Consider the role of French cooking. The techniques and recipes of the French chef have changed the way the world dines. Chefs from all corners of the world travel to France to learn from the masters there.
Yes, French chefs know how to make outstanding meals, but they can’t do it without the freshest, most flavorful ingredients – deep green asparagus; perfectly marbled tenderloin; highly aromatic herbs. They create meals that delight all of the senses.
No one learns French cooking overnight. It takes years to hone the techniques, and French chefs have been building and perfecting their skills for generations. When you break down French cooking, you see that it’s laborious, wasteful, inefficient, and incredibly delicious.
Learning from the French Chef
Think of yourself as the French Chef. You take your time, find the perfect ingredients, and build a business that draws the attention of the world. But, like French cooking, doing all of this isn’t easy, and it doesn’t happen quickly.
French chefs know that the people who pay to eat their food recognize the skill that goes into preparing it. The same should apply to your creative firm. If you do French-chef work, you’ll want clients who recognize the difference between precise creativity and a McBusiness model. The best clients will pay for the best results.
You want to work on the choice assignments from the best clients. Don’t lower your standards. French chefs won’t, and neither should you.
Consider Quality Over Quantity
If you’re working with the French-chef model, then your goal is to find the best clients rather than the most clients. Rather than taking on any client who needs a job done, you only take on the clients who let your team shine.
French chefs don’t feed the masses. They feed the people who are willing to pay for the best. This is why French chefs don’t work at fast-food restaurants.
French Restaurants vs McDonald’s
The polar opposite of a fine French restaurant is McDonald’s. Your creative firm could deliver like a fast-food giant. But, despite making money taking all the work you can get, you might feel like something is missing.
Consider what it’s like to work in a fast-food restaurant. Employees don’t stick around long, the work is mind-numbing, and customers can be rude. When’s the last time you heard someone say they want a career in fast food?
What makes McDonald’s successful is the routine established in every single franchise. They do everything the same way. And, you can run your agency that way, too. You can treat all clients the same way, but it won’t take long before you find that you’re delivering a boring product. Eventually, your clients will recognize it, too.
Rather than choosing to run your firm like a McBusiness, you can run it like a high-end dining experience. You can work on great projects for great clients who appreciate your skills and your team. Or, you can do the same thing day in and day out, with clients and teammates who become bored.
Remember that French chefs use the best ingredients. They don’t compromise on stale or out-of-season ingredients. When you run your firm, you have to do the same. You go to the market and buy the best of what’s available. When you do this, your reputation will grow, and the best clients will seek you out.
Working With a Farmer
French chefs are masters at finding local ingredients that delight the palate. They’re not going to compromise and use inferior ingredients. Instead, the forward-thinking French chef partners with a farmer they trust to create the ingredients they need. Without the farmer, the chef cannot make his art.
As a creative artist, you can do the same. You need a farmer, or in other words, you need a partner. This partnership is one that helps your business and your partner’s business. You co-exist, like the farmer and the chef.
The chef needs to be patient, before the farmer has the ingredients ready for the meals. The crops need time to grow. The livestock needs time to mature. Your creative firm needs to treat partnerships the same way; they need time to mature and grow.
Keep in mind that you might experience a few struggles along the way. Not all partnerships will work out, just like some crops might not grow. But, the farmer and the chef can make changes to keep the partnership evolving. Partnerships only become stronger as teams work through struggles together. You’ll eventually find what rewards you both, but only if you’re both dedicated to success.
Think of how your creative business and other businesses can function symbiotically. Without the farmer, the chef doesn’t have ingredients. Without the chef, the farmer has too much food. Their teamwork is interdependent, as they meet each other’s needs.
To find a partner, look at who’s in the room. Look for businesses with similar reputations.
Consider your clients – what types of businesses enter into conversations with your clients? Who uses your services to help their services? Get to know these people and you’ll never be without leads again.