You may know me as DailyWorth's editor, but I still write for many other publications. And as a long-time free agent in the journalism world—12 years and counting—you'd think that I'd know how to negotiate by now.
You'd think that I could nail every contract to the wall with a single, steely glance.
In fact, when I got the contract for a recent project—and the fee was mysteriously less than what had been discussed during the original meeting—I did everything you're not supposed to do.
I cried for three days. I felt insulted. I called and emailed all my friends and regressed back to 7th grade, saying things like, "Do you think that they think that I think…"
When the time came actually negotiate—I'm embarrassed to say—my stomach churned and my voice was shaky. I was barely able to restate the original fee and terms.
Open mouth, extract words
"OK, so you want $X more on this, X on that," the project manager said. "And?"
"And, um, well, that's it," I said.
"That's IT??" the manager was puzzled. "OK, fine. We'll send you the new contract, no problem."
It. Took. Two. Minutes.
Most embarrassing of all, it's the same old lesson—the one you and I have all heard 78 million times:
Apparently, some of us needed to learn it one mo' time.