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The not-so-new company

I launched this business, Cultivation, only about two months ago. That's when I registered the business name, built the site, printed the business cards, and started promoting the services I offer. My favorite part, so far, has been my meetings with all sorts of people throughout the business community in the Twin Cities. I'm always amazed and impressed that people will take time out of their busy day to sit down with me, listen, and share their thoughts and advice. I love that most of all.

During one of these conversations recently, I was talking to a fellow entrepreneur who had started her own company a few years ago. I was telling her about an experience I had early on with someone I thought might be a prospective client. I'd gone to lengths to meet with him (on a holiday weekend), listen to his situation, then carefully prepare a tailored and fair proposal to address his business challenges. Coming just a few weeks after my official business launch, his reaction had been disheartening. He had basically said that he didn't feel my rates were justified because I was "such a new business." I'd set my rate after much research, and had priced myself well within the going range for marketing consultants. My rate is WAY lower than clients used to pay for my time when I worked for an agency here in town. The woman to whom I'd been telling this story nodded knowingly and said, "he doesn't understand and appreciate the huge value of 25 years of experience." She went on to tell me a story about Picasso:

The famous Pablo Picasso was at a party. A woman recognized him and approached the Master. She asked, “Will you create a sketch for me?” Picasso agreed, and, as he pulled out his sketchpad, asked her for a subject. “A bird in a tree will do,” she responded. So Picasso spent about a five minutes doing what Picasso does on the sketchpad. Finished, he ripped the sketch off the pad, handed it to the woman and said, “That will be $10,000.” The woman was floored. “Ten thousand dollars! Why, it only took you five minutes to draw that sketch!” To which, Picasso replied, “No, madam. That sketch took me a lifetime.”

I love this story. To compose a brilliant sketch like that one in five minutes took a lifetime of experience, hard work and creative experimentation. The value of Picasso’s five minutes is worth the value of an average artist working for years to accomplish the same thing, or to fail trying.

Of course I'm not really comparing myself to Picasso, but I do believe that my decades of experience at various companies dealing with hundreds of different marketing challenges has made me extremely adept at coming up with great ideas quickly. I've put in the time, studied the craft, and solved countless business problems over the years through a combination of brains, creativity and inspiration that only comes from EXPERIENCE.

So, though my business was launched only about 2 months ago, it's actually been a lifetime in the making.

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