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.
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.