Today, I’m a rock star when it comes to negotiating and delegating, but this wasn’t always the case. I spent years under-earning because of my unwillingness to ask for more and my fear of negotiating. This is a common issue I find in women. We haven’t been taught to negotiate or ask for more. We are psyched to get an offer, and we take what we can get. But this mentality seriously affected my bank account.
Everything is negotiable.
Luckily for me, I hit a hard bottom when it came to my fear around negotiating. When my first book was published, I started to get sponsorship offers for endorsement deals. I was so psyched to have these nontraditional sources of revenue that I didn’t even consider negotiating for more than I was offered. At this time, a dear friend of mine suggested I ask for double the amount of what one sponsor had offered. I nearly fell off my chair when she suggested this.
In that moment, I was confronted with my deep-rooted fear of negotiating, and had to be honest with myself about how this fear was negatively affecting my life. Since that day, I have been on a steadfast journey toward conquering my fear negotiating. My commitment to change has resulted in lots of abundance — and many fun negotiations!
Know when to shut up!
They don’t call me Gabby for nothin! As a self-proclaimed loud mouth, I’ve never had a hard time pitching business. Sometimes my loquacious attitude has worked in my favor, but it’s also backfired at times. I’d get to the final point in a sales pitch when you’re meant to wrap things up, shake hands and seal the deal, and I’d always keep talking. This compulsion to reiterate everything that had been said is a bad approach to closing a deal. In fact, I blew many potential deals because I’d oversell and talk too much.
Learning to shut my mouth didn’t come easily, but it has greatly helped my sales skills. Today, I know when to go for the hard sell and when to shut her down. Knowing when to stop pitching is a true negotiating art.
Solopreneur does not scale.
I spent nearly eight years trying to do it all. The control freak in me was unwilling to let go of the rope and allow people to step in. What I’ve learned from this mistake is that if you try to control everything, you can never let your true talent shine through. Hence another business bottom that taught me a massive lesson.
I’ve since learned that trying to do everything will never serve a business. In order for your business to grow, you must learn to delegate to those who know more than you in certain areas. This gives you the necessary freedom to be creative and grow your business.
Featured in the New York Times Sunday Styles section as the next generation guru, motivational speaker, life coach and author Gabrielle Bernstein is making her mark. Gabrielle is a No. 1 bestselling author of the book Add More ~-ing to Your Life: A Hip Guide to Happiness.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC recently published #FixYoungAmerica: How to Rebuild Our Economy and Put Young Americans Back to Work (for Good), a book of 30+ proven solutions to help end youth unemployment.