Old story, but funny and with a hint of truth: It’s what you know that counts.
The plant went down with a crash. Died in the traces. A redefinition of ‘power failure.’ Technicians and managers went scampering all over the facility, tinkering, thunking, tampering and trying to coax things back to life. Nothing worked, and desperation reigned.
Finally the plant manager and the Chief Operating Officer admitted the solution was beyond the means and expertise of the staff. The needed a real expert—an outside consultant. So they placed a frantic call. The trouble-shooting ace said he’d pack his bag of miracles and be right there.
The pro arrived and hung up his coat. He looked the situation over. He squinted his eyes in a Clint Eastwood way, then he walked into the bowels of the plant. People watched respectfully, and some held their breaths.
The consultant pulled open the door of a little metal box on the side of a monstrous machine. He put out his hand, and with his right forefinger, he touched a button.
The plant sprang to life. Lights came on, machines hummed, systems resumed vigorous activity.
The plant manager shook his consultant’s hand. The CEO, overcome with relief, clapped him on the back. “This is wonderful,” he gushed. “What do we owe you?”
“Four thousand dollars,” replied the consultant.
“Four thousand dollars!” gasped the CEO. “All you did was walk over and push a little button on the side of that machine. Can you give us a breakdown?”
The consultant jotted on a piece of paper and handed it to the CEO.
“Pushing button: $1
Knowing which button to push: $3999″
“And if you’d known which button to push, you could have done the same thing.”
Sometimes you have to be willing to pay for what people know.
But don’t worry when you hire My Brain, I don’t write my invoices like this; I calculate my hourly rate for the actual time worked, travel cost if I have to perform the work on location, and if applicable, additional cost for materials used. When the project is clearly defined, a fixed price can be offered in advance.