As human beings, we all have boundaries, limits, and “lines in the sand” we promised ourselves not to cross. This applies to price, as well as personal or ethical limits. Since they are subjective and personal in nature, it may seem unprofessional to flaunt them or even mention them at all until absolutely necessary.

In most cases, I would disagree. Everybody always talks about their good sides, but since experts are not miracle workers and are bound by similar circumstances these usually come out sounding pretty similar. Your “bad sides”, however…

Limitations are more important than abilities. It applies to characters–what they cannot do, what they won’t let themselves do, is more interesting in general than what they can do. It applies to worldbuilding. The costs of living in a harsh world are more interesting, often than the benefits

Brian Sanderson, Sanderson’s second law

This quote comes from a person who managed to stand out in an extremely competitive environment – he’s a successful author of epic fantasy and science fiction. In the literal mountains of books that get published each year, his works usually stand out.

Give your prospects a chance to self-select by communicating your price and limits as upfront as possible – you are doing nobody a favor by stringing them along until the very last moment. This is scary, but it’s both more efficient and fair.


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