On consultancy

I worked as a consultant chef a lot, in charge of creating menus and training chefs. I still do it today, well, a bit less, partly because I have less time, partly because life taught me to be more selective about my work. I only do the work that brings me maximum joy, mainly because life is really short. How do I select my clients? Easy. firstly, i don’t go looking for them. I don’t scout the market, i don’t send out offers. I have no reason to. The work performed for the client today must persuade tomorrow’s client to look me up. Of those looking for me, very few can become my clients. It’s a pretentious area, each client has particular and unique needs, and requires a lot of attention, a lot of time. If they show sincerity and seriosity, we have the first step. Then, I make the financial offer according to the requested service pack. This is where things sort themselves out the quickest, because I can’t work cheap. Fees are calculated according to the client’s true needs and expectations. This way of negotiating helps me only take on clients who need my skill first and my name second (I really prefer that not to be part of the conversation), clients that understand that I do not sell recipes (the world is full of recipes and recipes salesmen, i prefer not to waste anyone’s time, especially mine), but ways of thinking, perspectives, approaches, and fresh and efficient ways to operate. Besides, I am selling something difficult to quantify because it cannot be put in a spreadsheet: a state of mind that is transmitted to the owner and to the personnel. I started getting good at it only after I realized anybody can pass on a spreadsheet, well, that’s not me. I can’t stand spreadsheets anyway.

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