If you don't value what you do then your prospects won't either!

Do you ever undervalue what your business does? This is probably because it’s familiar, you believe it’s simple or easy. The reality, more often, is that you’ve acquired the right skills, knowledge and expertise to make it seem simple or easy.

This leads to either significant over-servicing or significant under-pricing. The first results in poor productivity and the latter in poor margins.

In either case the result is usually a stressed and underpaid business owner. Sound at all familiar?

To help understand what’s happening here, there’s an often-told story (not sure if it’s true or not) of an admirer approaching Picasso in a Parisian cafe.

Picasso's Napkin:

The story goes something like this:

Picasso was having a drink in a restaurant – probably a traditional French pavement cafe.

The admirer recognised him and exclaimed “Oh my goodness, are you the famous Pablo Picasso?” the painter nodded modestly, and the admirer went on to ask the famous painter to sign her napkin. 


Picasso was happy to oblige and didn’t seem to mind the interruption at all, in fact he went one step further and added a small sketch.

But as he handed over the drawing he asked for a considerable amount of money in exchange.

The admirer was horrified, “But that only took you five minutes!” she exclaimed. 

Picasso leaned over, carefully took the napkin back and said “No, dear lady, that took me a lifetime.”

The moral of the story:

The lesson here is probably pretty clear. Don’t undervalue what you do. What would life be like for your prospects without your product or service? What are the alternatives?

Often it transpires that their alternative is to select a competitor product which is inferior and more expensive or they need to do it themselves. With this knowledge you can now price accordingly and with confidence.

You must, of course, be fair in what you ask for but, by the same token, you should expect your customers to be fair with you and allow you to make a fair profit margin.

And the other benefit you may discover is that when you stop being cheap, your customers suddenly value you more. The reason? Well it’s only those that derive the most value from your business that are prepared to take advantage of your services. These are what we describe as our A-class customers – the ones that really need looking after.

What Next:

Thanks for taking the time to read this article.

When you’re ready, why not schedule up a call with Johnny to discuss how to put the steps in place to accelerate your business growth plans.

A first chat costs nothing and we’re always keen to explore ways to help you achieve sustainable profitable growth…

Just click this link, it will show you availability in my calendar – just grab a slot that suits you and it will automatically set up and schedule a Zoom meeting and send all the necessary invitations to calendars and email… 



1 thought on “The value of Picasso’s napkin”

  1. Pingback: Research task 2.0: Sophie Peanut – Kate's draft

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