If there is one thing that one of my old bosses hated, was the lack of detail when it comes to negotiating a deal. I don’t mean the type of cross your t’s and dot your I’s. More like the kind of, check to make sure the 22 cents remaining are mine and nobody else’s. I always thought it was a mix of control and greed, but as I delve more into my own deals, I am kind of beginning to understand him.

If there is one thing I have learned this last few months is that patience and flexibility are a virtue. Not everybody can be patient and not everybody can be flexible. When you have an instinct for ambition, you will take every opportunity to negotiate to your advantage. Whether you are negotiating with your business partner or your kid, this is the way you do it. But there is always the motivation at the end: how much do you want for yourself, and how much does the other person want.

I am extremely good at judging this, but I have changed thankfully in so many ways, that I am always willing to see what is fair for me and for the other party. Once I establish a fairness principle, I try to make sure we both stay around there, that way we both win. If the other party is not willing to come close to fairness, then I don’t need to worry too much about a long-term relationship. If the party, like one of my current principals is fair, then I will take care of them like there was no tomorrow.

I actually have 2 principals right now that I believe are not only fair but well-meaning. Don’t get me wrong, I know they will always look for a way to come on top, I am not blind by my sudden good heart, but at least their self-interests are not extreme – they are, well, fair.

So to all of those out there reading this, please remember that as an entrepreneur you have to charge for your services and you have to pay for your services. Judgement will not always be about the lowest cost or highest price, but about the perception of fairness in your relationship. Hopefully, it will start with you and how you treat others…

Keep Calm and Stay Humble