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Ask The Entrepreneurs: Stop Being Underpaid and Start Negotiating Smarter

Ask The Entrepreneurs: Stop Being Underpaid and Start Negotiating Smarter

Ask The Entrepreneurs is a regular series where members of those involved in the Young Entrepreneur Council are asked a single question that aims to help Lifehack readers level up their own lives, whether in a area of management, communication, business or life in general.

Here’s the question posed in this edition of Ask The Entrepreneurs:

What book can help entrepreneurs or freelancers learn how to get what they want and negotiate smarter?

1. “Getting to Yes” by Roger Fisher and William Ury

    Getting to Yes

    is a great book on negotiation based on the work on the Harvard Negotiation Project. One of the key takeaways is to respect and know your counterparty’s interests well.
    Josh Weiss, Bluegala

     

    2. “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie

      Many people would think that by a name like this, this book is all about manipulation, but it is the exact opposite. Written almost 100 years ago, How to Win Friends and Influence People has stood the test of time for teaching people how to become a likable person. The underlying premise of the book is to learn to become interested in others rather than becoming interesting to others.
      Louis Lautman, Young Entrepreneur Society

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      3. “Negotiation Genius” by Deepak Malhotra

        Negotiating Genius

        outlines five research-backed principles to apply in any negotiation. A central insight: increase the opportunity of achieving “win-win” outcomes by approaching the negotiation from an investigative viewpoint, rather than assuming you know what the other party wants. Don’t assume; ask. It’s surprising how few negotiators have the courage to ask tough questions that could provide valuable information.
        Emerson Spartz, Spartz Media

        4. “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch

          The Last Lecture

          is certainly not a negotiations book, but it teaches you how to think more productively and focus on what’s important. You can use the principles he teaches in the book and apply it to your negotiations and you’ll have more success.
          Nathan Lustig, Entrustet

           

          5. “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert B. Cialdini

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            This classic negotiation book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, shows you how to effectively persuade other parties. Using the principles outlined in the book — consistency, reciprocation, social proof, liking, authority and scarcity — can help you tremendously in getting what you what, not only when you’re negotiating but also when you’re selling your company, your vision, your product of your services.
            Matt Mickiewicz, Flippa

            6. The Thirty-Six Strategems

              One of my all time favorite books written way long ago in Ancient China. While not a business book by nature, it’s principles can be used in everyday business life, such as “Partnering with an enemy to take out a larger enemy” (strategic business partnership) or “How to focus on a weakness” (focusing on the prospect’s central pain and helping that pain with your solution).
              Kenny Nguyen, Big Fish Presentations

               

              7. “Beyond the Chicken Dance” by Charles Newman

                Get Beyond the Chicken Dance with Charles Newman’s book on negotiation. One of the first helpful principles Newman outlines is that everything in life is negotiable. Then, he gives the reader actionable insight for becoming a better negotiator. It’s a fun, fast read for entrepreneurs and freelancers alike.
                Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.

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                8. “Power Up; Speak Up; Be Heard” by Kay White

                  Power Up; Speak Up; Be Heard

                  by Kay White is a good one. White’s guide on how to become more confident, clear and effective in communicating with others is perfect for any career professional. It’s good to learn how to stand up for yourself – and your ideas – while you’re just starting out; it will be that much easier later.
                  Nicolas Gremion, Foboko.com

                   

                  9. “Pitch Anything” by Oren Klaff

                    Written by the successful investment banker, Oren Klaff provides a powerful guide to cognitive psychology, social dynamics, and message framing. Pitch Anything has generated tons of buzz in the startup and venture capital communities.
                    Michael Margolis, Get Storied

                     

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                    10. “Crucial Conversations” from VitalSmarts

                      There are few better negotiation books than Crucial Conversations. The toughest thing for most negotiators is keeping your cool when emotions run high. Whether you are discussing your valuation with investors or pricing with perspective partners, opinions will always diverge. This book teaches you how to have a building conversation — and avoid destructive ones — ensuring that you and your negotiating partner will understand each other, not just talk.
                      Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

                      11. “The Networking Diary” by Nancy Nguyen

                        A major part of negotiating is networking. If want to master networking success, learn and apply the simple networking secrets reveled in my book, The Networking Diary. These people know what it takes to succeed and they want to share it with you. Learn their secrets to get an edge when networking to expand their network and make the right connections for career advancement.
                        Nancy T. Nguyen, Sweet T

                        (Photo credit: Workplace for Negotation via Shutterstock)

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                        Last Updated on January 2, 2019

                        How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

                        How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

                        Do you know what mental health experts point to as the biggest cause of stress in the United States today? If you said “money,” then ding, ding, we have a winner!

                        Three out of four adults today report feeling stressed out about money at least part of the time. People are either worried about not having enough money or whether they’re putting the money they do have to use in the best possible way.

                        Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.

                        This guide will help you to understand how personal finance software can better assist with both accomplishing long term financial goals and managing day-to-day aspects of life.

                        Whether it’s tracking the savings plan for your child’s college fund or making sure you won’t be in the red with the month’s grocery budget, personal finance software keeps all this information in one convenient place.

                        What Exactly is Personal Finance Software?

                        Think of it like the dashboard in your car. You have a speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, an odometer to tell you how far you’ve traveled, and then other gauges to tell you things like how much gas is in the tank and your engine temperature. Personal finance software is essentially the same thing for your money.

                        When you install this software on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it helps to track your money — how much is going in, how much is going out, and its growth. Most personal finance software programs will display your budget, spending, investments, bills, savings accounts, and even retirement plans, levels of debt, and credit score.

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                        How It Leads to Financial Improvement

                        It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.

                        Some types of personal finance software can help make things a little less complicated, setting you up to meet financial goals and taking away some of the stress associated with money.

                        Even if you already have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) some type of personal finance software can be of great benefit. Whereas CFPs focus on the big picture of your money, they don’t handle the day-to-day aspects that determine your overall financial health.

                        It’s also not nearly as complicated as you might think and can take out a lot of the tedium that comes with doing everything on an Excel spreadsheet or with a pad and pencil.

                        Types of Personal Finance Software

                        When it comes to personal finance software, it generally fits into two categories: tax preparation and money management.

                        Tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software can help with everything from filing income taxes to IRS rules and regulations and even estate plans. Plus, there’s the benefit of filing online and getting your refund check a lot faster than if you were to mail off your forms after waiting in line at the post office.

                        For the purpose of this article, however, will be focusing more on the personal finance software that aids with money management.

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                        Money management personal finance software will help you to see the health of your cash flow, pay down debt, forecast for expenses and savings, track investments, pay bills, and do a host of other things that 30 years ago would have practically required a team of accountants.

                        When to Use Personal Finance Software

                        So far we’ve gone over what exactly personal finance software is and how it can be a benefit to your money. The next logical step in this whole equation is determining when it should be used and how is the best way to go about getting started using it.

                        Below are four of the most common and practical ways to use personal finance software. If all or any of these apply to you and your money, then downloading some type of personal finance software is going to be a smart move.

                        1. You Have Multiple Accounts

                        There’s a good chance that when it comes to your money, it’s in more than one place. Sure, you probably have a checking account, but you may also have a savings account, money market account, and retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401k.

                        If you’re like the average American, you probably have two to three credit cards as well. Fifty percent of Americans also don’t have loyalty to just one bank and spread their money across multiple banks.

                        Rather than spending hours typing in every detail of every account you have into a spreadsheet, many programs allow you to easily import your account information. This will help to eliminate any mistakes and give you a bird’s eye view of everything at once.

                        2. You Want to Automate Some or All of Your Payments

                        Please don’t say that you’re still writing out paper checks and dropping each bill in the mailbox. While it’s noble that you’re doing your part to keep postal workers employed, we’re 18 years into the 21st century and you can literally pay every bill online now.

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                        There’s no need to log into every account you have and type in your routing number either.

                        With personal finance software you can schedule automatic payments and transfers between all of your imported accounts. Automatic transfers will help to make sure you have the necessary funds in the right account to ensure all bills are paid on the appropriate date. Late fees are annoying and do nothing but cost you money. It’s time that you said goodbye to them once and for all.

                        3. You Need to Streamline Your Budget

                        Perhaps the best feature of personal finance software is that it allows you track everything going in and out of your virtual wallet.

                        Nearly every brand of personal finance software out there has easy-to-read graphs and charts that allow you track every cent you spend or earn, should you choose. You might be pretty amazed when you see just how much you spent on eating out last month or if you splurged a little more than you should have on Christmas gifts last year.

                        Every successful business on the planet has a budget and using personal finance software can help you trim the fat on your spending in ways that affect your everyday life.

                        4. You Have Specific Goals to Meet

                        Maybe it’s paying off debt or saving for up something like a European vacation. Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s long-term or short-term, personal finance software programs are one of the savviest ways to go about reaching those goals.

                        You can do everything from set spending alerts to notify you when you’re over budget to automating what percentage of your paycheck goes to things like retirement investments. The personal finance software that you choose should show you exactly how close you are to hitting those goals at any given time.

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                        How to Get Started

                        From AceMoney to Mint and Quicken, there ’s no shortage of personal finance software apps out there. Many of these programs are free to download and will allow you to pay bills, invest, monitor your net worth and credit profile, and even get a loan with the swipe of a finger.

                        Other programs may only offer you limited services and will require a one-time fee or subscription to unlock all that they offer. These fees can often vary from as little as two dollars to 50 bucks a month.

                        It’s best to start off with the free version and then gauge whether you’re able to accomplish everything you’d like or if it’s worth exploring one of the paid options. Often times the subscription programs come with assistance from financial planning and investment experts — so that can be a real benefit.

                        When deciding which personal finance software program to use, it’s also important to look at how many accounts you wish to monitor. Certain programs limit the number of accounts you can add. Be sure that if you have checking, credit card, and investment accounts to monitor, that you choose a service that can monitor them all.

                        Finally, when looking around for the right personal finance software that meets your needs, make sure that you’re comfortable with the program’s interface. It shouldn’t be expected that you recognize every single feature instantly, but if the features don’t seem readable and manageable to you, then you’re not as likely to use it and get the full benefits.

                        Final Thoughts

                        Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.

                        In this day and age, managing one’s personal finances in a secure manner that allows the user to have a real-time visual representation of their money is easier than ever before. With the numerous applications that are out there — both free and subscription-based — there’s no reason that every person can’t take control of their money and ensure they’re making smart money moves.

                        Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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