Fees Follow Value Until They Don’t
Fees follow value, right? The more value you provide, the more you can charge.
But those lines cross, and when your brand, repute, and desirability are sufficient, value follows fees. In other words, people believe they are getting what they pay for, and what they are getting is emotionally rewarding: ego, status, comfort, ease, etc. You don’t need a Bentley to get from point A to point B, or a Brioni suit to look good, or a Bulgari watch to tell the time. But if they make you feel good and reflect your self-image, they’re worth it.
The same applies to consulting, which is why CEOs have long said, “Get me McKinsey.” (And it’s why no one says, “Get me the cheapest heart surgeon.”)
If your objective is to build your income, then work on building a powerful brand, high visibility, and a great reputation. And remember, Field of Dreams was incorrect about “build it and they will come.” You have to build it and then let people know you’ve built it. Then they come.