Picasso and FedEx—The Relevance To You
Legend has it that infamous artist, Pablo Picasso, was one day sitting, smoking, and drinking at his local Café du Progres in Menerbes, Provence. He had with him his sketching tools and kit when a female tourist abounded upon him. Recognising him from afar and seeing that his sketching tools and gear were with him, the woman thought to herself, ‘Why I shall ask him to sketch me.’
“Monsieur, is it really you—Picasso?” she exclaimed, to which Picasso responded, “Yes, yes, it is Madame.”
“Please, will you draw me?” she asks to which Picasso responds, “Why yes, I love nothing more than drawing, so yes, please sit.”
The woman sits, and Picasso begins to draw. Picasso finishes the sketch in three minutes and shows it to the woman.
“Why Monsieur!” she says, “I love it. It is amazing. I must pay you for it”. Picasso responds, “Yes. It is 140,000 francs”.
Upon hearing the price, the woman exclaims, “Sacre bleu! You’re out of your mind. I was sitting here, that took you three minutes to draw. How can you possibly have the temerity to charge me 140,000 francs for three minutes of your time?”
Picasso patiently responds, “Madam, it did not take me three minutes.
“It took me my entire life to know how to do that”.
An inspiring, social entrepreneur once shared with me a story about FedEx, the multinational delivery service company. Fun fact—the company’s structured conveyor belts and systems enable the direction and delivery of over 6 million parcels per day globally.
Once upon a time, out of the Memphis Shipping Centre, the conveyer belt system stopped working. Altogether. Nothing moved. Nada.
The conveyor belt system’s breakdown was said to cost them millions of dollars per hour while the conveyor belts didn’t move. The company couldn’t figure out the problem. They called in an external support person, someone involved in the system’s set-up, build, and regular maintenance.
This individual went to the shipping centre. He looked at different areas in the conveyer belt before walking towards a particular fuse box.
Upon arriving at the fuse box, he opened it. He saw a screw, gave it a quarter of a turn, and suddenly, a noise was heard.
The conveyer belt system was up and running, and all was okay.
“I’ll send an invoice,” he said before leaving the shipping centre and send an invoice he did, for $1 million.
In response to his invoice, FedEx reportedly said, “You were here for five minutes. How can you possibly charge that? We want an itemised account”.
And so this contractor did. He sent an itemised invoice, which said,
“Quarter turn screw – $1
Knowing what screw to turn $999,9999”.
“Okay, okay, we get it. We’ll pay the Invoice”, FedEx reportedly said, and they did.
What it cost and continues to cost an individual to be in a position to help you in the role they do, from their commitment, education, experience, and personal sacrifice, is something you won’t be able to afford.
It really is priceless—just like the need for you to be able to achieve the very best outcomes for you and your family.
The price you pay in separating together will never compare to the expense and cost you will pay in legal fees, damage to your relationships, harm to your children, and the emotional, psychological, physical, and mental suffering were you to do it any other way.