I’m sitting at my computer looking at the email I wrote three days prior. Why is it that I can’t send it? The reason is because it’s the deal of my life. It has the capacity to shape my future and allow me to do something that will make a global impact.
The email I’m about to send only has one sentence. The sentence contains my one line reply to the offer I’m willing to accept. There is a chance I’m being too greedy, or too assertive or too whatever. That’s the risk I have to take because that’s what negotiation is all about.
I hit send on the email, and suddenly I felt a wave of relief. What made the email so hard to send was that it was going to a close friend. This meant the odds of failure became higher. It’s these new high-stake odds of failure that I now thrive on.
In the past, I would have lowered by standards or avoided confrontation, but now I’ve accepted those fears as part of the process of daily growth. Avoiding tough decisions will not make you happy; in fact, it will make you incredibly unhappy.
Getting used to the tough negotiations and the extreme stress that can come with the process is the way you become a better decision maker long term. As you become a pro decision maker, you can get yourself into powerful situations that others can only dream of.
Here is how to negotiate the major deals of your life:
1. Negotiate with yourself first
Above everything else I have mentioned, you have to negotiate with yourself first. You must know the following about yourself before you enter any negotiation:
- What value do you bring?
- What’s the minimum you are willing to accept?
- Is this your version of the deal of your life? If not, then call off the negotiation.
- What does the other side get?
- What can go wrong?
- Is this the best opportunity to achieve your dream?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be in agreement with yourself. The biggest factor in your success is you. The way you think and the negotiation you have with yourself is where all of your success will stem from. Be harsh on yourself and ask the challenging questions.
“When you’re aligned with yourself, there’s no negotiation you can’t win” – Tim Denning
2. Let the other side make an offer
When the negotiating starts, the first thing you must do is shut up and let the other side make the first offer. The first offer can often be very different from what you expect. Once the offer is out on the table, the negotiation begins, and you have the advantage.
3. Start outlandish
This is your future we’re talking about. I want you to counter the first offer with some stupidly outlandish offer. The idea in negotiating is to reach a middle ground slowly. I’ve had times where I have put a crazy offer on the table, and it’s been accepted first off.
Don’t be afraid to start big and keep your poker face on so they know you mean business.
4. Be 100% honest
Negotiation breaks down when both sides are not being honest. By being honest, you have a much greater chance of getting what you want. Everyone wants to negotiate with people that are honest. If you bullshit to people, then you will get found out, and you’ll destroy the deal of your life.
Being honest allows a negotiation to reach an outcome much sooner.
5. Talk about the fear you have
While offers are going back and forth, talk about the fears you have. Use this as leverage for the other side to reconsider their position. If they present you with their fear, counteract it with the opposite fear to their own.
Where possible, counteract their fear with a solution that makes logical sense. Then renegotiate the offer again which will put you in a much stronger position.
6. Don’t forget your value
Your value can easily be underestimated. Remember what you bring to the table and get good at summarising the key points of your value. Each time you ask for more, circle back over the value you bring before presenting your “ask.”
We all undervalue ourselves far too easily, and we’re talked down from our position. Be crystal clear on why you do what you do, and don’t be afraid to compare yourself with others. You need to speak with vision, purpose, and passion, so that your value can be highlighted.
7. Let emotion shine through
This is the deal of your life we’re talking about. This is the time to demonstrate your emotion and use it to bring everyone you’re negotiating with closer. Tell some powerful stories that set the scene for why you belong in this negotiation.
Wear your heart on your sleeve and be proud of the journey you’ve travelled to get to this point. Talk about all the growth you’ve endured to be where you are today and about the tough times you’ve gone through.
Talk about your failures as much as possible and let them be the education that allowed you to think the way you do. Your emotion is what is going to get people to side with you, and give up some of what they want, to have you take the lead.
In a negotiation, you’ll be amazed how little the other side will settle for when you allow them to experience a mixed range of emotions that end with them feeling good.
8. Show how much you want it
Don’t sit there being half-assed about why you’re there. Make sure that if there is one thing the other side knows, it’s how badly you want this opportunity. Make them understand that you will give everything you have and go broke if that’s what it’s going to take.
If you’re not prepared to say these sort of lines, then you have to ask yourself why you’re there in the first place. Everyone loves to see another human being dedicated to the cause and ready to give it their all. It’s this idea that is the cornerstone of all sport. It can help you negotiate.
9. Demonstrate confidence
Without letting your ego become inflated, be confident with who you are. Know that you’re at the negotiating table for a reason and believe in yourself. You have been picked for this opportunity because, whether you know it or not, it is part of your destiny.
Sit or stand up straight, and take action in a slow and very deliberate way.
10. Allow long pauses
The worst thing you can do in a negotiation is break long pauses of silence. The other side may be in a thought pattern that benefits you and, by you breaking that pattern, you could essentially destroy your success in the negotiation. Silence is bliss.
Silence means you’re making people think. Imagine the negotiation like a chess game. Every move is calculated. If you’re hit with a difficult question, don’t feel the need to answer right away. In fact, don’t be afraid to be excused while you think it over. You can even phone a friend if you need to.
11. Both sides need to win
What you must understand about negotiation is that deals only get done when both sides win. If you’re the only one that can win then the other side won’t agree to a position. Find a way to negotiate where you get what you want, and articulate what the other side gets that is of similar value.
I’ve seen many deals done over my time where one side gets a massively bigger win than the other. These deals don’t last, and someone always ends up breaking the contract or going back on their word.
12. Dust off the anxiety and fear
It’s a nervous thing to negotiate the deal of your life. It takes guts, and most people avoid these decisions. Not you, though. You’re braver than most. Dust off the fear which we all have, and accept that the negotiations may fail.
You’re going to sweat, your hand might shake a bit, and you might need to sit down. That’s cool. Try taking a few deep breathes and incorporate a few minutes of meditation, if you can, before the big moment. Meditation will make all the difference, keeping you cool, calm and composed.
13. Use competitive tension
In all my negotiations, I’m never scared to use leverage. The way you do this is through competitive tension. Almost always, you’ve got another deal on the table, and you need to let the people you’re negotiating with know that.
Tell them about the other offers, and then tell them how you’re prepared to forget all of them because this is the right opportunity for you. Tell them you’re having this conversation because this is the deal you want to get done, not the others. However, always mention that you’re prepared to look at the other offers in the event that an agreement can’t be reached.
This tactic works as long as you don’t come across as a smart ass. The whole idea is to create some urgency and let everyone know where they stand.
14. Cement it in writing (friends can have issues too)
Once you get the deal you’re after, get both sides to sign something so it’s official. If you walk away with no commitment and nothing in writing, you’re leaving the terms of the deal wide open for further negotiation.
Even if you’re dealing with friends and family, this rule still applies. It’s in these circumstances that you need things in writing because emotion is more likely to take over, and make you do something you’ll regret.
15. Be prepared to walk away
This one’s the scariest, but it’s a must. When you’re negotiating the deal of your life, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that another opportunity won’t come around again. It will.
The mindset you need to foster is that even if you mess everything up and the deal falls through, you can always go back later and negotiate from scratch. By being prepared to walk away, you demonstrate to the people you’re negotiating with that you are serious.
The moment you’re deemed as not being serious, all your negotiating power disappears. It’s like when 99% of people are offered a pay rise or a promotion; they just accept what’s told to them. Never accept, always negotiate, and be prepared to walk away.
The result of the email was that I got what I wanted exactly and achieved slightly better results than I expected. In the process, I’ve become credible in the eyes of the other party, and we’ve both come to a position that works overall.
What’s the most critical negotiation you’ve ever been through, and how did it turn out? What did you learn in the process? Let me know on my website timdenning.net or my Facebook.
What if Elon Musk Ran Your Business? 4 Lessons From the Real Life Iron Man
The story of Iron man and Elon Musk starts when Robert Downey Jr. visited SpaceX headquarters miles away from the setting of the first Iron Man movie back in 2007. The actor was inspired to base his character on Elon Musk’s personality. Ashlee Vance writes in Elon’s biography “both Musk and Stark were the type of men, according to Downey, who ‘had seized an idea to live by and something to dedicate themselves to’ and were not going to waste a moment.” (more…)
5 Ways to Prepare for Your Entrepreneurial Journey
There are many ways to get ready for entrepreneurship regardless of whether you’re ready or not. The migration to the unknown will take you through many places, emotions, and people. Your journey will be both easy and difficult, but hopefully in between, you prepare yourself with an expectation of helping people by solving problems. The quest that you are about to enter will be one to remember if you are willing to adapt quickly and not give up.
Arranging for this huge change in your life should be one of the most memorable expeditions that you will ever experience. Looking into the future and being able to lay out a road map for your entrepreneurial journey will definitely be beneficial. Though there will be challenges every step of the way, being prepared will help you achieve your goals more efficiently.
To help you get started, here are 5 ways to plan an entrepreneurial expedition:
1. Form Ideas By Visualizing And Writing Them Down
Before beginning your entrepreneurial quest, brainstorm to come up with many amazing ideas even if you never act upon each of them. It’s always a good thing to write them down on paper, computer or via a mobile device app such as Google Docs. An abundance of suggestions about your processes is better than none or even a few objectives that can possibly help in some way.
The key is to breakdown those ideas to come up with better solutions to move forward in your voyage. See what’s more in line with your mission and values to be effective for your core audience, products or services that you may want to create. Whether you categorize those ideas or check them off one by one, coming up with different concepts will be a great start to your journey.
“Creativity is contagious – pass it on.” – Albert Einstein
2. Begin A Pattern Of Consistency By Quitting Bad Habits
Repetitive actions can present their challenges but if there’s a way to make progress and eliminate bad habits that aren’t hindering your itinerary then keep doing them. Have you ever noticed that negative thoughts, lack of confidence, and no exercise regimen could negate persistence of not only your entrepreneurial journey but other goals as well?
Get your mojo or swagger back by committing to a life of constant and everlasting consistency by stopping eating bad foods, wasting your time with hours of playing video games, watching television and other things that will stall your progress. When you get rid of actions that are slowing down aspects of your life, you’ll begin to pursuing things to help you lay the groundwork for success.
3. Be Disciplined While Listening More
Another way to prepare for your entrepreneurial journey is by being in control of yourself while paying more attention to everything else. It’s quite common to focus on things outside of your realm and instantly become something other than what you see fit. Difficulties can arise if your focal point isn’t there and somehow an opportunity pass right by you.
Mentorship even from a distance from someone that you don’t know can be a key element as you learn the importance of your mission. Listening to podcasts and watching YouTube videos of someone that has validated your idea is a great starting point as well. Mimicking them on some level can help you understand different phases that are ahead and how to deal with them.
“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” – Henry Ford
4. Work Effortlessly And Prioritize Your Time
You will have to work extremely hard with an emphasis on actual time value before pursuing your pilgrimage. We often hear about the results of hard work and it sounds cliche but when many other things are happening outside of your control, finding a way to manage your time can become difficult.
Most people will start off alone with zero help in terms of having a partner and putting in 100% effort. You will likely wear multiple hats as the visionary, programmer, marketer, content creator and so on. You may have to function with only 3 or 4 hours of sleep or even none at times while being respectful and cognitive of the time of others as well.
5. Persist Like There’s No Tomorrow While Planning For The Future
What’s in you? Nobody knows the answer to that question but you and the determination for reaching your destination as an entrepreneur. Whatever the answer is, you should be driven with an undaunted passion to pursue your expedition. Go after your dreams with a tenacity that you didn’t know was within your soul and keep pushing no matter what.
Be mindful that your strong pursuit can be done all while determining the proper destination of where you want to eventually end up. Never lose your focus admist numerous distractions that will happen. The emphasis comes from experience along with talking to other entrepreneurs who had similar occurrences at multiple stages of the process.
Put in the work early with the mindset of expecting obstacles and pushing forward pass them. It will be tedious and preparing for a grind will make your entrepreneurial journey more understandable through tough times. You will be a lot wiser and better after all of the hard work whether it’s considered a failure or success.
Which one of the above 5 ways to prepare for your entrepreneurial journey resonated most with you and why? Share your thoughts below!
7 Things You Need to Do to Grow as an Entrepreneur
Startups are on the rise and youngsters are keen to launch their own business instead of a nine-to-five job. As simple as it sounds, opening a business needs patience and the right planning. Moreover, the profits gained can help you meet your financial obligations and realize other dreams.
Young entrepreneurs must learn the skills of investing money within the right channels as most startups fail because of a shortage of funds. Every entrepreneur has a chance to innovate, create new jobs and have an influence on society. It’s our responsibility to continually grow and push forward, usually beyond our comfort zones.
Here are the seven must-learn tips to grow as an entrepreneur:
1. Read Books and Articles
For many new entrepreneurs, your first mentors are usually found in the pages of books and blogs. Much often learned from the writings of others, and fortunately these days, people are sharing their experiences. A survey found that 88% of the world’s wealthiest people read for a minimum of 30 minutes daily. By comparison, only 2% of the overall population reads this much daily.
Read chapters in books, and articles to get new ideas and skills. Some ideas might not be directly relevant to what you’re doing these days however, it could come helpful a year or so down the road.
My advice is to search out those leaders and writers who resonate with you. You’ll understand when you’ve hit on something when you find yourself returning to a book for answers and inspiration time and time again.
“Books give a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” – Plato
2. Perform SWOT Analysis
Business students and old-school marketers should be very aware of mapping out SWOT Analysis charts (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). If you’ve never made a SWOT chart, write out the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in four quadrants on a piece of paper.
In reality, you’ll jot down a couple of notes on the back of a cocktail napkin, however despite the simplicity, if done right, a SWOT will shed light on crucial areas that require improvement. Most significantly, don’t shy away from the truth. Dissecting your weaknesses isn’t fun however, no good comes from avoiding the fact.
3. Be Willing to Take Risks
It’s impossible to become an entrepreneur if you don’t take risks. Doesn’t matter how many times you’ve fallen. See how many times you stand-up. Being an Entrepreneur isn’t that easy; it’s an up-and-down game like a business. Be willing to come up with new plans even when old strategies are working. It’s through such risks that your business will grow. You’ll learn and meet new partners or investors. Even so, the risks must be calculated. Doing the analysis and making consultations is vital in this case.
4. Open Your Eyes Wide
Many opportunities are arising in the business world every day. For instance, many companies are willing to come up with a mobile solution for a startup without charging immoderate prices. This info can only be discovered if you’re keen.
Before dismissing adverts from websites and mainstream media, conclude if they’re relevant to your business. Also, follow the events happening in the stock market and international business summits. You’ll find the opportunities which will take your business to a new level.
Becoming successful as an entrepreneur is possible if you learn, take risks, evolve, innovate, and stay motivated. You must be realistic regarding your abilities and watch the events that unfold in your world.
5. Lead the Way for Your Team
Young entrepreneurs need to encourage employees and provide help at every juncture. For any young entrepreneur who aspires to be a leader it’s necessary to be:
- Courage and Risk Taking
- A Team-player
- An effective listener
- An effective communicator
- Able to inspire confidence
An entrepreneur who has all the attributes of a leader leads the employees to productivity. It’s essential that the team respects a leader. The hunger and aspirations of the leader to strive for success inspire the employees to put in that extra effort to be successful.
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell
6. Learn How to Keep Initial Success at Bay
Do not enjoy the shrubs of initial success for too long. Return to the drawing board and draw the future course of action. To move on to the next phase:
- Utilize local and online channels to make hype for the services
- Start expanding by hiring employees to enhance productivity
- Cater to a good segment of the audience by providing various services
- Re-invest the profitable revenue into new business efforts
Never let the initial success get to your head. The online platform is an ever-changing arena. Analyze what’s working and what new tactics can be utilized to strengthen the market base.
7. Find and Keep Business Partners
You will always go far if you have people to carry your hand during hardship in business. They’ll share ideas that have made them successful and provides you funds whenever necessary. Demonstrating that you are organized, capable, and serious is vital when nurturing such relationships. Keeping records, creating financial contributions to society, and attending forums are some of the choices worth trying.
Being an entrepreneur isn’t as easy as it looks. You’ll face many up-and-downs, risks, financial crisis, and many more. Be ready to face these problems if you want to be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship isn’t about making money, it’s about innovating new things and represent new concepts and ideas to the world.
Transitioning From Employee to Entrepreneur? Try Intrapreneurship First
Studies show that 15 million Americans are self-employed full-time and that an estimated 27 million Americans will transition from the traditional workforce to full-time entrepreneurship by 2020. Additionally, it is asserted that entrepreneurs are 125% more successful if they have previously been employed in the industry in which they presently do business. This is all great news on many levels.
Chances are, if you are reading this article, you are considering transitioning from employee to entrepreneur, or perhaps you have already made the shift. I get it. I am one of the millions who has made the switch – trading stability and comfort for passion and freedom. However, if you are a potential full-time entrepreneur, there are many things to consider before making the leap.
How will I support myself and my family in the initial stages of development? What do I do if I fail? How do I maintain the drive needed to make a business successful? How will my business harness the creativity and innovation required to thrive in the marketplace? These are all valid questions and should be considered deeply.
If only there were a training ground to test your management capabilities, gain knowledge, think innovatively and be solution-focused. But, wait, there is. Your current employment can offer these opportunities and more – through intrapreneurship.
By definition, an intrapreneur is an employee of a company who has adopted an entrepreneurial mindset. Intrapreneurs are highly motivated self-starters and innovative, solution-driven thought leaders, who work within an organization. Because of this definition, acting in an intrapreneurial capacity in your current place of employment makes a great deal of sense when considering the move to self-employment. You can use your current employment status as a testing ground for where you want to be.
Here are four reasons why intrapreneurship can work for you:
1. See a problem. Solve a problem
All businesses should be designed to fulfill a need. Just as your own business should be able to justify its existence in the marketplace, initiatives within an organization should do the same. Closely examine processes and products in your place of employment. Determine what could be executed more productively. Alternatively, design a new initiative to creatively meet and exceed customer expectations. Acting in this manner will prepare you for building the structure and mission of your own business.
2. Creatively capitalize on skills and talents gained outside your employer
In many instances, we separate business from personal, and there are many good reasons for this approach. However, there are notable skills and talents used in your personal life that are transferable to the workplace. For example, if you engage in team sports, use your team building skills and charisma to involve your colleagues in projects.
If you love to read fiction books, integrate the creativity of the stories to bend the thinking of traditional methods of operation. The possibilities are many. Business owners rely on all life experiences, directly or tangentially related, for the benefit of their enterprises.
3. Intrapreneurship is for all employment levels
If you think intrapreneurship is only for c-suite executives, think again. Intrapreneurship is for the mailroom to the boardroom. As noted in the definition, intrapreneurship is about being a self-starter. You do not need permission from anyone to be highly motivated. Just as all parts of our bodies have a function, so do all positions in an organization. Even if you feel your position has no purpose in your organization, make one. We all have to start somewhere in our entrepreneurial journeys, so start right now, where you are.
4. Experiencing failure is inevitable. Move forward anyway.
All of us will experience failure at some point and multiple times as well. Failure will happen regardless if you remain employed or set out on our own. Be bold enough to move forward with establishing your voice and your place anyway. Business and life are about forward movement. Decide now what next step you will take if you fail. There is always a path forward. Get used to the possibility of your ideas being rejected and your designs being flawed now, so when you are a full-time entrepreneur, you will know how to advance.
Whether you are at the infancy stages of developing your own business, currently self-employed or even wish to remain an employee, establishing yourself as an initiator and innovator can reap many benefits for you and your company. That is the beauty of it.
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