A consultant answered an ad to work with a businessman. At the interview, the proprietor explained that his business wasn’t going well. He was losing money. He was worried about it but he didn’t have time to both worry and do the work that was necessary to save the business.

He wanted to just devote himself to his business and pay the consultant to just do all the worrying — about the quality control, about accounts payable, about profit-and- loss ratios, about anything at all that needed worrying about.

He was willing to pay handsomely for the consultant’s time. After much negotiation, they settled on an annual fee of $75,000, a generous expense account, full health care benefits including dental coverage, six weeks annual paid vacation, and a corner office with windows.

The consultant agreed, but said, “If you’re in such trouble, where are we going to get the $75,000 to pay me, plus the extra money for all of the benefits we agreed on?”

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