The best mistake I’ve ever made

"What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?" asks Karen Coopers, who’s trying to become a personal chef and menu consultant.

Wow, tough question, Karen. You’ll make a good consultant! On the fly, it’s hard for me to pick the best mistake I’ve ever made. But I’d have to say that setting my consulting fees higher than those of my friends was a pretty good move. At the time, people were telling me I was crazy. How could I have the nerve to charge two or three times what they were charging? But I reasoned that I provided specialized services, that there were few people with my expertise in this market, and that my fees were part of my pricing and marketing strategy. And I knew that my pricing model took into account how much I’d make at a regular job. So I wasn’t just tossing around made up numbers.

The result? I’ve been consulting for more than 10 years. In fact, while some of my friends are still working day jobs, I’ve been self-employed on a full-time basis for years, because my market-driven rates consider my true costs — and my true value. So, when it comes down to it, coming up with a rational model for setting my fees is one of the best "mistakes" I’ve ever made.

"The best mistake I’ve ever made" from Become a Consultant at

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