Two kinds of salad

A useful metaphor for freelancers and small businesses.

Every good restaurant should have two different salads on the menu.

The boring salad is the regular kind. It’s there for people who know that they want a reliable, repeatable, unremarkable salad. It’s the safe part of a safe meal. It might remind them of their childhood or it’s simply the foundation for a nice evening without any tension around the food.

The fascinating salad is a chance for the restaurant to bring surprise, delight and care to the person who orders it. It’s remarkable in the way it combines unexpected elements, and even though the ingredients it uses make it accessible to people who have careful diets, it’s still extraordinary, and worth what it costs.

A fascinating salad is a marvel. It’s not that hard to create, but it demonstrates the passion of the person who produced it in a memorable, almost emotional way.

Too often, freelancers end up offering just a boring salad. It feels safer than getting rejected. Or they pretend to offer a fascinating salad, but at the end, they lose their nerve and simply charge more than they should for a boring salad that’s pretending to be fascinating.