In football, there is a golden rule: if you, as the goalkeeper, decide to intercept an opponent’s cross, you must catch the ball. If you step out of the goal and underestimate the height, an opponent can easily head it into the empty goal. When this happens, it is a classic goalkeeper’s mistake. For everyone in the stadium, you are to blame, not the teammates, not the coach, not the referee, and not the hole in the pitch that prevented you from making a good jump. You alone made the decision, and you alone misjudged. It’s your fault.
As a freelancer, I often think of my time as a goalkeeper and see similarities. When I accept a client’s job, I must get it done. No one cares if I have a “creative block,” if the kitchen in my apartment is flooded after a burst pipe, or if I catch the flu. If I don’t meet the deadline, the responsibility is all mine.
When negotiating deadlines with our clients, let’s always include a time buffer just in case life has other plans.