I didn’t close the deal, but the lessons I can uproot after the fact. I hope this checklist sheds some light on your next freelance endeavor.

How do you balance freelance with a full-time career and other lifestyle dynamics? I’d love to know your opinion. Feel free to contact me and hopefully we can get a conversation on this sometime in the future.

Thanks. 🤙🏾