Getting Paid For What You Know


Old bull, young bull, standing on a hill. The young bull spies a herd of cows in the valley. The young bull says to the old bull, “Let’s run down the hill and jump one of those cows.” The old bull says, “Lets walk down the hill and jump all of them.”

Anyone seen Trent Lott lately? You might imagine him sitting on his porch whittling and spinning yarns about his glory days as Senate Majority Leader. And you would be wrong. He, like a lot of so-called retired bureaucrats are selling from their Rolodex at breakneck speed. It ain’t what you do, it’s what you know. That’s how sausage gets made in the nation’s capital.

Let’s say you spent 40 years learning and working your trade. What’s it worth today? Have you ever looked into it? You might be surprised. I’ve been in and  around the arts most of my life. Music, video, stand up, any place there’s a chance to make a fool of myself, I’m there.

I’ve shot thousands of hours of corporate video. I’ve coached and coaxed the best of them. I’ve had writers who thought they were on the lot at Twentieth Century Fox. In short, I have been rode hard and put up wet.

The chances of me getting behind a camera today are slim and none. That’s not where my worth is. I need to be between the talent, the camera and the guy with the money. :). I bring the magic, so to speak. The big picture guy. If I’m concentrating on video acquisition and a good audio signal, then I’m missing the finer points of the presentation. You need to bring everything together. Maestro!

I said all that, to say this. At a certain point your value to a client shouldn’t rest on function but on experience and knowledge. Consultant is an over used term for magic maker. If you’re still at your game, now is the time to start thinking about how you can monetize your craft without getting your hands dirty in the future. We’re all living longer and we will still need to keep our fingers in the pie.

Don’t run down the hill, walk.

Please note: I welcome comments that are offensive, illogical or off-topic from readers in all states of consciousness.

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