Why Picasso Charged an Admirer $5,000 for One Minute of His Time

The Story

There’s a famous story that talks about Pablo Picasso’s surprising response to an admirer.
She approached him in a cafe and said, “Mr. Picasso, would you draw something for me?”

He smiled, grabbed her napkin and drew a quick, beautiful sketch in less than a minute. He gave it to her and said, “That will be $5,000.”

The woman was shocked!

“But you only spent a minute drawing this. It’s hardly worth $5,000!”

To this, Picasso said: “It may have only taken me a minute to draw this for you — but it took me a lifetime to become a master.”

My Thoughts:

When I finally left my 9-5 and started my first business, I opened up an SAT test prep company. My rates where HIGH! In many cases, over $100/hour.

Lots of people on the outside thought this was crazy.

How could I get away with charging so much?

Two reasons:

1. If you’re an expert in a subject area, you’re not just charging for the time it takes you to complete something — you’re charging for all the time you had to spend mastering your craft. Your client gets the benefit of working with someone who has cut down 99% of the learning curve for them. That’s taken time and they are paying for that time you’ve invested…not just the time you spend with them.

2. Clients are paying for results. If you can get the results, your rates are directly tied to that. In my case, if people gave me pushback on my rates, I’d always remind them that while they might think “tutoring” wasn’t worth $100/hr, their kid getting into Yale certainly was. That always seemed to snap them back to reality.

Just some food for thought today.

The quickest way to speed to the top of your field (and make the most money) is to become an expert. And the quickest way to become an expert is to start your journey now.

Right now.

Leave a Comment Below:

I really value the concept of honing a craft or building an expertise. Dedicating your time to something that you enjoy — then getting really good at it — is one of the most exciting things I can think of spending my life doing.

What craft or area of expertise are you looking to develop. Leave a comment below and let me know — I’m super curious what type of weird stuff everybody is into!

Daniel DiPiazza

Daniel is the founder and CEO of Rich20Something.

A millennial business mastermind, he has successfully started three consecutive freelance businesses and scaled them to over $100K in revenue with zero startup capital. His work is regularly featured in Time Magazine, Fortune, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Fox News, and Yahoo! Business.

His debut book, Rich20Something, publishes on May 2, 2017.

  • Noah Banks

    I am continuously honing my skills as a digital marketer and fitness coach. The end goal is great but The journey is the fun part!! Who agrees??

    • Daniel DiPiazza

      It’s all about the journey, bro. How long have you been training for?

      • Noah Banks

        I have been personal training for 2 years (now mostly online) and have been working out for 7. My first Physique competition is Saturday and I’ve vlogged the entire journey so definitely a supporter of respecting the process. Great article! Sharing with my mastermind group!💪🏾

        • Daniel DiPiazza


  • Bridgette Salley

    Hi Daniel,

    No weird stuff here, just trying to develop my skills in digital marketing, specifically in regards to growing small businesses! Definitely learning so much online and taking courses to fine tune skills and learn new concepts. This article kicked out a lot of the negative self talk about getting people to pay for my help at a higher price point.

    Thank you!

    • Daniel DiPiazza

      Yep, you totally can! Do you have a website?

      • Bridgette Salley

        No not yet, I’m currently working on it as we speak! Should be up within the next month or so:)

  • Mohsin Raza Khan

    I have been working on my designing skills and have plans to start as a freelancer. And I loved this article as well as your new youtube series.

    • Daniel DiPiazza

      Nice man, thanks for watching. Any advice for new videos to make?

  • Nicholas Zilkowski

    I’ve always been interested in sales. As I’ve gone through different jobs/industries, I’ve become more and more fascinated with HOW sales/social media marketing works. Everything from the psychology, really connecting with people, and handling objections. I always used to take an objection for face value (especially when it was about price, because I was only thinking about my finances and if I couldn’t afford it, I passed that belief onto the customer). In the past weeks, I’ve made a Insta business account and starting posting to build up my audience and see where it takes me. It’s like discovering a different world, almost lol.

    • Daniel DiPiazza

      Haha, you’re like Columbus…but a lot less of an a-hole. 🙂

  • Simon Nung

    Hey Daniel. This article really hit because I realise I charge too little and I give so much value away for free for recommendations. Although I don’t use this angle often, when I do — It puts me in position. Your paying for someones time that they’ve spent mastering something to the point, they know so much, it can be overwhelming for them to take it. The latter part I’m working on.

    • Daniel DiPiazza

      Charge what you’re worth, my man!

  • I’ve been acting professionally for 15 years and have been training for 20. I also have been editing, writing and producing for 10 years. I know that everyone can make videos now but I’m trying to make something with an artist’s mind behind it.

    • Daniel DiPiazza

      Love it! Have any links you can share with us?

  • Christine Tumini

    I have a degree in nutrition and want to utilize it within the fitness industry and the food/cooking industry. I love finding strange combinations and new foods and new substitutions to make recipes healthier and macro friendly for those fitness enthusiasts out there.

    • Daniel DiPiazza

      You’re speaking to me! I love to eat AND I track macros 🙂

    • Daniel DiPiazza

      What’s your favorite thing to cook?

  • Kelsey Lane Davidson

    I am working on mastering the art of coaching. I want to focus on fitness as a tool to help people realize that they can achieve their goals with time and consistency.

    • Daniel DiPiazza

      Love it! How long have you been coaching for?

  • Aaron

    I’m going to be a coach that teaches people to rid themselves of negative thoughts, anxiety and depression. I recently walked out of an 18 yr. career as a police officer due to severe depression and PTSD. I’m still in the healing stages myself but I know that this is my story/experience to share with the world

    • Daniel DiPiazza

      man, such a great mission! Were you in the service? Much love and respect!

      • Aaron

        I was many years ago but during peacetime. The law enforcement career took a nasty toll on me and I’m getting my self healed to help others

  • Miguel Torres

    Making modular, durable and portable furniture for all aspects of small living environments and travelers.

    • Daniel DiPiazza

      dope! Do you have a website?

  • Sara Clark

    My boyfriend owns his own landscaping business and he always undercharges his customers. He believes it keeps him competitive, but he does excellent work and always goes above and beyond. He even helped save one of his customer’s lives once by noticing she was having a stroke.
    I aspire to be a fitness and life coach. I want everyone to experience the same beautiful feeling I did once I realized what I was made of. And I believe the commercial industry is backwards and spreads lies and misconceptions to most of the public. I’d like to “clear the clouds” and reveal the simplicity behind fitness and how to be the healthiest you.

    • Daniel DiPiazza

      Yes yes yes!!!! Do you have a website? Would love to take a look!

      • Sara Clark

        Not for my fitness goals. I do have a background in journalism and design, so I do have a website for that – http://www.saraeclark.com

  • Aaron

    I will coach people to overcome bad habits of thoughts and depression. Recently walking out of an 18 yr. law enforcement career due to depression and PTSD. my journey continues and I will use my story to help others

    • Daniel DiPiazza

      Nice, replied to your other post!

  • BJ Pivonka

    Right now I’m trying to master the craft of interviewing for my virtual summits.

    But this has been hard. I put ALL my chips into the baseball basket my whole life that now I’m playing catchup.

    • Daniel DiPiazza

      Interviewing IS as skill! Who/what are you studying to improve?

  • Omar

    Great post Daniel, it made me think of the qoute below.
    “Practice your skill until you are too good to ignore”

  • Paco Taylor

    With my Blogger site creeping up on 100,000 page views soon (!), I was looking to expand my horizons as a writer. I enrolled in a writer’s program to blog for a larger site and someone suggested that I also share my work on Medium, too. I started posting there two days ago. I’m looking forward to seeing how far I will have progressed 6 months and then 1 year from today. 😀 I plan to be a Master of the Nerdiverse.

  • Bonnie Harmon

    Hi Daniel, I’ve been online for a year now. I have a great business background and my superpower is working with people and business’ energy. My ‘weird stuff’ is to be able to transform businesses and people with little effort (thus I resonated with your Picasso post). I have a brand alignment problem at the moment – two websites: http://www.businesstransformation.consulting and http://www.eftsolution.com. You see, not everyone understands how the fifth dimension can compliment solid business skills, and my ideal client understands this but does not want to be seen in woo-woo land, thus the need for 2 sites! Appreciate any feedback <3 p.s. really enjoyed your talk on cryptocurrencies. It's my interest too.

  • Mia Mercado

    I am in the Human Resource field for over 15 years now. I want to go into consulting for that. I have a degree in psychology and the unofficial life coach of friends and acquaintances. I want to pursue this one too!

  • eskrimador

    Mastered my craft, just started putting myself out there. I used to be afraid that im not good enough & then i realized i am good enough. Opened a lot of doors for me. Thanks for this article it just reinforces my new believe system.


    • Daniel DiPiazza

      Love it! I trained under Sifu Francis Fong for a while, and he speaks very highly of Sifu Inosanto, who I know is a Kali/Escrima expert. He’s THE expert. So cool! Do you have a website?

      • eskrimador

        That’s awesome i also saw that you do BJJ. I Only have a Leadpage for the time being to build my email list

        I also got 5K+ subscribers in my Youtube.com/PadWorkTV
        Some videos i have over 100K+ views already

        On my way to be just like you! : )

  • Erin Smith

    Currently, woodworking, Brazilian Portuguese, and Adobe CC products. I see why people go to school for graphic design! Ha, it’s coming along though. Visible progress!

    • Daniel DiPiazza

      Very nice! Which of those 3 is the most rewarding? The most challenging?

  • Kalila Bodden

    Great article! And so true. All masters were beginners who never gave up. Challenge and criticism are prerequisites for greatness. Charge for that sh!t!

    For new entrepreneurs (and I can definitely attest to this), *owning* your greatness can sometimes be your greatest challenge.

    • Daniel DiPiazza

      Hell yeah! What business are you working on?

      • Kalila Bodden

        I’m starting to pick back up my coaching – I help women who have a “great” life on the outside redesign their lifestyle to finally achieve true happiness, fulfillment and contentment that was missing on the inside.

        No coaching website as yet except for my wellness site (www.healthylifehack.com), and I’m in the process of super clarifying my target audience and then connecting with them 🙂

  • Lilly

    Love this post. I have a phd in pharmaceutics and 5 years in the pharma industry. I love it and would like to start coaching or consulting in my field. The idea of starting a website makes me a little nervous in case work finds out and if there is any conflicting interests since I want to do this on the side. Any pointers? Seems like LinkedIn would be the social media platform of choice. Know of any others??that would be relevant for science.

    • Daniel DiPiazza

      I’d say LinkedIn for sure — what exactly would you be coaching people to do?

  • Dione Dixon

    Hi Daniel! I am on my journey to mastering the art of microblading. It is a fairly new tattoo artistry that inserts pigment underneath the skin but unlike a traditional tattoo, I use a manual tool that allows me to create individual strokes that mimic the look of natural hair. I am passionate about brows because I believe that they make a huge impact on the symmetry and overall look of your face. This procedure is perfect for people that have little to no eyebrows and hate the struggle to reapply makeup everyday. This article really stands out to me because I just put together my website at http://www.lashcrushstudio.com and sometimes I struggle with the amount to charge. I feel like if I charge too much I might scare people away but this message really put an impression on me and I now realize that I need to charge what I am worth and nothing less. Thank you!!!

    • Daniel DiPiazza

      Gotta understand the value you’re providing! Know what I mean?

  • Megan Perry

    Hey! I’m currently

    • Daniel DiPiazza

      Very good idea! I’ll make a video on this 🙂

  • Kevin Angga Saputra

    Singing and doing business.. Any kind of business..

    Both still progressing despite still have a job to take care of..

    The after effect was just sometimes you lose track of time.. Since you spend so much time doing what you love..

    • Daniel DiPiazza

      I’d recommend you get specific on the business!!!

      • Kevin Angga Saputra

        Yep.. Been doing business about coconut for 2 years now.. Helping others to start their own for a while now, and also taking some quick money while I’m at it..

  • My writing skills.

    • Daniel DiPiazza

      Copy is key, man!

  • William Meyrick

    Without doubt. It’s irrelevant how long it takes, it’s all about the desired result in which one should judge.

    • Daniel DiPiazza

      Yes sir!100% correct!

  • Sunday Ukafia

    Web Development & entrepreneurship.
    I’m mostly known for web design, live streaming, digital marketing and other ICT related services and I run a brand providing services in this areas.

    • Daniel DiPiazza

      Nice! What’s your website? I’ll take a look!

  • Nicholas Zilkowski

    Hey Daniel, I think I may have already responded to this post but going to reply again. My biggest thing right now is learning social media/digital marketing. You just mentioned in your latest video today that people get so scared and off put about starting an online business because they’re worried about the market being over saturated. However, that goes back to the idea that if there’s competition, that can be GOOD news cause it means people want and are willing to pay for that product/service! Tai Lopez has rightly pointed out that you don’t have to disrupt an industry to make a difference. Rather, find a way to IMPROVE an industry!

  • washington

    I have been in Web development as well, but shifting my focus to mobile development. Am sometimes tempted to just forget it, and stay with designing websites. But it’s what I have to do, to succeed with my goals. Learn, learn, learn and master my skills. Mobile development it is, I have to learn it.

  • Charles Edward

    Makes sense

  • Manol Tsarvulanov

    poker player and maybe future content creator too i love the game and everything about it

  • Gabriel Mata Guzmán

    Danny, I’m greatful for all your advice. I’m a venezuelan copywriter, and I’m building my online business with my team. This is above the hill down here, but people like you make our work easier! -leaving this message because you asked from a FB Ad.

  • India J’Nai

    It’s been a while D…but I’m back!!!! So I’m a hair stylist and health coach with a focus in women’s health. My background is in forensic science. It’s funny to me when my clients seem shocked by my knowledge as it relates to the human body and brain. Well…considering I’ve been studying this exact field for well over 15 years I would hope I know what I talking about.
    I’m looking to transition into being a full time health coach reeeeeeally soon. Btw congrats on the book if I haven’t told you already;-)

  • paras

    Hey Daniel,
    your article is very informative and thanks for sharing your view on it.
    i would like to say about my business.
    i am from IT background with master degree in business studies.
    i have started my company of website development and online marketing.
    but now i feel that client do not value our work.
    due to intense competition in web development field, we are not able to survive in the field.
    clients wants quality work in very cheat rate.

  • Tunji

    Hi Daniel, From your article on Entrepreneur.com, I see you were into web design. I’m looking at starting a web design company soon. I understand HTML and CSS and know how to build sites using WordPress. Do I really need to understand so much now to start or I can learn while running the business. What do you think?