I was talking to a person, and they told me about a ship that had called into the harbour to deliver some cargo.
Once the cargo had been unloaded, the captain gave orders to set sail for the next port, but the engineer told the captain he could not start the engines.
When the captain asked how long it would take to make the repairs, the engineer said he was working on it.
Many hours later the engines still would not start, and the captain was desperate to leave the harbour as he was loosing money moored to to harbour wall, and he heard that there was a highly specialist engineer visiting the area, so the captain asked him to look at the ships’ engines.
The specialist took his little work bag down into the engine room, and listened to the engines as the tried to start, and he went into little bag and took out a little hammer.
With his little hammer, he tapped a pipe, tried the engines, and they started immediately.
The captain was so happy, and he asked the specialist for his invoice.
When the captain saw the invoice he was most angry, for it was for $10,001.
This was too much for tapping a pipe.
When the captain challenged the specialist as to why so much, the specialist replied.
“For tapping the pipe I charged you $1, for knowing where to tap the pipe it is $10,000.“
I was recently asked to visit a company who wanted me to give their management team some training. When told my fee the manager said it was too much, and asked for another person to do the course who had attended one of my courses, but was a trainer in their own right.
The manager offered the second person half of what I had asked for, but the second person refused their offer as being too little.
A third person was asked, and was offered an even smaller fee, which they accepted.
We have a saying in English,
“If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.“
So what is the price of a specialist, an expert, a good trainer, an experienced trainer, presenter or coach?
In his books, especially his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell, explains what makes people great, what made Bill Gates who and what he is, what made the Beatles such a great group?
His answer is that they worked in their field of expertise, their specialism, that they studied for over 10,000 hours. This analysis was also substantiated by Michael Syed in his book Bounce, where he looks at what makes champions. They have to put in the hours of practice, the 10,000 hours.
I have been delivering training in my fields of excellence since the mid 1990’s, in many countries, cultures and languages, and also before that whilst working for computer manufacturers, so I have put in over my 10,000 hours, unlike many trainers who have just earned their training certificate.
So, I still have my little hammer if someone out there would like use it.