Some people will never understand this, nor “get” this story. It still doesn’t change the truth in this story.

🍔🧆🍲 I’ll gladly pay $65 for a steak at Mastro’s

There will always be people that don’t value the service you provide.

Like the other day for me.

As some of you know, I have a small real estate law practice, as well as a residential and commercial brokerage business.

I’m on the phone with a new client having a consultation to see if I can help him with issues related to his lease. He has a retail store in Woodland Hills and doesn’t understand the multitude of current eviction laws.

And how all these new Covid ordinances dovetail into his lease.

There’s no simple answers. There rarely are in the legal realm. Only arguments that can be made.

He needs someone who knows the law.

Someone who understands that a single word in a lease agreement may trigger substantial liability – or not.

By having a legal expert (aka ‘me’) make those arguments on his behalf, I could take his financial exposure from $243,000 down to $0.00.

But there’s a fee for doing it.

A retainer and an hourly.

Seems reasonable, right?

I should get paid for what I do best.

Well, he didn’t think so. Which is fine. Some people understand the value an expert provides and others don’t.

He offered me $25 an hour like he was buying junk at a garage sale. Because that’s what his brother in law thought he should pay.

I told him we’re not a good fit and gave him the number to a couple tenant law centers.

I work with some people and chose not to work with others.

That’s what makes the world go round and round. That’s why there is more than one lawyer on this planet.

But, what I find interesting is the reason people feel they don’t need to pay for the expert advice they are seeking.

What value people put on getting out of a jam they’re in.

I equate it to food. Weird, but keep reading.

I usually will only order something expensive on a menu if I can’t recreate it myself at home.

I place immense value a chef’s ability to create a taste and texture I can’t duplicate. That value is worth $25 for pasta. Or a $65 steak at Mastro’s.

Because I realize what value means.

That chef worked his ass off in culinary school, countless hours slicing vegetables, making his/her way up the “food” chain. Learning, failing, and experiencing things I have and will never experience.

The same is true with CPAs. Auto mechanics. Contractors. And Lawyers.

Any profession that requires specialized, long term experience to do well.

People don’t pay me $400 an hour for my legal advice because I can LEARN how to solve their problems.

They pay me $400 an hour because I HAVE 25 years of EXPERIENCE solving problems like theirs.

People that value my service, your service, understand that fact.

That your’s and my many years of getting our knees scraped in the businesses we are in has a huge amount of value.

Because they don’t have that experience.

They have a problem. And we can solve it for them.

They never paid $150,000 for law school. They never sat through the 3-day bar exam.

They never worked in the field for over 65,000 hours over 25 years so far.

And, I can’t make a Mastro’s steak.

So, I pay someone to make it for me.

Those that come to this conclusion on the value of service will avoid a lot of loss and pain.

Those that don’t, unfortunately, will pay for it in other ways.