Here’s how freelancers can negotiate with courage In order to negotiate better, freelancers need to learn to love the fear of asking for more.


Fear can make us feel powerless and unable to act. I have experienced immense fear that made me feel like I was stuck in place and unable to move. As freelancers, our income is reliant on us getting constant work, leaving us more vulnerable than others when negotiating. Fear can make it difficult for us to advocate for ourselves, triggering our fight, flight, freeze, or surrender responses. In those moments, my worst fears about freelancing surface in my mind and can manifest into physical reactions such as difficulty breathing, a churning stomach, and stiff legs. 

Fortunately, I have found ways to manage and overcome my fear. Speaking up and asking for what I need specifically gives me a sense of control and allows me to gauge their response. Asking for what I need also gives me a mental reprieve and helps me better focus on negotiation. Examples of what I’ve asked for include a change of meeting location, a power cord to show my presentation and more money than they’ve offered.

 I learned that if I just ask for what I need, I can overcome my fear and be a more confident negotiator. Taking action increases my confidence even if the response is not what I desired. Fear can be my ally and a signal to take action to protect myself. With courage and skill, I can bring all my power into a negotiation.

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