The Bedouins have the longest fingers

Philip Morgan

I had this dream the other night that woke me up.

It was extremely short, and consisted of a strange voice saying "The bedouins have the longest fingers". That's it; just the voice and then I woke up.

I bet you didn't know there are slightly more than 21 million Bedouins alive today speaking 4 different dialects of Arabic, practicing 3 different religions, and living in at least 20 different countries.

Not all Bedouins live in the traditional way. Many have moved into urban areas and work conventional jobs, though there are still millions who live in the desert and subsist on animal husbandry work.

The Bedouins have a saying: "I am against my brother, my brother and I are against my cousin, my cousin and I are against the stranger".

I tried to come up with a similarly elegant saying for myself: "I am against self-employed people letting themselves become commoditized, commoditization and I are against..." and then the whole thing just kind of fell apart.

I am definitely against self-employed people letting themselves become commoditized, and I believe the best defense against the downward rate pressure of commoditization is specializing your services.

Specialization is the foundation of effective marketing, value pricing, a stronger negotiating position RE: payment terms, and being able to say "no thanks" to clients you'd rather not work with.

Specialization starts with narrowing the focus of your marketing in a way that resonates with better clients who will pay above-commodity rates for your services.

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