Premium pricing for masters of their craft

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Image credit: @IngridSilva/Instagram

I always listen to Harlem-born and bred Jazz vocalist, Gregory Porter, with awe — he knocks me out of the ball park everytime. He does with his vocal chords what many people can’t do with theirs. And as such, he deserves to command a premium price for his work. Methinks.

Watch a talented Ballet dancer do her thing, follow her journey of how hard it is for her to reach her peak performance. It takes hard work, sweat, tears and broken toes and nails. The end product, though, is such a delight to watch. Pure poetry in motion. This is what it takes to attain mastery in your field of work, whatever yo do. 

But what irks me to no end is how certain professionals aren’t afforded the same financial respect as compared to others. Case in point: a Writer will charge their price and many a person will feel it’s steep. As a way of example, why does almost no one object to a doctor’s prices? Are doctors more important than other professionals?

Let me answer those questions this way: a phenomenal Speaker is as good, in terms of their technical ability, as a chartered Accountant.

This is what I often hear when I engage people on this topic, some think: Writing is not that hard to do anyway, it’s just writing. I can also do it!

Wrong! It isn’t “merely writing”. Every profession needs a certain level of technical ability to be performed with mastery. Many people can’t do what Michael Jordan did in the basketball court. Consequently, my ultimate goal is to be able to Write and Speak like how Michael Jordan played basketball; how Marvin Gaye wrote a song; how Whitney Houston hit and held a note; how Lucky Dube performed his music to live audiences. Well, you get the point.

And if we are honest, that sort of talent, dedication and consistency to achieve technical mastery is premium and rightly deserves a premuim price tag.

Writing everyday using our mobile devices on platforms such as WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and what-have-you has many of us believing writing is easy. And who can blame us? It has become second nature.

Great writing, though, is different. It requires lots of practice and attention to detail. Attention to how certain words sound when put together, for example. It’s a subtle detail but necessary to give a reader an awesome experience.

Moreover, do some words need to be cut out? Ruthless editing to make the message concise. How — and this is the most difficult for many people to pull off — do you make your writing sound as though someone is sitting across you when they read your work; how do you achieve that elusive conversational tone?

To conclude, here’s some free advice to every single professional: Avoid being a general dealer. Instead focus — obsess even — over one discipline that makes up your core concept. Master it. And after that, stick a premium price on it.

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THEMBA JAY,

Communicate Your Genius