Wellbeing / Business values

25 lies told by freelancers and clients

Liars are everywhere, but they’re hard to spot, even if their pants are on fire. Never fear, I’ve researched the top 25 business lies told by freelancers and clients. Actually, there are only 14, but 25 will bait more readers.


If you’ve worked as or with a freelancer, you’ll no doubt have heard and spouted a whole bunch of non-core promises. Freelancers and clients alike know they’re lies, but play along anyway.

Here are the top business lies according to my in-depth global research (not really).

Top business lies told by freelancers:

1. I’m really excited about your project = I’m really excited about your money

2. I’m flexible to meet anytime this week = I have no work on at the moment

"I’m flexible to meet anytime this week = I have no work on at the moment"

3. I’ve been working on that all morning = I’ll start on that this afternoon

4. I’ve scheduled that in for tomorrow = @#$% I forgot about that, but I’ve just written it down

5. I’m booked out for the next few months = I don’t like you, or your business

6. Do you have a budget in mind? = Can I get away with charging even more than usual?

7. I love the flexibility of freelancing = I love taking my time to look for a full-time job

Top business lies told by clients:

1. Your invoice has been processed = I did print your invoice, but left it on the printer

2. We want something really ‘out there’ and quirky = We want something really conservative

3. I’ll send you a full brief early this week = I’ll send you a wad of random documents next week

4. Can you just throw something together? = Can you do a proper job but charge a lot less?

5. Can you give me a ballpark figure? = Exactly how much will it be? I’ll hold you to it later.

6. That’s definitely a phase two requirement = That’s definitely never going to happen

7. We nurture long-term supplier relationships = Well we do, as long as they’re the cheapest

So, honestly, what do you lie about? I won’t believe you, but tell me anyway.

Noel Ranger

is a real Australian soloist operating a professional service business. Basically, if you pay his hourly rate he’ll pretty much do whatever.


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