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You can’t afford paella

Saffron costs anywhere between $500 and $5, 000 per pound. So if you feel that’s expensive, you probably perceive that you can’t afford to eat paella. Stop looking at the picture, you’ll just torment yourself.

The reality is that paella uses very little saffron, and that little amount of spice goes a long way towards making the dish very tasty and very popular.

So the amount you actually SPEND on saffron is not anywhere near what it costs on a per-pound basis.And yet the mentality of “it costs so much, I can’t afford it” is one that many people use when shopping. Especially when shopping for professional services.

A criminal lawyer at $500/hr that gets you out of a life sentence is probably worth it. A basket weaver at $0.25/hour may be a ripoff if it takes them a year to complete the basket. The amount you pay PER HOUR or PER POUND is not critical for many services. It’s the amount you SPEND.

How do you know how much something will cost? Isn’t it reasonable to compare people by rates? NO! A lawyer at $500/hr that takes 1 hour to solve your case is the same total as a lawyer at $250/hr who needs 2 hours because they’re just not as organized. And yet the $500/hr lawyer seems so much more expensive. And if you have employees, then having an extra hour of their time available is a huge savings. So “slower and half as much per hour” is no savings at all.

If you don’t have the confidence to predict how long something will take, ask your provider for any or all of these items:

a) references

b) a ballpark estimate based on their experience with your particular kind of issue

c) a “not to exceed” amount so you aren’t feeling like you’re signing up for an unlimited high cost

d) an understanding of what aspects of the work will cause significant vs. small expense

Life is short. Have some paella. It’s yummy. Focus on the amount you spend, not what things cost by a particular unit of measurement. If you’re not sure of how much pride people take in their paella, just take a look.


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