The Best Advice For Hiring a Freelancer is the “Rule of 4”

If you ever hire freelancers, here’s a good rule of thumb you need to remember.

But first, let me tell you about a freelancer who occasionally worked for me on my websites.

He is a really nice guy and I trusted him from an ethical point of view. He is also reasonably knowledgeable and skilled at his work.

Plus did I mention he was really cheap?

But there was one downside. He regularly didn’t do what he said he would do.

And he always had an excuse, whether it be family turmoil (“My brother is going to the airport”), health problems (usually spontaneous diarrhea), relationship problems (“My girlfriend has diarrhea”), household disasters (“Wild animals have infested our house”) or tragedies (“My girlfriend left her keys at home so I have to cancel our meeting”). (These are all actual excuses he has given)

I was reading the book “Launch” by Jeff Walker and in it he talks about star performers being low in “drama”.

He says:

If they’re good at their skill set, but they’ve got a lot of drama, then they’re not stars

And that’s what this freelancer’s problem is. He is full of drama.

There is always some drama in his life that prevents him from doing what he said he would do.

And this is the thing. It doesn’t matter how good you are at what you do. If you don’t deliver, for whatever reason, you might as well be the worst at what you do.

These sorts of freelancers, when you first meet them, seem to be too good to be true. Competent, affable and remarkably affordable. It’s only later you realize that the reason they charge less, is because they have burned so many bridges with their lack of reliability.

So here’s a good rule of thumb that I call the Rule of 4 for Hiring Freelancers.

It’s almost impossible to find a freelancer who is

1. Skilled

2. Reliable

3. A good communicator

4. Cheap

You can get 3 out of 4, but never 4.

So when hiring a freelancer, decide which one you are willing to forego.