I wish I could just copy this whole article, because I think it is so wise to learn and listen to others who have tried and failed. I once read that the definition of an entrepreneur is someone who tries and fails and keeps trying until something works. But here’s a gem of an excerpt:
9. The key to negotiating is having options. The single most useful piece of advice I got was from Bill Trenchard, founder of LiveOps: “Always have options.”
Almost everything you do as a founder/CEO involves negotiation: closing investors, hiring employees, signing partners, paying vendors, even advocating features internally. The best way to persuade your counter-parties is signaling — implicitly or explicitly — that you have viable options (also called BATNAs). Just two can be enough. Being at the mercy of a lone option is a recipe for getting screwed.
I’m going to have to read this whole list several times, and let it sink in for all of the ventures that I am working on, including film/corporate video, graphic design, web design, and audio for music/film/post-production.
Options. I need to be looking for options…always.