Secrets of negotiation

I want to make a post about negotiation. Negotiation, while particularly important in business, is a dynamic found throughout life, in relationships of any type. Being able to negotiate successfully will bring you great rewards. Here are some of the principles that I have found to be most important.

1. Know what you want.

Before you enter the negotiation, know exactly what you want, what is the minimum you are willing to accept, and what is the most you are willing to give up. Not defining this for yourself ahead of time can leave you floundering. You won’t be able to make good decisions on the spot because you haven’t thought through what scenarios and conditions are acceptable to you. As well, people will sense this and take advantage of it.

2. Ask for what you want.

People sometimes have difficulty with this one. There is a short quote/poem that I have always remembered that I believe perfectly sums up the point.

I worked for a menial’s hire,
only to learn dismayed,
that any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would gladly have paid.

Jessie B. Rittenhouse

Ask for it. You just might get it. And as long as you are not being completely unreasonable, you can always negotiate down. And they will probably respect you for asking for it. One thing that is important to remember: If a negotiation was not sufficiently difficult, both parties will be left feeling that they could have gotten more. Be willing to go there, and both parties will be more satisfied with the end result.

3. Be willing to walk away.

No deal, is better than a bad deal.

4. Know what the other party wants and needs.

Put yourself in their shoes. Try and think through where they are coming from in this negotiation — what they need to get out of it, and what they can afford to and are willing to give up. If you can specifically target their wants and needs, you will be in a much better position to get what you want as well. And they will feel that they are dealing with a partner who understands them.

5. Don’t get emotional.

Anger will ruin a negotiation. I heard a quote about negotiation that said something to the effect of, “once you get emotional, you’ve already lost.” Try to keep that in mind.

Well, those were my negotiation tips off the top of my head. I’m interested to know what you think … or if there are any that you think I left out, please leave a comment and add them!

I worked for a menial’s hire, only to learn dismayed, that any wage I had asked for, life would gladly have paid. Jessie B. Rittenhouse
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Facebook to power its search box with Bing

Goodbye to the dysfunctional FB search box. I don’t think maybe people will miss it. I think this can only be a good thing for both Facebook, and Microsoft. In exchange, Facebook is dropping Microsoft ads, and will move to do it’s own ad serving.

Lesson to take from this: Microsoft doesn’t need to make money from the FB ads… its main concern at the moment is strategically attacking Google’s #1 position as search provider. And it really seems to be getting traction and making inroads. I am certain the Google team is sweating bullets about these guys.

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Never make an investment decision based off of something you’ve heard on CNBC. CNBC is a network is composed largely of shills for the consumer financial services industry, and entertainment providers. One of my favorite analysts refers to them as the “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” crowd.

The agenda of CNBC is driven by their advertisers, which are largely composed of full-service and discount brokerages, banks, and mutual fund companies, all of which make money based on selling consumers their financial products and services.

If you are going to listen to analysts, you need to find the few individuals in the field who have credibility. This is not an easy task, and can only happen by reading as much as you can, and separating the wheat from the chaff. It took me 5-7 years to find an analyst I had complete faith in.

By critically analyzing what you read, and comparing it to market performance over time, you will gain a greater understanding of the stock market, and be able to come up with some of your own investment ideas.

CNBC: ‘Anyone Who Owns A Suit Can Come On Television’ (The Onion)

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I never wanted to be a billionaire.

I never wanted to be a billionaire.

Let me be more specific. It’s not that I didn’t want to be a billionaire. I always knew while I was growing up that I would end up working for myself, and making money for myself somehow. It’s just that the thought of actually making a billion dollars never really occurred to me.

If you’ve never been rich beyond your wildest dreams before, here is how it goes: When you start making a lot a money for yourself, it creates more freedom in your life to an extent. You can spend more of your time doing what you want, travel to exotic places, the whole deal. But if you’re fortunate enough to have that “a lot of money” starts turning into “a shit-ton of money”, the pendulum starts swinging back the other way. Suddenly you have to figure out what to do with all that money. People’s livelyhoods start depending on how it is managed. And not just a few people … dozens, hundreds, thousands of them. If you’re an idiot, or you’re not watching things/partying all the time, people will try to steal from you. It gets harder to figure out who your friends are (although if you’re smart you’ll figure it out). It’s like what happens to celebrities, or lottery winners. You begin to have to shield yourself from the outside world. They want to fawn all over you, or suck your blood and take what you have. So what started as the means to giving you ultimate freedom turns into a prison of your own design.

And when you get anywhere near that billion dollar mark… it’s like a huge weight. An incredible responsibility. Don’t get me wrong — it’s also great in so many ways. It’s great to be able to go where I want, do what I want, buy a fucking island if I want. But I kind of miss being able to go to places without an armed security detail and an armoured SUV because somebody might kidnap me. Sometimes it might just be nice to put on a ball cap and go to Wal-Mart, ya know? (and hey, who’s to say, maybe I do that from time to time — I just hope my head of security doesn’t have the Internets)

So what’s my point? I’m not exactly sure. I guess this is just meant to serve as some kind of an introduction to you. It’s 2010, it’s a new decade, It’s a Saturday afternoon, I’ve been getting kind of restless, and I’ve been looking for something fresh and different to do. So I thought I might use this blog to tell some of my stories (anonymously) about high finance, venture capital, internet marketing, movie stars passed out on my pool table from too much tequila and pot, or whatever else I feel like talking about. And maybe I can share whatever small wisdom I might have about getting incredibly wealthy, being incredibly wealthy, and staying incredibly wealthy. Because I was smart, but also lucky. And if you’ve read this far, you are probably smart, and probably want to make a shit-ton of money like me … and remember, if you’re smart, and you work hard, you can create your own luck.

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