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The first time I heard this joke, my gut reaction was to share the disbelief at the very idea. I could see the barber’s point of view before I could even see the joke. Which, in my view, made the joke even funnier when it got to me.

There have been many versions, and I think they were started by Blair Enns (pricing expert), but I like this version: I told my barber he could double his prices, but he panicked and said “Double my prices? I’d lose half my clients!”

The idea behind it is more than just a little radical, but its heart is in the right place. Most of us work to live, instead of living to work. The less stress we get from work, the more energy is left for living. The clients that leave the apocryphal barber are often going to be the price buyers, penny pinchers who often generate more stress than they are worth. Not only would he be able to work only half as much without losing any money, but his work would be more pleasant.

Your price is a part of your image, so of course, you are not in a hurry to change it. The very idea may seem impossible, or at least funny at first. But if you keep thinking about it rationally, it may turn out that it would actually be ludicrous to discard the idea of raising prices without ever really considering it as a serious proposition.

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