“No” is a word that is not in many freelancers’ vocabularies.

It’s not that freelancers don’t want to say “no,” it’s just that most of the time it’s simply hard to find a reason not to say it.

The reality is that “no” should be in your vocabulary and there are reasons that you should say it.

Freelancers Union has a list of 5 reasons you should start saying “no” and while the first one may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to get sucked into doing an unpaid gig.

Sometimes it’s best to say “no.”

“1. It’s not a paid gig

There’s a time to say ‘Yes’ to these: if you really care about it or it will add real value to your skills/portfolio and you have time, then by all means. But do you need to do it? You’re a professional. Your time is valuable.

Digital marketing consultant Col Skinner frequently gets offered payment of sorts, when approached by startups.

“Equity in a startup isn’t going to pay my bills. So I have a certain handful of passion projects that I work on. I have a certain number of startups at reduced rates and then after that I have to pass people on to others who can help them.”

Check out the other 4 reasons to say “no” at Freelancers Union.