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Negotiating 101: You CAN Negotiate Anything!

by Craig Grella on December 5, 2009 · 2 comments


It was a short while after college and I was house sitting in Beverly Hills for a friend who had run off someplace in Europe to help another friend who had gotten into some trouble.  It was an easy two week gig and I was glad to help; my friend had a great collection of old books and his place was close to all the best restaurants.

I spent the better part of those two weeks in his leather recliner, eating take-out and working my way through his library.  I got re-acquainted with Shakespeare, read some Nietzsche, Machiavelli, and even a little Dr. Seuss (who say’s Cat in the Hat isn’t a classic?)  However, there was one book I read more often than all the others.  One book that  resonated so deeply and shaped my future business transactions more than any other book or piece of advice I’d been given since.  The name of that book was “You Can Negotiate Anything” by Herb Cohen.

Author: Herb Cohen

Author: Herb Cohen

What was supposed to be a short gig turned into a two year sublet when my friend decided to stay in Europe after meeting the woman who would eventually become his wife.  When he finally did come back I had probably read that book over 50 times, and had begun to put its sage wisdom to work in all areas of my life from business to my personal life, and even in dealings with my friends and family. The book is aptly titled, because after reading it just once you will believe that you too can negotiate anything…and probably will.

This article was not meant as a sales tool for the book. I do not know Mr. Cohen, have never spoken to him, nor have I written to tell him how much his book has meant to me.  But I do it now, for the BiggerPockets readers. What I learned from this book is much more than how to squeeze another dollar out of the guy sitting across the table from me.  I learned that life itself is one big negotiation, and the ones who make it to the top aren’t the ones who have the best education, luck, or even talent.  The one’s who make it to the top are the ones who have a plan and negotiate their way to get what they want.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

DemosL December 5, 2009 at 7:40 pm

Life is a big game and being a good negotiator is one of the unwritten rules. If we think hard enough, we can all probably realize we have been negotiating with other people since we were kids. Certainly, when you get a job, you’re negotiating. We probably all negotiate with our significant others. If you have kids, you negotiate big time. Which gets us back to when we were kids. We probably started negotiating with our parents, when we were kids.


David Krushinsky December 7, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Hmmm. Interesting article which really makes you think hard about certain aspects of life. How far do you take your negotiations i.e. revise written contracts? Renegotiate when you are clearly in the best possible position?


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