As I was writing about consulting with more clients in the form of smaller consultations, rather than mega-projects with giant companies, I remembered the following story:
A farmer was sitting at the side of the road, selling onions. A tourist stopped and asked how much the onions cost.
“A dollar a pound.”
“How many pounds do you have there?” asked the tourist.
“How much for all 20 pounds?”
“Thirty dollars,” said the farmer.
The tourist was surprised. “No, it should be less than $20 because 20 times one dollar should be $20, less a volume discount for taking them all off your hands at the same time.”
“I know that,” the farmer replied. “But if I sell all 20 pounds to you, I have to go home. If I sell them one pound at a time, I’ll get to meet and talk with 19 other interesting people like you.”
I’ve been telling that story for more than 30 years. It always impressed me. Originally, I heard it told about an “Indian.”
Life isn’t all about maximizing efficiency. By offering smaller consultations, I’m sure meeting a lot more interesting people. Who knew that custom sheds, unusual web sites, physician services, emergency management and other products I would never have heard of could be so interesting? What fun!
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