I admit, I do it myself. Every so often while cruising the job boards I spot gigs that suit me pretty well, but are not quite what I want to be doing, yet I apply anyway and apply and apply. Three hours and 12 email applications later, I look up and wonder where the time has gone. I was distracted by the shiny gig.
As freelancers we are always on the hustle, find the next gig to replace a project that's ending soon, find the next source of income to help you meet your quarterly goal, etc. Slowly, we find ourselves applying to or spending time working on gigs that have nothing to do with our niche or career goals.
A great writer and friend Dawn Friedman always has me look at a new gig with a critical eye. I send her an email with plenty of "Whoo hoo's" and she asks if it works with my platform, if it pays me what I am worth, etc. That source of calm helps me determine if I am undermining my career goals or my family's financial needs by accepting a position.
It's never easy to turn down a job, at least it isn't for me. I've got a family. There will always be a slight pause before I pass on a gig. But ultimately, we must all set our career goals and bypass the "Oh shiny!" gigs that distract us.