"Hey! I'm a person/organization/business offering you money for the thing you do. Would you like to do the thing and me pay you?"
Easily one of the best things to hear as a freelancer. Good grief thankfully I've been hearing that a lot lately. There's much more cinematography work here in New York and one of the major reasons for uprooting and moving our family across the country.
Coming from a smaller market like Oklahoma City I said "yes" to just about everything coming through the door – I had to to keep the financials where I wanted them for my business and our family. Here in New York I've had outlier days where multiple paid job offers come literally minutes to seconds apart.
Please know this isn't meant to be boasting. At this point I've got years of freelancing behind me and ABSOLUTELY know that this line of work is feast or famine. Landing work here in New York came much quicker than I expected so there's no reason for me to believe that it can't just as quickly go to some other hungry hustler doing the same thing. That's the terrifying thing about saying "no" to paid and even some unpaid work. People, organizations, and businesses are literally offering to pay you actual money you can use to pay bills and cover your responsibilities to do the thing you do and you're telling them "no." There's also the thing about during down work and the very real possibility that the person/organization/business falls in love with the next person they call and they never call you back – and tell other people/organizations/businesses to not call you either. That's absolutely terrifying and no question keeps me up at night.
In being transparent about all this nonsense and in the interest of other priorities I have at the moment I'm literally saying "no" to going into how and why I decide to turn down paid work and passion projects. I've for sure got my reasons and could go into how priorities help me make the decision, but that'll need to wait for another time.
Am I doing it right? Again, no clue but I sure hope so.