Heading into uncharted territory? Talk to someone who's been there before!
Have you ever been through one of these challenging phases in life where you have almost no experience? Passing through uncharted territory?
I’ve recently gone through an important negotiation. Something I’ve never done before.
Throughout our lives, we learn by making mistakes. You do something new, you fail and eventually improve to make it work. You learn.
This is a great process, but sometimes in life you just don’t want to take chances. You want to avoid failing as much as possible.
Ideally, you learn from the mistakes of others.
Learning from others’ mistakes
The most basic way is learning by reading a book. I bet there are a ton of great books on improving your negotiation game, but it also takes a lot of time.
I am more of a practical learner, meaning I need to apply learned concepts immediately to not forget about them.
The best approach for me is to dive in and learn while I’m solving a problem. This works great when I’m developing software. It has helped me to learn things like Python.
A negotiation however is more real-time and you often don’t get second chances. Once you’ve made a chess move, it’s hard to reverse.
I find it best to have someone to bounce ideas off of, strategise with and talk through your options and decision tree.
Ideally, someone who has been in this situation before.
Asking an expert
Luckily I have a good friend who is an absolute machine when it comes to negotiation.
He works in sales, understands relationships loves to strategise and has certainly run into a bunch of errors and learned from them.
I could have hired a consultant, but all I needed was someone to bounce ideas off of. Someone to talk to once in a while when crafting a response or preparing a meeting.
Whenever I moved along in my negotiation process, I would call him up, get his advice, discuss the pros and cons or just get help rephrasing certain parts of what I was writing.
These conversations added a great deal of value to my process. It would be questions such as how to get the other side to make the first offer, how to push for more and still achieve a win-win and a lot of nuances in the communication itself.
Without the help, I probably wouldn’t have achieved the same result.
This makes me think then: Why don’t I apply this to other areas in life?
Where else could this be useful?
Where else could I use an absolute expert as a sounding board and get advice?
I’ve lived in four different countries, and have learned a lot on the way. I’ve also made a bunch of mistakes.
I once had to withdraw cash with my credit card and pay it into my new bank account - paying horrendous fees. I bet someone could have told me about Wise and Interactive Brokers.
I’m terrible at marketing and don’t even know where to start. I’ve built software and have some experience on what to use when, but sometimes it would be beneficial to just talk to an absolute pro for just a bit on how to avoid pitfalls.
Everyone is an expert at something.
I’ve made mistakes in my life and have learned from them and most of us will have.
I wonder if there is a place where I can find people who have a ton of experience in a specific topic and then connect with them to learn, navigating me through a tricky situation in life. Helping me understand the uncharted territory in front of me.
This doesn't have to be a complete mentorship setup where you commit to learning from a person for a while. I’m thinking of a situation-based thing. Let’s say I want to buy a very specific car or want to move to a different country, Maybe I’m thinking about starting a business and can’t decide which tech stack to build on.
I’d then love to scroll through a list of people, check their backgrounds and expertise and book some time to chat.
What do you think? Would you find such a platform useful?