Thursday, May 18, 2017

I'm on a short break

Hey all, I just wanted to give you a quick heads up that something has come up in my life that is going to take me away from being able to blog for a while. I'm not sure how long it might be, hopefully it turns out being pretty short, but right now I have no idea. I'm sure I'll let you guys know more about all of it when I know the full outcome and can look back on this time of uncertainty. I've been making notes and think that I can produce some good stuff out of this later on.

But until I can get there are a few things that you can do for me.

1) Sign up to get notified of posts here so that you will know when I'm back in the game.
2) Take this time to read through some of the older posts that you might have missed. here
3) Click on any and ever add you see just for the heck of it.
4) Pray for my family.

Thank you all,

Peace.

Roy Largo

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

I've Been Vested

*Not me

Today was a big milestone for me. I’ve been vested! So I thought that I would discuss it a bit and what all it means.

First let’s start by talking about a company match, typically thought of as free money. Some employers, as part of their benefits package, match part of their employee’s retirement account contributions. Like any other benefit, part of the rationale behind the company match is to entice people to want to work for the employer. People are attracted to employers with good benefits packages. Also, employers receive a tax benefit for contributing to employee 401(k) accounts. A company match has the power to greatly increase the value of an employer-sponsored retirement savings account and I beg you to take advantage of it if your company offers one.
There is a wide range of company match levels. A typical matching situation is: the employer matches 50% of employee contributions for the first 6%-of-salary that an employee contributes – so the company will not match more than 3% of the employees’ salary. Some companies will provide a straight match, up to a certain limit – rather than matching 50% of employee contributions, they will match 100% of employee contributions up to a set percentage-of-employee-income. A few companies will provide a dollar-for-dollar match on all contributions by an employee, though it is rare and if you ever find this you better make sure to count your luck stars and max out your 401(k) every year no matter what cause that’s a free $18k per year. Under those circumstances, the company match would be limited only because the employee contribution is limited.

My company offers a straight 5% match of my contributions. So, if I were to only contribute 4% of my salary to my 401(k) – they would only contribute 4% of my salary to my 401(k). But since I contribute 17% of my salary to my 401(k) they contribute 5% of my salary to my 401(k). So here’s what it currently looks like for each bi-weekly pay period:
                Pre-Tax Salary - $2,374.95
                401(k) at 17% - $403.74
                Match at 5% - $118.75

Our company policy is that the portion that they match will get automatically invested into their company stock, then you can go have it moved out when you want. Since my company’s stock has been performing nicely and the future looks promising I have been waiting to sell out until after I’m fully vested. So between the company match and the growth that that investment has seen I’ve received $11,740 from them over the past 3 year, that’s roughly $3,913 of freeeeee money each year.

Vesting

Now that we understand the company match, we can discuss vesting. Vesting refers to the practice of delaying an employee’s ownership of the company match (or any other company contribution, like profit-sharing) for a specified number of years. So a company match contribution to a 401(k) plan will grow as part of the overall account value, but the employee could not rollover or take distributions on any portion of company match money that is not vested, or owned by that employee.



At my company it breaks down like this:
                1 Year of Employment = 25% Vested
                2 Year of Employment = 50% Vested
3 Year of Employment = 100% Vested

So, if I had decided to quit my job yesterday I would have only been able to keep 50% of company match that they had given me over the years. But now that I have completed my 3 years of servitude I can walk out at any time and keep all of that match in my 401(k). And now that I’ve reached my 100% vested milestone? I think I’m going to go start looking for another job that I might actually enjoy doing!

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Thank you so much for reading and your help in acknowledging our efforts. If you have benefited in anyway by this article could you please help show your appreciation by and support by taking a few minutes to do some of the following ideas:
-          Leave your insights and suggestions as a comment below.
-          Think of at least 1 friend that you think could benefit from this article and refer them to it.
-          Help provide financial support for our efforts by clicking on any of the advertisements on the site. Note that this is a free way for you to help provide us with funding to keep bringing you content.
-          Check out another article here.
-          Sign up to get new blog posts in your email here.
You are appreciated,

                Roy Largo
        Band Of Savers Founder

Monday, May 1, 2017

Monthly Progress: April 2017


The first day of the month is always a big day for me with my personal finance spreadsheets. While I update them nearly every day there are a few things that I do and track on a monthly basis, so the first day of a new month means that I get to hard code the actuals of the previous month and see how we did. I LOVE IT!

So, how'd we do in April?

1)       Net worth: $216,882.83, up $3,922.86

I am a bit obsessive but I actually track my net worth every morning that I work, just because I love seeing the graph it makes and knowing what's going on, and it only takes me about 10 minutes using Personal Capital if I go slowly and analyze anything (if you’re not already using Personal Capital I highly suggest checking them out. They are 100% free and I love them and use their android app nearly every day). But over the past month our net worth has increased from $212,959.97 to $216,882.83, growing by a total of $3,922.86 for April.


2)     Investment income: $1,891.34

Another detail that I measure on a monthly basis is how much we've made (or lost) due solely to our investments. This helps me to see what I would have to live off if I didn't work at all and choose to live exclusively off of investments, which is the goal. The current amount needed from investments each month is $2,600, which means that at a 4% withdrawal rate we would need roughly $780k in investments (easy calculation: $2,600*12*25=$780,000). On the first of every month I document what all of our investments are worth and back out the beginning value of the previous month and all of the investments that we made during the month.

In April we started with $132,328.26, invested $1,143.69 and ended the month with $135,362.96. Meaning that, in April, we gained $1,891.34 on our investments.

This year I added another metric to track on this. In April we spent a total of $2,523.76 which means that, this month, we could not have lived off of our investment income.

Current ER* date is being calculated out at 5/11/2033 (5,854 days left!!!!!!).


3)     Financial plan savings: $800.93

I'm not going to go into the details behind the calculations on this one since it's more lengthy but you can read more about it in my post about 
Our Current Financial Plan. But after all of our income, expenses and planned savings for the month we ended up with an extra $800.93 in our checking account to use for investing in our future.

We have actually made one small change from our previously stated plan and instead on dividing this 50/50 between our mortgage and Vanguard we have begun dividing it into 4 buckets, adding 2 more buckets for remodels and vacation as follows: Vanguard = 30%, Mortgage = 30%, Remodels = 30%, Vacations = 10%. So this time we invested $240.28 in our Vanguard mutual fund VTSAX.

Then I called up my bank and scheduled a payment for an additional $240.28 to go to the principle on our mortgage. So after our regular mortgage payment that automatically pays on the 1st of each month and this extra payment our mortgage dropped down to $100,871.77 today. Which means that, as of today, we actually own 42.03% (roughly 790.12 sq. ft.) of our home. We bought 10 sq. ft. this month!

So, by and large our April turned out pretty good. How did things go for you? 

And here's to having a great May ahead of us.


*ER stands for Early Retirement. My wife and I do not go on dates to the Emergency Room on a planned schedule.


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Thank you so much for reading and your help in acknowledging our efforts. If you have benefited in any way from this article could you please help show your appreciation by and support by taking a few minutes to do some of the following ideas:
-          Leave your insights and suggestions as a comment below.
-          Think of at least 1 friend that you think could benefit from this article and refer them to it.
-          Help provide financial support for our efforts by clicking on any of the advertisements on the site. Note that this is a free way for you to help provide us with funding to keep bringing you content. (If you’re looking for the simplest way to help – this is it).
-          Check out another article here.
-          Sign up to get new blog posts in your email here.
You are appreciated,

                Roy Largo
        Band Of Savers Founder


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Cheap Breakfast Options


We all know that cold cereal is an expensive breakfast option. But the problem is that it’s just so quick and easy. All through college I made oatmeal for breakfast basically everyday (occasionally pancakes on special occasions), but never splurged on cold cereal. But for the past 3 years I’ve slipped into complacency and I’ve turned a bowl of cereal into a morning ritual.

Why? You know how expensive it is!

Three years ago I started a job that required me to be out the door by 6:30 every morning. I am not a morning person. My alarm is set for 5:40 and it takes me at least 4 snoozes and 20 minutes to get vertical. It’s a good day if I can drag myself out of bed by 6:00 am. This leaves my with very little time to bother with breakfast. So, since I don’t have the time to cook myself a plate of oatmeal I opt for a much easier bowl of cornflakes (yes, my family eats oatmeal off of a plate since it cools faster and can be eaten sooner than if it’s in a bowl). Then when my family meanders out of bed they make a batch of oatmeal.

The Costs:

In college I once calculated that we could eat a plate of oatmeal for under $0.10 per plate. And that included the milk and sugar.

Now that I have to pay a bit more for our 50 lb. bags of oatmeal and my family’s apatite seems to be growing I’ve calculated that an average plate of oatmeal costs between $0.20 and $0.25.

Cereal – I bought and ate nothing but Corn Flakes and Frosted Flakes from Aldi. An 18 oz. box of Corn flakes was $1.49 (8.3 cents per oz.) and a 16 oz. box of frosted Flakes was $1.29 (8.0 cents per oz.). I love Frosted Flakes but they are too sweet for me now that I’m older than 8. So I would mix the two. A typical bowl was about 75% Corn Flakes and 25% Frosted Flakes. I found that I was having to buy a box of each and a gallon of milk about once a week. After adding in the cost of the milk ($1.19-$2.00 per gallon depending on the week) I determined that I was spending about $0.90 per breakfast and my wonderful wife loved to point out that nearly all of the limited nutritional value from it came from the milk.  

I got to thinking about these calculations the other day and realized that I was the grocery budget culprit. I have been doubling the cost of our family’s breakfast for the past 3 years.

The Solution:  

This thought has been in the back of my mind for years but I wasn’t sure what to do about it. I didn’t have the time to cook a breakfast and couldn’t figure out a cheaper and faster alternative to cold cereal so I just put up with it.

Until yesterday when inspiration struck me.

EGGS!

Over the Eater week Aldi had eggs on sale for $0.39 per dozen so my wife loaded up with 6 dozen eggs. We hardboiled and died at least 2-3 dozen eggs with the boys and have been snacking on colorful eggs for the past two weeks. I’ve never really loved hardboiled eggs but since I’ve been running and working out much more than normal lately I can tell that my body has needed more protein than our semi-vegetarian diet was providing, so I ate them.

While 39 cents was an amazing deal on eggs we can usually get them for 99 cents or less. So I figured that this meant that I could eat 10 hardboiled eggs for breakfast for less than the cost of a bowl of cereal (and it’s got to be better for my body).

Remember the old song from Beauty and the Beast about Gaston eating eggs? I can’t imagine eating 5 dozen every morning, but maybe that’s why I’m not the size of a barge. J

I didn’t have any idea how many eggs it would take to sustain me till lunch but I tested it out this morning and here were the results.

                4

I made 6 eggs last night before bed. Ate one before leaving the house then kept the rest on hand at work and ate one about every hour for the first 3 hours of the day. It was good to be able to space out my meals a bit and have a series of smaller snacks to boost me along rather than having one meal early on then starving by 10:00 without an option for something to eat until lunch. And it only cost me$0.33 tops.

Going forward I think that I’ll still plan on trying to have 6 eggs on hand incase 4 happens to not be enough some mornings. But I’m pretty excited about this new discovery I made. (And I’m sure I can learn to enjoy them at that cost).

What do you eat for breakfast and about how much does it cost?
  
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Recipe: In case your also incompetent in the kitchen – my wife had to teach me this last night so I won’t judge you

1.       Put eggs in a pot of tap water.
2.       Put the pot on the stove on high heat.
3.       When the water starts to boil turn off the heat.
4.       Let sit for 10 minutes.
5.       Drain the hot water and fill the pot (with the eggs still in it) with cold water.
6.       Wait a few minutes then remove the eggs and refrigerate.
7.       When you’re ready to eat it just crack it and peal it.
Easy right! Just doubled my list of meals I can make!

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Thank you so much for reading and your help in acknowledging our efforts. If you have benefited in anyway by this article could you please help show your appreciation by and support by taking a few minutes to do some of the following ideas:
-          Leave your insights and suggestions as a comment below.
-          Think of at least 1 friend that you think could benefit from this article and refer them to it.
-          Help provide financial support for our efforts by clicking on any of the advertisements on the site. Note that this is a free way for you to help provide us with funding to keep bringing you content.
-          Check out another article here.
-          Sign up to get new blog posts in your email here.
You are appreciated,

                Roy Largo
        Band Of Savers Founder

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

What’s On Your Phone? - My List of Financial Apps


I try not to clutter up my phone with a ton of apps. In the past I’ve rotated through several financial apps but most of them were eventually deleted because I found that I didn’t use them and they were just taking up space on my phone. So, while this app list might not be very long, you can be assured that they are good ones that I consistently rely on. Also note that these are all free apps, I’ve never paid for an app and don’t plan on it in the future, so I’m not trying to sell you anything.


1.       Personal Capital” – I use this app first thing when I get to work every morning. It is so convenient to be able to open an app, type in a PIN, and have instant access to see all of the movements that have been happening on all of our accounts. Since I track our net worth daily, I rely on the front page of Personal Capital for all of my account balances. If there has been and changes in my savings, checking, or credit card balances I can click on that account and see the detailed history behind it to verify that I know what each purchase was for and that there aren’t any surprises or fraudulent activities. This habit has actually allowed me to catch a fraudulent credit card charge just a few hours after it was made and before it had left the pending status. And if you don’t have a Personal Capital account I strongly suggest getting one, it’s free, safe, and an absolute personal finance game changer.


2.       “Real Time Stocks Track & Alert” – There are several free apps out there that will give you real time access to the movements in the stock market. I stumbled upon this one after only trying out a few and it has stuck. I know that it offers a lot more functions than I care to use but I haven’t bothered digging into it too much yet, maybe someday. What I like about this app – it makes it so simple to save a few of the stocks that I care about the most and quickly monitor how they are doing throughout the day. By selecting the stock I can dig a bit deeper into its past performance and even see the discussions that others are having about it that often give better insight for why it is performing the way it is that day.  


3.       My credit card provider – I have this app so that I can monitor credit card activity, pay my monthly bill (on time and in full as soon as it’s posted so that I never have to worry about interest fees), and use their credit monitor feature. They provide me with a free weekly update of my TransUnion score so I make sure to keep an eye on this number every Monday morning. I would strongly suggest having your credit card provider’s app, whoever it may be.

4.       My bank – If your bank has an app please download it. I have two banks. One is a large nationwide bank that we’ve used for years and do the majority of our banking through. But their closest physical location is almost 2 hours away from where we now live so I have to do all of my banking online. So having their app makes banking so much quicker and easier, and it’s the only way I could deposit checks with them. Our other bank is a local credit union that holds our mortgage and I hate that they don’t have an app and make me log into their website to see my balances (and they don’t sync to personal capital) and call or stop in to make any transfers/mortgage payments.


5.       Vanguard – I use this one since all of my taxable investing is done at Vanguard. The main features that I use on the app is to buy shares of my mutual funds on the 1st of each month and see what my performance rates have been for each of my funds periodically.


6.       Fidelity – I have this one since my 401(k) is administered by Fidelity. I actually don’t use it very often but keep it around since it’s easier than logging in online if I do need to see something in my 401(k) or HSA accounts.


7.       GasBuddy – I use this often to see where the cheapest gas is. Since my gas gauge and odometer don’t work in my car I have no way of knowing how much gas I have at any given time. So my solution is to only really drive it to work and back and fill up on my way home every Friday. I’ve found that in a week I use about ¾ of a tank so it’s never been a problem to do this. I have to commute about 25 miles so the gas prices often differ widely along the way. So to make sure that I know which gas station I should be going to I always check Gas Buddy before leaving work on Friday. I can pull up a map and easily see the current prices all along my route home. There is no way to quantify how much this app has saved me but I would guess that it easily saves my an average of $0.75 per tank – so roughly $40 per year?


8.       OverDrive – Ok, so it’s not a financial app. But it has saved me a lot and helped my finances out since I use it to listen to finance (and other) books while I’m at work, in the car, or out running. It’s so nice to have access to all this information without ever having to pay for it.


9.       OfferUp – I’ve tried using Craigslist to sell stuff but I can’t stand all the hoops you have to jump through to list something on it. While OfferUp doesn’t get near the amount of traffic that Craigslist does, I use it because it is so easy to list something on it. And, while Craigslist posts expire and thus require constant maintenance if something doesn’t sell quickly, OfferUp posts stay up until you remove the post. There are some things that I get contacted about here and there that I put up for sell several months ago and haven’t had to do any post maintenance. Contacting people to ask questions and make offers on their goods is all done inside the app and very easy. I’ve made $90 off it so far but don’t really put any effort into it.


10.   LinkedIn – I really don’t like social media, but in the professional world we live in LinkedIn is a must unfortunately. I actually don’t use this app very often but keep it because I would never know about and LinkedIn notifications or messages without it since I never think to actually log in online. Now that I’ve started looking for a new job once again I try to open up the app at least once a week just to explore and connect with people that might be able to aide me in finding new employment. 

11.   Digit – I actually deleted this one this week since I closed my account after they released their news that they are going to start charging a monthly fee L. But for a year they lived on my home screen and I interacted with them regularly so I thought that I might as well mention them.  



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Thank you so much for reading and your help in acknowledging our efforts. If you have benefited in anyway by this article could you please help show your appreciation by and support by taking a few minutes to do some of the following ideas:
-          Leave your insights and suggestions as a comment below.
-          Think of at least 1 friend that you think could benefit from this article and refer them to it.
-          Help provide financial support for our efforts by clicking on any of the advertisements on the site. Note that this is a free way for you to help provide us with funding to keep bringing you content.
-          Check out another article here.
-          Sign up to get new blog posts in your email here.
You are appreciated,

                Roy Largo
        Band Of Savers Founder

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

How to Negotiate a Higher Salary


Like many of you out there, I have been a bit dissatisfied with my current employer recently. So, with my full vesting date quickly approaching I have officially begun my job hunt again. However, one of the scariest parts – ok, let’s admit it, basically everything associated with a job change is scary; but still, the negotiation portion of accepting a job offer terrifies me. When I started at my current job I felt like the employer held basically all of the cards at the negotiation table and I came in with hardly anything. And as a result felt like I just had to accept their offer and move on. And over the past 3 years not much has changed, due to the culture here, I still don’t hold many cards and have felt like I have to just accept their “generosity” each raise cycle and move on. This last year I finally spoke up about how unfair the raise amount seemed to me and was blown off with a “too bad, nothing you can do about it” type of response.

But there is something that I can do about it. I can find myself a better option and walk out on them, right? So, in an attempt to make sure that I don’t find myself in a similar situation of feeling like I’ve been cheated at my next job I’ve begun to do my homework and learn some of the tricks of negotiation so that when I sit down with the pros I at least have a fighting chance.

I’ve started by listening to a few books about negotiation. One in particular has been a game changer for me so I wanted to share with you my notes that I’ve taken about salary negotiations. Please notice that these are just the notes that I’ve taken, not a full book review. Some of the bullet points might not make a ton of sense to you since I was trying to just quickly write down reminders, so I’ll refer you to the book for more detailed info because this is just a starting point for these concepts. Hope they help.

The book is called “Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It” by Chris Voss. The whole book is pretty good but the parts that these notes came from can be found in chapters 6 and beyond, where he discusses salary negotiation techniques.

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1.       When discussing salary
a.       Anchor their emotions for a loss – allow them to think that the worst news is on the way then play your offer as the alternative offer to the loss
b.       Let them go first – you don’t want to inadvertently offer something that is below their standard offer and you want them to show their hand first
c.       Offer a range – studies show that those who come in with an acceptable range of values get more than those who just offer a single number
                                                              i.      i.e. “Similar positions in are typically offer between $130,000 to $170,000.”
                                                             ii.     If you’re hoping for $130,000 but their cap was $125,000 they might be enticed to jump at the $130,000 because its much less than the $170,000 on your range 
                                                           iii.     If you have to go first, make it a bold range and be prepared to happily accept the lowest value in the range.
d.       Pivot to non-monetary terms -  offer things that are cheap to you but valuable to them, or ask for things that are cheap to them but valuable to you
e.       When you do talk numbers – Use odd numbers
                                                              i.      If the number ends in 0’s it is seem as movable but if it ends in obscure numbers it appears to have backing and more solid
1.       i.e. offering $74,897 instead of $75,000. If they hear $75,000 they will be more likely to continue to negotiate and get you to come down but will see $74,897 as your lowest possible option
f.        Surprise them with a gift – after making a bold offer and being rejected come up with a seemingly obscure gift – it will make them feel indebted to you and like they need to reciprocate the generosity
2.       How to negotiate a better salary
a.       Be pleasantly persistent
                                                              i.      i.e. an extra week of vacation, with a smile and justification – often they can’t give it so they will counter with a salary increase instead
b.       “Salary terms without success terms is Russian Roulette. Once you’ve negotiated a salary make sure to define ‘success’ for your position as well as metrics for your next raise that’s meaningful for you but free for your boss.” “Gets you a planned raise and, by defining your success in relation to your bosses supervision and leads to the next point.”
c.       Spark their interest in your success and gain an unofficial mentor.
                                                              i.      “Sell yourself as more than a body for the job. Sell yourself and your success as a way they can validate their own intelligence and broadcast it to the rest of the company. Convince them you’re an ambassador for their importance so they’ll have a stake in your success.
1.       Ask: “What does it take to be successful here?” – verbatim
a.       They will then want to follow your career to see if you will take their advice
3.       Remember
a.       All negotiations are driven by a complex system of underground needs, not just what would appear on the surface. Understand those needs.
b.       Don’t compromise, splitting the difference ends in a bad deal for both parties
                                                              i.      Story of the man who ended up wearing one black shoe and one brown shoe
c.       Approaching deadlines cause people to rush and impulsively make bad decisions
d.       “Fair” put the other side on the defensive and gains you concessions, emotionally charged word
e.       You can bend their reality by emotionally anchoring their starting point
f.        People will take more risks to avoid a loss than to realize a gain. Make sure they see there is something to lose by inaction.
4.       Understand what type of a negotiator you and your counterpart are and learn to play to your strengths – not replace them
a.       Analyst 
                                                              i.      Methodical and diligent, not in a big rush, wants to minimize mistakes.
                                                             ii.     Moto is “As much time as it takes to get it right”
                                                           iii.     Prefers to work alone and rarely shows emotion
                                                           iv.     Often speaks in a way that is distant and cold which puts people off
                                                             v.     Hates surprises
                                                           vi.     Hypersensitive to reciprocity
                                                          vii.     Skeptical by nature, apologies hold little value to them
                                                        viii.     If this is you – smile when you speak, don’t cut yourself off from your counterpart
b.       Accommodator
                                                              i.      Most important thing is the time spent building the relationship
                                                             ii.     If they’re communicating they’re happy
                                                           iii.     Love the win-win outcome
                                                           iv.     Want to remain friends regardless of the outcome
                                                             v.     Easy to talk to, has a pleasant voice
                                                           vi.     Poor time managers
                                                          vii.     Often the first to begin the reciprocity cycle
                                                        viii.     Approach to preparation can be lacking
                                                           ix.      Fears conflict
c.       Assertive
                                                              i.      Believes time is money, “Every wasted minute is a wasted dollar.”
                                                             ii.     Self-image is linked to how much they can get done in a period of time
                                                           iii.     Would rather get to a good solution quick than the perfect solution if it takes more time
                                                           iv.     Wants to win above everything else
                                                             v.     Aggressive communication style and doesn’t worry about any future interactions
                                                           vi.     Wants to be heard first.
                                                          vii.     Tells rather than asks
                                                        viii.     When working with one of these:
1.       Listen to show them you understand their views
2.       Use mirror phrases, calibrated questions, labels, and summaries
3.       Push them to say “That’s right!”
                                                           ix.      They want to give an inch and take a mile when reciprocating – deserve mentality
5.       Overcoming fear and learning to get what you want out of life
a.       People generally fear conflict so they will try to avoid it. “People in close relationships often avoid making their own interests known and instead compromise across the board to avoid seeming greedy or self-interested. They fold, they grow bitter, and they grow apart”. “Everyone hates negotiation at first.” Our natural impulse is to chicken out and run. It’s not the other person that scares us – it’s conflict itself. If you’re going to be great at anything you’re going to have to overcome that fear.
                                                              i.      “Don’t avoid honest, clear conflict. It will get you the best car price, the highest salary, and the biggest donation.”
                                                             ii.     Be honest about what you want and what you can, and cannot, do
6.       Tips for uncovering the Black Swans = The Unknown Unknowns
a.       Let the knows guide you but not blind you
b.       Black Swans are leverage multipliers
c.       Work to understand your counterparts guiding principles (religion)
                                                              i.      Dig into their world views
d.       Review everything you hear from your counterparts
e.       Exploit their similarities with you to show that you share common ground
f.        When someone seems irrational and crazy, they most likely aren’t. Search for motives
g.       Get face time with your counterpart. Watch for facial cues at the beginning and the end of the encounter or when something out of line is said
7.       Other great tips and quotes
a.       “Failures plant the seeds of future success.”
b.      Use lots of open-ended questions
c.       You want to guide them into coming up with the solution you want
d.       “Hope is not a strategy.”
e.       “I’ll try” really means “I plan to fail”
f.        Often ask them “How am I supposed to do that?” after they make an offer
g.       “Why…” questions make people feel uncomfortable and get defensive
                                                              i.      Unless you’re asking questions like, “Why would you want to hire me over your other candidates?”
1.       Forces them to work for you instead of against you
h.       “When the pressure is on you don’t rise to the occasion, you fall to your highest level of preparation.” – Be prepared
i.         Keep them talking until you can identify and use their Black Swans
                                                              i.      Hidden motives for their actions that they don’t want you to know. Events or actions that sit outside our rational expectations of what can happen
                                                             ii.     The Unknown Unknowns
1.       Everyone has at least 3 that you need to look for – not easy to find
j.        Find clever ways to say “No” without actually saying the word no.


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