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1Jul/111

“I’d Do it for Free” — Negotiating Things You Love

Every year we hear an athlete with such youthful enthusiasm--a Kevin Durant or Lionel Messi for example--say they love their sport so much they'd play it for free.

Of course, in the off-season, that athlete's "bad cop" agent goes out and gets them a $160 million dollar contract, but the sentiment remains.

When an athlete says he'd play for free, he's saying he has such a love for the game, that he'd do it no matter what.

That's great.

Everyone should have professions where they enjoy their labor without concern for the fruits of their labor.

But, of course, you can't pay rent with professional self-satisfaction.  (Though some charlatans think you can.)

It gets even trickier when you try to figure out what something is worth to you that you'd do for free.

A personal example: in the coming weeks I will be hopefully negotiating a deal on something I really want to do.

Now, in my mind, if I was a passive observer, I'd say this is something worth tens of thousands of dollars.

But, as me, the writer that loves to write, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity I wouldn't want to squander.

I would do it for free!

So how do you go to the negotiating table knowing in your mind that you will allow them to continually lowball you to nothing?

Does it become a thing of respect?

Does it become a thing of, "If you won't pay me what I'm worth--I'll find someone else"?

How do you negotiate things you'd do for free?

Should you just do them for free?

 

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  1. Damn good question. I haven’t found the answer yet either, but it’s alarmingly pertinent these days!


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