Dear Clients, This is Why Charging for Time Doesn’t Make Sense

Posted on July 29, 2013 in Opinion — Share this via

I often find myself in situations where I have to explain why charging for the value of what I’m delivering does not necessarily equate to the time spent on the task itself. Over the years I’ve given various explanations but I came across a little story today which encapsulates the whole principle perfectly, and by no other than the legend himself – Pablo Picasso.

Legend has it that Pablo Picasso was sketching in the park when a bold woman approached him. “It’s you — Picasso, the great artist! Oh, you must sketch my portrait! I insist.” So Picasso agreed to sketch her. After studying her for a moment, he used a single pencil stroke to create her portrait. He handed the women his work of art.

“It’s perfect!” she gushed. “You managed to capture my essence with one stroke, in one moment. Thank you! How much do I owe you?” “Five thousand dollars,” the artist replied. “But, what?” the woman sputtered. “How could you want so much money for this picture? It only took you a second to draw it!”

To which Picasso responded, “Madame, it took me my entire life.”