Thursday, December 1, 2011

James Altucher on the Number One Key to Success

Altucher writes about what he didn't learn in college:
8. Sales. When I was busy learning how to “not program” nobody ever taught me how to sell what it was I was programming. Or sell myself. Or sell out. Or sell my ideas and turn them into money. Or sell a product to someone who might need it. Or even better, sell it to someone who doesn’t need it. Some business programs might have courses on salesmanship but those are BS because everyone automatically gets As in MBA programs so that the schools can demonstrate what good jobs their students get so they then get more applicants and the scam/cycle continues. But sales: how to demonstrate passion behind an idea you had, you built, you signed up for, so that people are willing to pay hard-earned after-tax money for it, is the number one key to any success and I have never seen it taught (properly) in college.

9. Negotiation. You’ve gotten the idea, you executed, you made the sale and now…what’s the price. What part of your body will be amputated in exchange for infinite wisdom. Will you give up one eye? Or your virility? Because something has to go if you are up against a good negotiator? What? You already thought (like most people without any experience do) that you were ALREADY a good negotiator. A good negotiator will skin your back, tattoo it with “SUCKA” and hang it up above the fireplace in his pool house if you don’t know what you are doing. The funny thing is, the best sales people (who are just aiming for people to say “YES!”) are often the worst negotiators (“it’s very hard to say “No” when you are trying to get people to “Yes”). These are things I wish I had learned in school. I’ve been beaten in negotiations on at least 5 different occasions, which fortunately became five valuable lessons I’ve learned the hard way, instead of studying examples and being forced to think about it for the $100k in debt I got going to college.
The full, as always, insightful column that will make you laugh and cry is here.

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