When you take advice from someone, it’s a good idea to ask first “Would I want what that person has?” It’s a logical fallacy, blah blah, but it works 99.5% of the time.
In high school a fat kid I knew gave me diet advice: only eat once a day, but when you do, eat an entire Little Caesar’s $5 pizza.
Would you want the body of a fat kid?
Then stick to what people who have what you want tell you to eat.
Felix Dennis was worth somewhere between $400 million and $900 million when he died (“If you can count your money, you don’t have a lot”). If you have heard of the magazine “Maxim“, then you know who Felix Dennis is.
He wrote a book, How To Get Rich, where you can guess what he talked about. I can’t recommend the book enough, but get ready for a kick in the ass: no feel-good-ery here.
Turns out, if you want to have nine digits in your bank account, you’ve got to be a world-class negotiator. Here’s his best tips:
- Keep a rogue element in your back pocket until the later stages of negotiation. A curveball can kick do wonders
- Use silence as a weapon. You never give away any weaknesses when you’re silent. “Life is full of thousands of beautiful opportunities to shut the fuck up.” “Nobody ever got poor listening”.
- Never fall in love with a deal. It is just one deal, there are going to be many more.
- If anger or passion can help your position, use it. But make sure that you are courteous. If you’re witty, that can help, if not, flattery and self-deprecation work well.
- If you’re a poor negotiator, set absolutely rock solid ‘walk away’ numbers, where it will never bend, and you have committed to walking away.
- Stick to your word. No one sits down again with a weasel who lied the first time they spoke.
Most importantly of all, find out the balance of power. Strengths are usually obvious: big bank accounts and flocks of lawyers are easy to see. Weaknesses are always hidden – if they weren’t hidden, they’d be attacked.
Until next time,