The Dilemma

 

Worth It: Negotiation for Creatives

 

Lesson Info

The Dilemma

Knowing that you're worth it knowing that you're that it's okay to ask for what you need feeling comfortable with your accomplishments feeling comfortable asking for what you're worth that's where we're going creatives suffer with this it doesn't matter if you're just starting out in your career or your sixty eight like I am it's amazing those feeling simply don't go away the feeling's though are good because those very feelings are what clients want to buy from you creatives are hardwired to be more sensitive it's built into us so but when we're negotiating it's a disadvantage because these feelings well up and make us uncomfortable so that's what we're going to deal with how to deal with that how do not deny the feelings but how to kind of tap into them if you will and get what you need so basically at the end of this course I want you to know that you're worth it that's what I want so there is a dilemma creatives are more vulnerable we are simply mohr vulnerable and ironically that ...

vulnerability is what makes us good at the work that's the irony of it we're moving more vulnerable to our emotions we create but we're under compensated we perceive those we negotiate with to be more powerful than we are always and it makes us nervous and the feelings don't go away think of it this way creators have literally designed the world that we live in literally designed that world that we live in yet don't ask for what they deserve in return so they built world all the accomplishments all the inventions all this scientific leaps all the art all the science all the way paintings, architecture er acting etcetera that's what we do that's what we contribute and yet we're not compensated primarily because we don't know how to ask it's not because the world is mean it's us so creatives are more vulnerable it's a simple is that it's a strength and a weakness a strength and a weakness and we're going to turn the weak part into a strength so a little bit about me fostered at birth adopted at five months with my grandmother for a year it five with foster homes when I was six and then fostered again at seven back to my adoptive parents when I was eight or nine something like that got married had a family of my own had a second family to have a second family started a brand design business as rest described and grew it and sold it to a group in london not bad for a kid who couldn't read the fourth grade moved to europe worked in london lived in paris the title was the best of all the title was the best of all the title was talk about an ego trip the title was chief creative officer global for fitch worldwide chief creative officer global for fitch world wide so we had to world references plus these other other great terms what a trip it was the best part of the job believe me, the title was the whole deal travel was good too back to the u s consulted with creating firms all over the us, the uk and now brazil, which is pretty darn exciting and discovered the seemingly universal problem that creatives half with negotiations, the seemingly universal problem. It just sort of came to me and it came to me because I was asked to give a talk at the university of washington to the graduating designers. So is uru ex designers, graphic designers and product designers, and the talk was about how to negotiate your first salary, how to negotiate your first fees if you're going to start a little business or freelance or whatever, and it connected to meet all these students and the students stories because they were all just starting out, so they all called me up or send me an email and said, could you help me negotiate this deal? And I did and I gained an extra, you know, contact with where they were starting out and their stories at that point in their lives, which was great, and I did the same talk again this year, which was fabulous and the result was this book nail it stories for what was the subtitle yes stories for designers on negotiating with confidence a little book and it's a book of stories with then tips about what could have been done to be more successful uh uh you know based on the little story publish the book just in this january and then what happened is people started asking me so you know the book hasn't like sold in huge numbers but but what's happened has connections happened and I'm asking and writing and getting asked invited to parties like this one and about negotiation so it's been huge and basic really I'm kind of on a mission this is like a cause now it's like I could this is a way I can give back this is a way I did it I was very successful it worked they made plenty of money etcetera this is a way I could give back and have some fun doing it so can extend my career nicely so difficult childhood not every everybody has a childhood that's a good thing um uh difficult childhood which was my experience other people have different experiences. One of the benefits of the difficult childhood is resilience because you have to be constantly create to kind of figure out what's next and how you're going to handle it and stuff like that and high thin jerk creative skills and and it increasing increases your ability to be resilient so you need to look one of the lessons that I've learned is you need to look at your own childhood and think, what are the strengths that you got from your particular experience? Because that's the beginning of these coping skills that we have to get us in trouble when we're negotiating? So you look to your childhood for those experiences that are a plus that are powerful, and we're going to talk a lot about that because our expertise starts in childhood from my research from age five to about age seven, I'm gonna tell you three little quick stories right now. The first one is feelings rule, feelings rule this is a bigger idea than just this story believe me, but feelings rule nervous and excitement bubbled up in mia's I arrived, this is sarah story, self conscious about my work. I hoped it was good enough and that I'd get the assignment sound familiar is the true story. Of course, I feared that I didn't have enough work that would fit is that classic or what I feared I didn't have enough work that would fit you. Look at your portfolio and you find it falling short story of my life, I have to tell you so when they offered me ten thousand dollars to do the project, I said yes later sarah learned she could have gotten twenty thousand dollars, she was crushed anybody ever have a story like that happened to them think about it remember it and share it in a minute his work sings but his heart cries story number two billie young photographer was showing me his work it was an emotionally compelling siri's he'd shot of some families living on a wooded hillside right in the center of a huge city they were just barely surviving bill was clearly gifted to getting his subjects to trust him I asked him how he was able to gain their trust and he said I grew up living in a car and he began to cry I gave bill the assignment after he recovered but I've never forgotten the sight of a of a six foot plus former fireman crying over his portfolio fast work slow pay yes simon had started in a rush it was exactly the kind of work tim's firm thrived on six weeks in tim presenting the results of the research phase when his client mentions that the purchasing agent is going to call into the meeting to talk about the contract tim thinks nothing of it has entirely for gotten when he's handed the phone and here's hello hello tim is it tim responds yes it's tim tim on assignments over one hundred thousand dollars we require a fifteen percent count and we pay one hundred eighty days after completion I agree and I'll sign appeal for you tim agrees later wonders what hit him later wonders what hit him true story very successful owner of a very large created from what happened why did tim bill and sara give in to their emotions? I've seen this behavior over and over again with clients with students and I suffer from it myself. Even now, creatives are simply more vulnerable when they are in stressful situations rolling over making decisions impulsively even breaking down and crying are not uncommon. Thankfully, some talented social scientists have been looking into this, so we have some insights, but I'm going to tell you another story first, asai said earlier, I was in and out of various homes when I was little and often felt captive I often felt captive in and in an unhappy place when I heard this story on the radio about elephants languishing in captivity at seattle's wouldn't parks who by the way I cried, I was shaving in the morning, I found tears kind of rolling down my cheeks elephants are highly social, family oriented heard large group animals they long rome, large tracts of land in captivity, they get depressed, they don't have babies, they don't eat horrible. What happened to me there? Well, I like all creative, I'm highly empathetic and like all male creatives, I'm more sensitive to the feelings evoked from stories that relate back to that past so here I am in my sixties a story like that comes on the radio in the morning and all of a sudden it hits me so unpronounceable name but notice the uh the pronunciation me hi chick sent me hi he's a professor of psychology and management I spent thirty years studying created his book creativity the working lives of ninety one eminent creative people was published in nineteen ninety six hungarian but born in italy in nineteen thirty four, seventy nine years old now psychology professor at the university of chicago chicago noted for his work in the study of happiness which is completely related to creativity and creativity but his best known as the architect of the notion of flow which you may have heard of and his years of research and writing on on both topics. So he studied creativity and he's come up with ten traits and I want to talk to you a little about this traits because when I first discovered this when I first discovered these ten trades I thought it was me and everybody had ever worked with. So here we are number one lots of internally generated physical energy awful also often quiet at rest so we go through periods of tremendous work, feverish work and then we like to be alone and be quiet and kind of take it all in we like to just sort of take it all in were smart and naive at the same time both wisdom and childishness at the same time number two smart and dave at the same time wisdom and childishness playful and disciplined a light attitude combined with perseverance so we have kind of a light approach but we don't give up we're tenacious imagination and fantasy over a rooted sense of reality so yes flights of fancy trying things but we're grounded we know where the ground is we know where our feet are we know what's going on extroverted and introverted simultaneously we're both reaching out to people like engaging with people and yet we also like to be by ourselves and think about things and be quiet, humble and proud. This one is directly related to negotiation, humble and proud focused on what's next not past achievements you ever find yourself feverishly excited about a project in days go by and you work on it, you work on it, you work on it, then you can see the end in sight you haven't quite finished, but you sort of kind of like begin to lose and then you're thinking about the next thing boy, am I guilty of that men more sensitive women more dominant? How about that? So these classic gender differences are less different amongst creatives and I've seen this my whole life hiring and working with creatives and see it in myself so the men are more feminine and have a lighter touch and more sensitive to our feelings and the women are stronger and have some more masculine traits very interesting rebellious and conservative respectful of history yes, but looking for change and improvement trying things on top of what others have already accomplished passion about our work but also objectively self critical number nine passionate about our work but also objectively self critical that's certainly true of me I'm very critical of my own work I just I just filmed a whole bunch of scenarios which you'll see throughout this this training in the next few days and when I look at him I see all the flaws on other people look at him and they go wow, that was great and I go well god good glad our sensitivity exposes us to pain so we feel it we feel it I mean it we feel it in the chest we feel in her heart we perspire we cry you know our stomach turns yet we get tremendous joy. We get tremendous joy from the work so complexity, contradictory extremes traits that in most are separate are together in us I say we're pretty special myself we need to get the money now I love it this is really resonated with a lot of people it's actually funny because the two producers on this course are both women and it's not like cried on camera multiple times or anything like that it's just really funny how these air resonating with people could in online we've got anita who says it's so hard to stand up for yourself in your work to really believe it's worth it because we don't believe it how self yeah it's horrible we're getting there we're getting there I love that we're starting out with this is defining what is a creative yeah who are we? Yeah that's this is who we are this guy did it this is like mid mid nineties this guy wrote the book it's it's fantastic so I say thank you mi hai thank you me I uh what did I write here if I had to express in one word what makes their personalities different from others its complexity they show tendencies of thought and action that in most people are segregated they contain contradictory extremes instead of being in individual each of them is a multiple how'bout that men more sensitive women more dominant so I'm going to go into this one alone m r he wrote about that creative people to an extent escape rigid gender role stereotyping when tests of masculinity fem a limit femininity are given to young people over and over one finds that creative and talented girls are more dominant and tough and tough than other girls and creative boys are more sensitive and less aggressive than their male peers what does that mean for me? I'm a bit more empathetic and like all male creatives, I'm more sensitive to the feelings of oak from my past that I encounter all the time there we are there we have it intuitive, so we're also intuitive and it's a wonderful thing, but it can get us in trouble and in fact I want you to kind of think about the time, perhaps when your intuition rang a bell and you took off on following the intuition and then later you kind of realized you bit off a little more new you could chew you know you it took you a little further ah sensitive types are given to intuition. Most of my negotiation skills and tank techniques were stumbled on intuitively, but I've learned that intuition alone can be dangerous, so over the last few years I've begun gathering background insights and advice from those who have studied the subject more deeply than I and be highest one of the best. So here's a question for you has your intuition ever led you astray? Yeah, yeah, I've actually had my intuition aly ministry a few times um I can think of one in particular actually here in seattle for the capitol hill block party, I was helping one of the companies out here who was sponsoring it help him to get pit work coverage and you know get more out there and we started working with an outside sponsor and you know it was kind of laugh a minute and it's like okay like run for it run for it like let's try and get this done and like right at the end it's just there was enough time and it's just started falling apart it's like no no and then we had you know, people block party come up it's like hey you can't really do this without consulting us and the lesson is take more time you know work with all the parties and like talk it out just don't like try and do it all yourself you know, work with the others that you have around like that's the one thing I learned is I need a delegate a bit more teams they're powerful yeah we're weak when we're by ourselves very good very good thanks max so when titian intuitions can lead us astray so we need to guard against it uh so here's another story from my childhood a quick one uh that's a photograph that I actually took when I was in the fifth grade but the story wasn't I was in the second grade and the portable there on the far left uh I was where I was in the second grade it was after lunch and the teacher was exiting the portable and she had all the lunch money that she collected and she was going to go to the office, I guess, with lunch money and she slipped on the step and drop the money and the money went all over the little area on the asphalt around the portable and two boys who are kind of tough guys who I always want to hang out with, but the kind of didn't accept me ran over immediately and been picking up the change as fast as they could and I went running over there and started picking up the change, too, and I can still remember the feeling of you know, that asphalt and the coins and and the excitement of it all and then zoom they went running off the playground to the local grocery store to buy candy, and I followed immediately, knowing that it was a disaster knowing that this was just not going to and well and yet there I was following these boys and we get to the candy store, we buy the candy of course we have to come back. I mean, what do you do? You know? And you know, resource is beyond that moment and we get spanked as a result because they spank then and what we shared that experience and we shared the running and I got to be in the gang my motivation was belonging to the gang I wanted to be with those boys they were the tough guys, I wanted to be part of the tough guys, and so off I went and even the spanking, so I was in heaven for the next few weeks because I was an accepted a member of this club who had run with the money and gotten spanked and response, so it actually worked in the short term, but it shows how, uh, uh, I'm need at connection so it's a vulnerability I have to, I have to be worried about all the time. I am vulnerable to wanting these connections, so if you're negotiating a deal, I might give in just to get the connection with the people on the other side of the table, so I have to remember those things, so I have to be kind of conscious of that memory and and not give in. So when I feel myself starting to give in, I go, oh, yeah, I know this one, this is one of the ones that is bubbles up inside of me, and everybody has those and it always those defaults always happen when you're under stress, because when you're under stress, your frontal lobe begins to shut down and the other parts of your brain, the older parts of your brain began to take over, and so literally you lose the cognitive ability to counter you know, to stay with the reason and the logic in the situation that ted was some it really quick from our dark bill in the chat room who says when I grew up in the fifties, being a creative was okay as a child, but then it's time to grow up and get serious about a career? How much do you think that influences your your attitude, your personality especially combined with this need to fit in? And, uh, I don't think this is true with children today, but then it was really true that this was not a real job and that's a constant theme that I hear over and over again. Certainly true of me, we were just not encouraged we were supposed to go and work in the factory or be a banker or a lawyer or some kind of pursue something professional. We were definitely not supposed to be an artist, a writer, a musician or an actor or any of the other chris state creative pursuits and what was not encouraged in most households, it was not considered a grown up work. Even I still remember a few years back, I was a video game designer before I was doing this. I remember visiting my dad a few years back and he was playing one of my games working on just testing out some stuff while I was visiting him and he did he said, so I thought you had grown out of that and I was like, well, you know, I plan to, like, feed my children someday with this course of shifting careers but it's even today I think that attitude is is prevailing and hopefully is changing now but is that a struggle that you think people have to overcome as they're dealing with people from that that age group it's a strategy have to overcome in yourself? You you were told throughout your childhood if you're a part of that a part of that group you were told throughout your childhood that you weren't as good as other people you were not is good and so in fact I have to tell you uh uh in them early nineties where and I had a significant business by this time my adoptive parents and visited be in the office to use the xerox machine naturally and uh and my father said when he stepped his head and he's into my office to say hello he said, by the way, who owns this? And he was a real question who was a real question? He just didn't couldn't imagine that I've actually owned the business and these people you're employed by me and I was called the lenhart group very good question alison thank you yes it was it was actually on the door and big on the wall you know we were in graphic design we knew howto do lettering you know yeah yeah he stuck his head in my office and said so who owns this there you go so what is the principle we're going to do a bunch of principles what is it? What is the principle and I think this is the first one no your vulnerabilities embrace them embrace them no no them and embrace them being four warned is forearmed being forewarned is forearmed so you know that you have these vulnerabilities be aware of them don't hide from them just know they're there and when they bubble up go yeah that's that means I'm a little bit nervous that's a signal to me that I better pay attention here use it as a signal use it as a signal to take your next action whatever that may be those early emotions those vulnerabilities are the source of our creative strength incites and inspiration. We saw it most clearly with bill his past gave him the empathy that resulted in those great photos so he connected with those people he really connected with them he looked him in the eye they trusted him enough to show themselves in their circumstances in a way that they probably didn't feel particularly good about those those emotions those vulnerabilities are the creative strength the reason tim was hired for the big assignment that the purchasing agent made him sign that ridiculous deal one the reason he was retained we've because he knew how to reach the audience they wanted to reach he knew how to get the design to connect to the audience emotionally so that people would support that brand the reason sara was asked to do the assignment was because of what her accomplishments were but she forgot that so there we have it we're not compensated for it were not compensated for it so you look around at the bill world and you think of all the scientific achievement all the all the music all the medical breakthroughs from great creative people all the great art the great writing that's been contributed by creative people ever since the beginning of time the whole built world our whole society is because of intuitive creative people that made things happen sometimes small sometimes huge but contributing that's what we do that's what we do but we're not compensated for it I did a little quick survey what is the average hourly fee for a lawyer in the big cities in the us what's the average hourly fee it's around five hundred bucks an hour um seven fifty in new york okay, what do they contribute? What do they create? You know they're not bad people but what do they contribute what they create? They certainly help us with contracts but do they create the thing the contract is for known and the same little quick survey designers, which means basically all creative people designers same cities hundred dollars an hour hundred dollars an hour unbelievable unbelievable all too believable lawyers know howto ask for the money that's what they do they're trained to ask for the money we're not not so much in fact people often think we should give it to them for free. How many have you been asked to do? Free work they love their work so much gosh, you know they'll just love to do this some intuitive creative person discovered fire and created the wheel and it all there we are asking is hard knowing what to ask for is even harder asking us hard knowing what to ask for is even harder yeah that's a serious issue because when you first get started it's like okay you're you go into a negotiation you are going for you're pitching for your first big job and they ask you what you need you don't know you get a response and you find out oh I could have asked for double I could've gotten twenty thousands ten thousand if I just asked for this. So where do you go to get that information? Well finding the range you always need to know the range we'll talk a lot about this later but right now for right now I think it's a good good subject uh you always need to know the range for whatever it is you're going to dio so somebody asks you for something you you take a little time to do a little bit of homework if even if it's twenty minutes you do a little bit of homework, you know what they're asking for, you can quickly go on and find out if there's any survey that relates to that thing there's tons of good surveys of salaries and fees and there's guide in every creative endeavor there are ranges of fees, salaries, compensation, etcetera so you can always find out the range and you can find out the range based on the city. Your end you know, so it's, really specific and you always want to know what the range is before you begin to negotiate and then you always want to ask for a little more than the top of the range always ask for more than the top of the range. Anybody got a reason? Anybody know the reason why we always do that? Yes, you can always negotiate down. They will always go back up it's hard, harder to go back up. Yes, my charter to go back up? Yeah, much harder to go back it's psychological you actually can go back up, but psychologically it sort of feels like you're cheating somehow so yeah uh so we always ask for more than top of the range because we know that they will push us on the money and so and if they don't that's great, so actually really quick question just came in apologize you're about to move on our houghton as we talked about the difference between what like lawyers are making versus designers are houghton says as a creative, I struggle with what my work should be worth, especially since most of my family works his public servants, teachers, cups, etcetera I feel guilty for wanting to ask for a professional rate, right? You have any thoughts about that? You have to? Well, you have to get past the guilt you have to find ways to get past the guilt, and I think that's really, really important and, uh, the first step is simply be aware mindfulness simply be aware that you have this background, you have these feelings, and so you need to be aware of of it and how it effects what what you're going to do. Um, yeah, what about I don't remember what his role esposa ethically, but if you're talking about teachers, public servants, etcetera, I don't know if they're buying the same level of technology and equipment to do the work that they do so asking more is necessary in order to keep the latest software the latest computer is the latest cameras I mean all that stuff is very expensive so if it helped that person feel comfortable to explain to either himself or his family right like how do you that here to be the best in your field is very pricey you can always negotiate from what things cost you to do um and add them up and make a list and you know, have that be in your bid and so on but the rial riel point of difference that you have from competitors is who you are and your personal skills, knowledge and expertise and that's where your advantage lies so you want to negotiate based on your personal history and skill set not not so much on costs I mean obviously you have to cover costs but but but this where I mean he's already done thinking more about that question for just a moment he's already done uh some of the heavy lifting their because he's aware of the fact that his growing up sort of gives him this mind set and I think that's really important really important step so we perceive those we negotiate with to be more powerful than we are and that's a fundamental problem a fundamental problem it seems to be universal and automatic and why why not the money the buildings, the suits, the executive assistance the art collections the immense size of their organizations symbols of power that are designed to intimidate and of course they do intimidate they do intimidate but they can't get our expertise from anyone else but us this is the most important idea in this seminar how to support it and what to do with it we'll get but but the fundamental idea is they can't get our expertise from anybody but us we we do have the power and it's in those very vulnerabilities that underpin our work it's evident in our expertise in the skills and life experiences we've accumulated that are the source of our work and they can't get that expertise from anyone but us it's it's not just obvious symbols of power that were intimidated by so there's there's more to it than that it's any time we're going to be judged on our work because it's personal with us we created ourselves we poured our emotions into it or work is personal it's all about our self worth so even showing something to our family can cause the same fear that the presenting to the biggest corporation and the most money the same kinds of fears can rise up and I think there's an important message there is like okay, this is what happens you know, sort of like accepted oh this is what happens now what am I going to do with it now what I'm going to do with it and the first thing you can do is you could say you know, this makes me feel a little anxious presenting to you I've worked really hard on this and I've got a lot invested in it, so one of the things you can always do that is proven to reduce anxieties in in less time is to actually admit to your discomfort. Admitting to your discomfort has been shown through surveys through studies to actually reduce your anxiety by fifty percent, which I think it's amazing feelings don't go away I have said that over and over again someone tell a little story about my first book this is my first book it's, a collection of stories written to help creative negotiate with confidence it was inspired by a talk I gave to graduating creatives at the university of washington the experience made me realize how poorly prepared, as I said before most creatives are for negotiating with clients and with employers make her house in seattle make her house in seattle uh kindly did a book party for me, which was thrilling and uh and I was I was getting ready for the book party and those old anxieties just came rushing back to me I haven't done this for a while and so there I was at the book party and I went it gets my mother's advice and confess my nerves to the crowd where you all told never to tell them that you're nervous. Well, it's absolutely the wrong advice. Uh, this was several months ago, and before I was just starting to study the emotional aspects of negotiation, I knew I was nervous because I was presenting my own work. I'd never written a book before, and I was nervous about that and deeply attached to it and desperate for approval, desperate for approval sound familiar and and from the crowd and, you know, I've made hundreds of presentation's over the years, but I've never written a book before, so this was kind of like a new, a new vulnerability, so I admitted my my nervousness. My anxiety went down and, uh, talked about the book for about fifteen minutes and thought, you know, if they can do some wine over there was thinking, well, I'll just go gravel, glass of wine, and we can all just live check bengal and chat together. The crowd kept me on the stage for another hour, asking questions kept me on the stage for another hour, asking questions, and then I read this statistic that said, if you admit your anxieties to the group, what happens is you make a connection to them as a human being. They recognize you're not some stuffy expert up there that you're a person just like they are you just have studied this area and have an interest in this and you're sharing it with them and you're a little anxious about that and they would be too everything's ok, you have a relationship, a stronger relationship by revealing that vulnerability. So johnny has asked earlier how much of our vulnerabilities should you make your peers partners clients aware of doesn't that weaken your position or something to admit that you are nervous? It's, it's, it's, situational so the first thing I would say is let your feelings be the guide because you'll probably kind of sense what the right thing to do is and uh and and, you know, maybe if you're you know, in a conference room presenting a five million dollar project or something you might not be quite so so willing to reveal your vulnerabilities but maybe even there you might say something like, you know, this is making me a little uncomfortable uh, could I just step out for a moment, you know, so even there you can you can do it, we just have to kind of think what's the appropriate thing to do so the thing that's most interesting is this research that shows that the anxieties go away fifty percent faster if you confess your vulnerability I think that's fascinating. So it's completely counter to the advice we've all been given of. Hide the feelings, which, of course, keeps them bottled up in you. And then you're kind of anxious through this whole time period. So it's, using your vulnerability to connect on a human level, so we're creative. We're more vulnerable, were more sensitive to our feelings. Use it, use it.

Class Description

Core negotiation skills are essential for creative professionals, but negotiating can be fraught with fear, anxiety, and uncertainties. Join Ted Leonhardt to uncover the negotiating tactics that allow you to build the power and respect that lead to financial and creative freedom.

Throughout this course, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the common anxieties and vulnerabilities around negotiation and build the skills you need to keep those fears from holding you back. You’ll explore negotiation not as a bargaining session but as a collaboration in which you guide those you are negotiating with. You’ll also learn how to use time and context to define opportunities, create contracts instead of proposals, and align people with your vision. Because dealing with difficult personalities can be a challenging aspect of negotiation, you’ll build strategies for coping with and disarming bullies and naysayers. You’ll develop a negotiating style that doesn’t neglect the importance of kindness and good manners, but that also allows you to know and assert what your unique offering is worth.

Whether you’re just starting out as a freelancer or you’re a longtime creative professional, this course will equip you to know your worth and confidently ask for the opportunities and compensation you deserve.