I honestly believe the biggest problem with mastering negotiation isn’t that you don’t know how to negotiate, it’s just that you don’t have the confidence to negotiate. You either aren’t confident or think negotiation is a slimy, greedy game that you would like to avoid.

I’ve been screwed out of thousands of dollars many times during my career when it comes to salary negotiation, but in the end it’s been the best thing to ever happen to me. That rage inside of me drove me to write this guide with full confidence that it will help others. I know the old way of doing things doesn’t work (here’s looking at you, resume). If you want something you’ve never had you have to try something you’ve never tried. No one enjoys negotiating their salary with their current employer, as I’ve said, it’s easier to just go out and get a new job. But it can be done, as long as you follow my strategy, and regain that confidence that’s been beaten out of you.

This guide is more focused on how to not screw yourself during negotiation and how to get paid what you deserve. A performance review is not going to reflect what you’re actually worth as an asset to the company. If it happens that you end up getting paid more than anyone in your department, then so be it! You deserve what you deserve, and I’m going to do my damn hardest to make sure you get exactly that and not a penny less.

Ready to make some more money? Great, here we go.

Step 1: Know exactly what you want and deserve
Step 2: The answer to all of your negotiation problems: Leverage
Step 3: How to master any negotiation, step by step. (Where the rubber hits the road)

Step 1: Know exactly what you want and deserve.

Confidence can be the difference between a $60,000/year to $75,000 a year salary.

The more confidence you have, the better off you are in a negotiation. If you know exactly what you want and what you deserve, the better off you are.

I don’t mean that you should walk into an office and demand a salary and say: “Take it or leave it.” That’s definitely not what I mean and in fact if you do that, you will crash and burn.

Confidence is the ability to define your real value is and back it up with evidence and facts.

I know it sounds a little too far-fetched. Shouldn’t the work you’ve done already speak for itself? Well, that’s not how this works.

So, how do you get confidence? This works even if you are a pushover, although admittedly, it’s a little bit more work for pushovers.

It’s a 2 step process.

1. Know exactly why someone would hire you.

I’m not asking you to figure out a couple good reasons why someone would hire you. I’m asking you to figure out exactly why someone would hire you.

This is a simple concept everyone seems to forget: employers will hire you based on your perceived strengths. I don’t think you should fake it to you make it. It’s too easy to see past the fake-ness. Evaluating your strengths, what you’re better at than anyone else, is a great exercise that will not only aid you in salary negotiations, it will help you keep your interview skills, and LinkedIn story fresh and up to date.

No one likes talking about themselves, we would rather discuss other people and their relative strengths and weaknesses. The ability to evaluate and observe yourself in terms of what makes you successful in your industry, is something you must do in order to continue to advance. Unless, of course, your goal is to plateau, but plateau’s are a very boring, and financially stagnant places to be.

This requires a lot of self awareness. Here is a fun activity that you can do to find out what your strengths are.

  • Get your phone.
  • Text 5 close friends.
  • Ask them this question: If you were forced to pay me a $1,000. What would you have me do for you?

When they reply back with something stupid like “strip at my birthday party,” reply back that you’re really serious.

You want to know what they would pay a $1,000 for.

The best generic catch all advice I can give you is that you’re most likely going to make money at something you’re good at.

It’s right in front of you, but not completely obvious.

 

2. Know exactly what you’re worth down to the exact penny.

The kiss of death is finding out that someone in a similar role at your company is making a lot more money than you. There is no worse feeling in the world, trust me.

You would feel betrayed, worthless and eventually angry as hell. Angry that this company screwed you and that you accepted an offer much lower (than others, respectively) mainly because the company told you during negotiation that “this was the maximum they can give you.” Once you find out a coworker is making a larger salary, you realize this is bullshit. But by the time you do, it’s already too late, you’re locked into this salary. Your negotiation is over, and you were mostly forced into a corner about it.

Do you know how that happened? It happened because you didn’t know what you were really worth, and even worse, you didn’t know how they really valued you. That gap of information usually ends badly for the job candidate. Remember to always mind the gap.

So, how about we avoid this situation? Sounds like a plan. In order to do this, you need to start by negotiating right the first time and making sure you’re on the high end of their pay scale.

What everyone else does: They go on salary websites like glassdoor.com and view what other people at the company and similar roles are making. Then they come up with a salary based on that information.

Robbie’s Opinion:

I give that approach a 4 out of 7 possible points. Sure, it’s decent info to have, but it shouldn’t be the only activity that you’re doing.

These websites tell you what other people are worth, and not what you’re worth. Believe it or not, you don’t have to get paid exactly what other people get paid. In fact, who cares about other people? You should get paid the maximum value of what you are worth to the employer. And so what if that happens to be more than the standard? Better that you shoot for the moon and land among the stars, than to shoot for the stars and crash into a satellite. No one likes to crash and burn on salary negotiations, regardless of the industry.

So, Robbie – How do I found exactly what I’m worth to employers?

There is only 1 way, and you might not like this offer mainly because it requires work.

The single, most effective way to understand your worth is to interview and get as many job offers as you can.

I call this “exploring your options.”

The more you interview, the better you become at speaking with future companies that might have the dream situation you’re looking for.

The more offers you receive, the more information you have about what your real worth is to employers. The more information you receive, the more effectively you can negotiate your salary and focus on your worth and how it will enhance the value of your new company. Your worth monetarily is connected to what you can accomplish for the company.

If after a slew of offers come in, and you still think you deserve more, then the next step is figuring out what the real issue is. Maybe it’s a different job in a different industry. Maybe you’re not stressing the value you would bring to an employer. If you’re not getting the responses you’re looking for, there is a missing element in the process that you’ve not yet evaluated.

When I was applying for consulting roles, every offer came in between $120,000 and $125,000 a year. And I mean every single damn offer. It didn’t matter how I negotiated it. Now don’t get me wrong, this is a great wage to have, but I wanted to break that ceiling. I knew I was worth more, but I wasn’t conveying my strengths to the employers properly. I was still viewed as a junior resource.

This realization allowed me to enter into a different phase of my life which prompted me to learn new things, explore different skill sets and finally smash that ceiling forever. It took swinging for the fences and not getting the desired result for me to see there was a hole in my approach. Keep track of your results, and be honest with yourself. We have to continue learning more and trying different things in order to be the best, and if your value isn’t being represented in the offers, some crucial part of your message might not be getting across to where it needs to go.

Step 2: Leverage, The Answer to all of your negotiation problems

Nothing else matters when you have leverage. If you don’t have leverage in a negotiation, you can throw every single negotiation tactic, tip or trick out the window.

Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how you phrase something. No leverage means you have no negotiation power.

Leverage is the difference between making $75,000 a year or making $90,000 a year for the same job.

Here are some examples of leverage:

  • You have multiple job offers lined up.
  • You were referred to the company by a well respected Senior Vice President within the company. (This makes it harder for the hiring manager to reject you since you were endorsed by an executive).
  • They reached out to you, instead of you applying for the job.
  • They need to fill the position ASAP, and you don’t have any urgency to find a new job.
  • You have a rare skillset that they desperately need.

Basically, when you have leverage you are mentally prepared to ask for a higher salary, aka a salary that you deserve.

 

How do you get leverage?

Leverage =

A strongly defined skillset
+
A strong network
+
A well defined online brand
+
Social Proof.

Leverage #1 – A strongly defined skillset

As mentioned earlier in this guide, it is enormously important to understand your strengths and to communicate your strengths during interviews and via your online persona.

If you know what you’re good at, have some sort of proof that you’re good at what you do, and a prospective employer needs exactly what you’re offering– then you my friend have some leverage.

In addition to having a strong skillset, you need to become a double or triple threat, as I previously mentioned. This technique was coined by one of the greatest copywriters I know: Neville Medhora.

Here’s an example blatantly stolen from Neville’s article. It’s that good.

Single Threat = Knows a skill. Value = $
Double Threat = Knows a skill + another useful skill. Value = $$
Triple Threat = Knows a skill + another useful skill + yet another useful skill.Value = $$$$$$

For example, let’s say someone selling a high-priced product in the financial industry is trying to find a copywriter. Which one do you think would be the most in demand?

CHAPTER5

 

95% of workers are single threats. You have zero leverage as a single threat.

Double threats and triple threats are the job candidates that employers want to hire.

So, if you’re reading this and complaining about your job prospects, ask yourself this question:
What kind of threat are you? How can you increase your value by increasing your threat level? In today’s market we are no longer safe staying comfortable at single threat levels.

Leverage #2 – Connections

I hate it when people say “It’s all about who you know.”

Yes, it is true, but I’ve also seen people who are extremely well- connected and still struggle with their career. It’s mainly because those well connected folks, can’t clearly explain their value to their network.

So, instead of “It’s all about who you know,” it should be “It’s all about who knows how I good I am at what I do,”

That’s what you should strive for when it comes to connections.

If you’re looking for more information regarding building a professional network, refer to the ultimate guide to building a professional network.

Leverage #3 – A well defined online brand

I can’t count the number of times I looked someone up on LinkedIn and then met them in real life for the first time, and they were the exact opposite of their LinkedIn profile.

They looked different, what they actually did for a living was much different than they put in their profile.

Your profile needs to be aligned with who you are in real life. It should be the most up to date version of who you are and what you’re doing, that any given day when a person glances at it they find the same information as they would if they met you for an update over coffee that day.

If you’re looking for more information on how to create an amazing LinkedIn profile, take a look at this guide.

Leverage #4 – Social Proof

Social proof, also known as informational social influence, is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation. [wikipedia]

Take a look at these statistics when it comes to how we purchase things:

  1. Over 70% of Americans say they look at product reviews before making a purchase. [source]
  2. Nearly 63% of consumers indicate they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews. [source]

The same applies to hiring. Do you know how much easier it is to get a new job if you’ve ever worked at Google, Facebook or Apple? Every company will assume if that you are good enough for Google, you’re good enough for them. So, working for a brand name company early in your career IS social proof.

There are also a few things you can leverage as social proof. Here’s a small list of social proof that you can utilize:

  1. Being mentioned in an article by a business magazine such as Inc, Forbes, Fortune, Huffington Post, etc.
  2. More than 10 comments on a blog post you wrote.
  3. More than 10,000 views on a Youtube video you created.
  4. Being the speaker or panelist at a well-known conference
  5. More than 20 recommendations on your LinkedIn profile.

It is important that others see you being validated by others. You can do this without bragging, trust me. There are several areas on your LinkedIn profile that you can include these validations without looking like you are bragging.

Chapter 3: How to maximize any negotiation

Ok, so you have confidence and leverage and now you want to kick some ass during the negotiation? No problem, here’s how.

There are too many books written on negotiation strategies. Some are extremely helpful and I’ve linked a few of my favorites at the bottom of this section.

With that said, I’m going to dive into the most common tactics that can help you maximize your compensation.

Let’s do a quick recap.

  • Know why someone would hire you.
  • Know what you’re worth.
  • Have leverage.

Here’s what comes next.

Maximize Tip #1 – Start High and Know your ZOPA (Zone of Possible Agreement).

The more information you know about what their upper limit is, the better off you are.

Here’s a video I did about this exact topic that goes into deeper detail.

Maximize Tip #2 – Negotiate to a better job title, thus increasing your salary by default.

So, you think you’ve reached their maximum salary limit for your job description? One thing that I’ve done with great success is to start my interviews by asking about the job title above the one they are interviewing me for.

You have to be careful with this, but in some circumstances this makes perfect sense.

So, let’s say the proposed job title is Level 8 Consultant. I would push for a Level 9 Consultant. I did that once and I was able to raise my salary by 35% by just moving up the ladder.

Maximize Tip #3 – Avoid negotiation over email as much as possible.

Want to make a counter-offer? Get on the phone and say it over the phone. Avoid email like the plague.

Several reasons why I recommend this:

  1. You now have a written record of exactly what you said. It can come back to haunt you, especially if you didn’t say something properly. Your employer now has the proof, which they can bring up again and it can hurt you later. At least over the phone, the exact details or wording are not set in stone, because there is no record. This is almost always to your advantage.
  2. Tone of the email can be misconstrued and cause issues. You might seem like a greedy bastard over email, but over phone you can do it in a much softer way and have some great reasons why you’re asking for a new compensation structure.

Maximize Tip #4 – You can negotiate more than compensation.

Vacation, your work schedule, your work location are the most common items you can and should negotiate.

My only recommendation for this is to really understand what is and isn’t possible to negotiate. This can definitely work out with your favor when base compensation is not available.

Maximize Tip #5 – When someone tells you “We’ll talk about this after you join,” assume you’ll never get it.

You know when someone says, “Well, this is something we can consider in 6 months.”

Sure, that’s a great gesture, but my answer usually is “Why not now?”

I would also set the expectation to yourself that you’re never going to get it in 6 months. Too many things change in 6 months and it will almost never be in your favor. I know that’s cynical, but you should always protect yourself first, because the company certainly is only focused on their own gains. Why shouldn’t you be?

Maximize Tip #6 – Negotiate with the hiring manager, not the recruiter or Human Resources

I know this isn’t always possible, but when given the opportunity, you should push the negotiation conversation to the hiring manager. The recruiter’s main job is to get you to accept the offer letter at the lowest fair compensation possible. They aren’t trying to screw you, but they’re not trying to get you the highest compensation either. They weren’t in every single interview and have a limited view on what your true value is to the company.

The core to negotiation is to understand your value to the company. The hiring manager has a better idea of what your value to the company is than the recruiter, so because of this, you’re able to push the limit a little higher than you would with the recruiter.

The recruiter often has a “max limit” that they can hire you at. They are instructed to not pass that limit unless instructed to by leadership. By dealing with the hiring manager and leadership directly, you can have an honest and transparent conversation about your value to the company and why you’re worth much more than the original offer.

You’ve done your best to prove your value and at the last second they send you to HR or Recruiting to extend the offer.

Stand Strong. Be Thankful.

You can say “No,” and be respectful at the same time. Don’t get coerced into anything you don’t want to do. If you have a gut feeling something is wrong with the negotiations, walk away and don’t look back.

Get what you’re worth! I cannot emphasize this enough. Know what you deserve and go for it like your future depends on it– because it does. Don’t take anything less than what you’re worth.

Resources I recommend

When it comes to negotiation, I read or buy anything that Deepak Malhotra offers. He’s a Harvard professor focused on negotiation. Here are two books and a video I recommend you buy if you want to go deeper into negotiation, not just salary negotiation.

Negotiation Genius 
Negotiate the Impossible 
Deepak Harvard Negotiation Speech 

I had an interesting year. I didn’t want to just share the highlights because I don’t think that’s genuine.

So, I decided to share the good, the bad and the ugly. I think you’ll enjoy it.

I created 3 sections:

  1. Travel
  2. Fire Me I Beg You
  3. Marriage & 2 Year Old Child

Each section is split into multiple sections: Good, Bad, Ugly & Lessons Learned.

I’m going to start with travel because the rest of this piece is in context to travel.

TRAVEL

It was a dream of mine to move to Thailand for an extended period of time. I talked about it for a long time, but I never really had the financial means to do it.

In June 2016, it happened.

Me, my wife and my 2-year-old daughter packed our bags, rented out our apartment in Chicago, moved out of my office, took my 2-year-old daughter out of daycare, and my wife quit her job.

Over the period of 6 months, we went to the Middle East (Palestine, West Bank), Thailand , Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, China & Japan.

GOOD

  • The feeling of “getting away” from your current life is an unbelievable experience. For the first time in my life, I felt I was on the outside looking in and not the other way around. It changes your perspective on everything.
  • Something predictable happens when you’re in great beach weather. You stop eating like dirt. You get up and want to exercise. You want to walk around more. You look out the window more. You question the purpose of life. You question your role in this world. You people watch more. I never set out to lose weight or get healthy. It just happened because of the weather and the healthy Thai food around us.
  • Phuket, Thailand & Tokyo were VERY friendly places. The people were a lot more friendly than I thought, especially in Tokyo. For being the biggest city in the world, this was surprising to me.
  • I got to meet up with Noah Kagan in Thailand. He is a big reason I do what I do and one of my “marketing mentors”. I learned through his writing.
  • I taught a class at the University of Birzeit in Ramallah, West Bank. My biggest regret is not taking a selfie with the class. The message I delivered to the class was “Anything is possible”. This message is even a little too cliche for me, but I thought it was the appropriate given the audience.

BAD

  • 2-year-old kids and moving don’t go along well. This one can go under the “No Shit, Sherlock” file.
  • In Tokyo, my daughter started telling us “All done train”. She was sick of being in a different place every other day. We had to find a Toys R Us, just so she could play with toys for an hour.
  • Before the pitchforks come out, this was only for the last 3 weeks of our trip. We were stationary most of the time in the same apartment.
  • You lose motivation to do anything productive, besides exploring around you.

UGLY

  • I hit a parked car within 5 minutes of getting my rental car in Thailand. Yes, a parked car. My excuse is that I wasn’t used to driving on the left side of the road, but it doesn’t matter. A parked car is a parked car. It was pretty bad, but the family was OK. The car was not.

LESSONS LEARNED

  1. Physical and emotional space is necessary. The West Bank and Tokyo are crowded places. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. In Thailand, I woke up every morning with an open mind to the day. In Japan and the West Bank, I didn’t wake up with an open mind. I always felt there was something to do and I never really got settled. Achieving physical and emotional space is not an option for many people because of financial reasons. (I’ll be writing about this shortly)
  2. Cousins are great. Too many cousins is too many cousins. When I was visiting family in Palestine, I learned something very quickly. I’m going to see my cousins every single day, whether I planned to or not. There is no such thing as “Pencil me in for lunch next Tuesday.” That’s not a thing. Everyone is family, so it’s your obligation to see family almost every day.
  3. Snapchat is going to take over the world. I didn’t post much about-about my travel on Facebook because I felt that it would come off as humble bragging. Instead, I used Snapchat every day. Instead of picking the best pictures or videos of my trip, it allowed others to follow along with me. I can’t tell you how many people said that they felt like they were following along with me. You should give Snapchat a try if you’re sick of FB. P.S: Follow Me: FireMeIBegYou
  4. If you make money in the US, you can live like a KING/QUEEN in Thailand. I’m lucky enough to have the skill-set to be able to work from anywhere and make US money.
  5. You never go to the beach and then make money. You make money first and THEN go to the beach. You know those people who teach you how to “make money while you’re on the beach.” You should unfollow those people immediately. It’s not a thing. Also, if you are a salaried employee with vacation time, you are technically making money while you’re on the beach.
  6. Money is MORE important than passions for the 99%. Money allows you to explore and make mistakes. Passions are things that happen after you make money. I’m going to write about money a little bit more in-depth because I don’t think it’s talked about enough. And it’s not going to be one of those “I made $1MM in one year, here’s how you can do it too!” type of articles.
  7. This trip would not be possible without money. EVEN though it was cheaper to live in Thailand than in Chicago, the move requires a safety net for unexpected expenses. It reinforced the importance of this topic. I think there are misconceptions about how people make money in the real world. Again, I’ll be writing about this topic more often.
  8. We all have too much stuff. We began our trip with 4 big suitcases and a carry-on. We ended up with 1 suitcase, which is all we needed for all 3 of us. Japan is the master of “stuff optimization” given how much little space they have.
  9. When buying a rental car, it pays to use an international brand even if it costs more. When I got into an accident in Thailand, Budget came to the crash site, handled everything for me, and gave me a new car on the spot. I was off and running in no time. I came close to using a rental car agency off the main road, but I’m glad I didn’t because who knows what would have happened after the accident.

FIRE ME I BEG YOU (FMIBY)

2016 was one of the best and worst years for FMIBY. The first half of 2016 was dedicated purely to launching products. It was good that I launched them, but then bad because I started too much in a little time. I overextended myself.

GOOD

  • I launched FMIBY Swag. Sweatshirts, T-Shirts, Mugs, and even infant outfits. Swag is part of my “overall vision” for FMIBY. I think Fire Me I Beg You should be a global brand.
  • I launched an Adult Coloring Book.
  • I started “Hire Me I Beg Youwhich is geared towards Career Centers at Universities who can offer this program to their students. My first client was the University of Denver. I think this has long term potential.

BAD

  • I stopped writing. I had this picture in my head that I would be sitting poolside with an umbrella and my Laptop drafting the next version of Fire Me I Beg You. The exact opposite happened. I didn’t want to write anything. I didn’t even try to write. It was worse than writer’s block. All I wanted to do was go to the beach and run. I had a beautiful view of the ocean. And that’s all I did.
  • I made a large switch in pricing for the “Summer of Quitting Step by Step.” The biggest mistake I made was I made it a “cancel anytime” agreement. So, you would pay month by month and cancel whenever you are done with the course. This gave me unbelievable anxiety. The feeling of waiting for someone to cancel is not something I want to deal with. I’d rather get a request for a full refund, then just looking at emails every month wondering how many people would cancel. I’m going to back to the original pricing soon.
  • I offered people counseling, and I didn’t deliver. Part of the upsell to Summer of Quitting was I would reach out every two weeks and check on progress. I did this for two months, and then I stopped. It was on the back of my mind for four months. It was called accountability sessions, and I wasn’t accountable to myself.
  • Most of my email list was used to promoting the stuff I was creating. I have to get back to my roots of creating real value.

UGLY

  • It took six months to get my swag listed on Amazon. I got a bad recommendation of a vendor to use to send my ALREADY PRINTED swag to Amazon. Long story short, I had to threaten to call the police for stolen goods before it was finally sent. This was an absolute disaster. The vendor was straight up lying to me the entire team. He would tell me “Amazon is having warehouse delays. All my clients are experiencing it”. The reality was he never sent it to Amazon at all. It was a complete lie. I’m still mad about this. But, it’s finally live.
  • The above disaster would have never happened if I wasn’t an idiot trying to change the world in 24 hours. For whatever reason, I told the SWAG printer to send all the boxes of stuff to me first. I don’t know why I would do this instead of sending it to Amazon first. I got tons of boxes delivered to me. I couldn’t even move in my apartment.
  • I missed my coloring book date for pre-orders by 6 months. It took six months AFTER my due date of July 27th to finish and print the books. I will never agree on a pre-order date unless I have everything in hand ready to go.

LESSONS LEARNED

  • Never delegate anything you haven’t done before yourself. I learned the hard way with trusting someone to send my stuff to Amazon warehouse. If I took an hour out of my day to create a sample shipment, I would have known right away.
  • Think big, start small. I was so excited to get my stuff out there that I didn’t think about creating one t-shirt. I went all out and created multiple variations. I thought big and went big. It didn’t work out for me.
  • I have no idea filter. You know how some people have ideas but never launch? I have ideas and launch them all. I’m sort of obsessed with launching. But, now I am going to take a *little* more time.
  • I need to get back to reading more. I just started reading again and realized how much it helps me succeed. A few tidbits here and there all add up.

MARRIAGE & 2 YEAR OLD

Do you know the quickest way to test the strength of your marriage? Tell your wife she has to quit her job to travel the world and oh by the way we’re bringing our two-year-old with us.

Traveling with a spouse is easy. Traveling with a spouse and a 2-year-old child who quite literally does not care about how comfortable you are is super duper hard.

(I’m not trying to gain any sympathy here with this either. What I did was a trip of a lifetime. But, a two-year-old makes you question your sanity sometimes! )

GOOD

  • Getting away was great for our marriage. Our stress was gone. Cost of living in Thailand was beyond cheap. The weather was great. The people were friendly. We were living in luxury for 1/10 the price of what we would pay in the US. We didn’t have other commitments besides the promises we made to each other.
  • My wife got a job as a Clinical Researcher at Bangkok International Hospital in Phuket. She worked with locals every day. She got to experience the real Thailand. She made a lot of great friends and learned about research is conducted in Asia. One of these days, I’ll write about how she got the job. Long story short, she followed my advice correctly 🙂 It involved Twitter, Youtube, Skype & Email.
  • We started meditating. This was one of our favorite experiences, especially for my wife who was new to meditating. In Thailand, it wasn’t hard to find a group to do this with.
  • Daughter had a great daycare in Thailand. My daughter loved going there every day. She had a great teacher and was engaged every day. Most importantly it was accredited, and safe.

BAD

  • I underestimated how my wife would adapt to change. For whatever reason, I adapt to change very quickly. I thought it would be easy to quit her job and travel. I was wrong. It wasn’t easy. You would think someone would gladly pick up their bags and move to paradise. She thought it would be easy as well, until the week before we left. She questioned everything. She questioned my intentions. She was unsure if this was the best decision.
  • She eventually adapted
  • She then proceeded to have the same struggle a week before we left Thailand. We both didn’t want to leave.

UGLY

  • I had a meltdown in Vietnam. It was one of those meltdowns where my wife started laughing halfway through because she couldn’t believe my facial reactions. It’s one of those meltdowns where if a celebrity had it and it was caught on camera, it would quickly end their career. It was that bad.
  • It was about a lost iPad we left in security in Bangkok. A fight started because I was too calm about losing the iPad. LOL. Then we switched. She was calm, and I became a monster.
  • Literally 15 mins before my meltdown I told my wife that “This was the happiest day of my life.” It finally hit me that I was living my dream. 15 mins later I was a train wreck. Over an iPad.

LESSONS LEARNED

  • No more meltdowns. It’s not healthy for anyone.
  • My wife is  definitively my “Ride or Die.” I’m forever indebted to her. This would not be possible without her cooperation.
  • Marriage is built on respect. We genuinely appreciate each other. We don’t get up every morning and say “I respect you”. In fact, we probably don’t say it ever. But, the respect is there.
  • I know *exactly* how to make my wife mad. She also knows *exactly* how to make me mad. It’s the most powerful, dangerous super power ever.

2017

Here’s my plan:

  1. Go back to my writing roots. – I’m going back to writing often and will start up “Coffee with Robbie” videos again. I”m going to put a bigger emphasis on Facebook & LinkedIn this year. Basically, I’m BAAAAAAACKKK..
  2. FMIBY new blog is coming REALLY soon. I’ve learned never to publicly state a launch date. Mainly because I miss them often 🙂
  3. I’m moving to Silicon Valley, California. I have an opportunity to lead a second stage startup to the next level. If you’re there and would like to catch up for coffee, send me an email robbie@firemeibegyou.com
  4. I’m going to focus on focusing. Being able to focus on things that make the biggest impact is something I always struggled with. I’m getting better, but this is the year I make it happen.
  5. Become a better dresser. I’m the poster child for men who have no idea how to dress. It’s a combination of being lazy and not really caring what others think of me. However, I’m going to see if the “If you look good, you’ll feel good” motto will apply to me.

Thank you for listening!

You’ll be hearing from me soon. I’m just not going to tell you exactly when 🙂

My dad had two rules:

  1. Don’t sit on his couch
  2. Don’t touch the remote

My dad looked like he belonged to the Italian Mafia. It was always great when a friend of mine would meet my dad for the first time. They didn’t know if they should laugh at his jokes out of fear or because he was genuinely funny.

My dad passed away following a battle with lung cancer. A few days before he died, the remote control wasn’t working properly. He asked me to get batteries from the cabinet. When I asked why he needed them, he looked up at me with a dumbfounded look on his face and said, “To put up my ass! Why else do people need batteries?”

I laughed, shrugged my shoulders and said, “Well… Looks like I’m going to get the batteries!”

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