I posted a brief comment on Twitter as well but will expound here: when it comes to negotiations, I find it hard to consider that I might be hearing outright lies. If a client or potential employee tells me they don’t have the budget for me, I think they are telling me the truth. That this is a bid for me to negotiate literally never crosses my mind.
I’ve rarely have to negotiate—but this could mean I likely need to raise my rates. I prefer to think it means I work with straight shooters.