(By Russ Alan Prince)
“While there are all sorts of ways to sugarcoat the reality that people are for sale, it doesn’t negate the fact that this is characteristic of the human condition. Sometimes it’s simply about acquiring the knowledge, abilities and talents of others as in the case of hiring a wealth advisor to handle your investments. At other times, it can be a lot more.“
You know that you can be bought. While there might be a few exceptions – outliers if you will – the overwhelming majority of people are for sale. This isn’t good or bad. It’s reality. However, there are quite a few caveats.
Self-made millionaires, for the most part, firmly believe that most anyone can be bought. More telling is that many of them admit to being bought now and again as they amassed their fortunes, and that they’re still for sale.
While there are all sorts of ways to sugarcoat the reality that people are for sale, it doesn’t negate the fact that this is characteristic of the human condition. Sometimes it’s simply about acquiring the knowledge, abilities and talents of others as in the case of hiring a wealth advisor to handle your investments. At other times, it can be a lot more.
What is regularly characteristic of self-made millionaires is that in these acquisitions, they fairly consistently make a very good deal for themselves. Furthermore, and much more insightful, is that self-made millionaires are often able to purchase the capabilities of professionals, for example, beyond where these professionals would often choose to go.
To be able to efficaciously and very profitably “buy” someone, especially in situations outside convention, there are a number of factors that you need to take into account. The combination of the dominant variables of the Buy Someone Equation goes like this:
(Need x Currency) – Options = Deliverables
All the variables in the equation can be manipulated. Let’s consider each variable individually.
- Need is the reason the other person is even considering making a deal. The Need can vary greatly in intensity and meaning. It can be paying a mortgage to saving the life of a child to whatever is someone’s heart’s desire. The greater the Need the more you can ask for in return.
- Currency is how you’ll pay the individual. Money is certainly a possibility. However, there are many forms of currency such as leveraging your connections and providing information. The more the preferred Currency is difficult for the other person to obtain, the better position you’re in.
- Options are the other possibilities to address the Need the person has. The more practicable alternatives that exist, the weaker your position. While all the variables are potentially time sensitive, Options is usually especially so.
- Deliverables are what you get by your purchase. It’s what (who) you bought. Regularly time frames are part of the specified Deliverables. Here you have everything from acquiring the services of a professional for a period of time to truly Faustian bargains.
There are two key lessons here if you want to make the best deal:
Lesson #1: When you’re being bought. The place to start is with Need. What do you want and how truly important is it? Then determine what Options you have. If the alternatives are limited or possibly not very viable, determine the requisite Currency you require. Evaluate your ability to provide the requested Deliverables. This evaluation is multi-faceted from your ability to produce as well as the conflicts in doing so including moral and ethical considerations. In effect, you’re taking the Buy Someone Equation and determining just how it applies in your own life.
Lesson #2: When you’re buying someone. When dealing with others, be very honest with yourself when deciding what Deliverables you sincerely want. Then, you go to the other person’s Need as you understand it. You will then consider what alternatives he or she has. And, do you have the appropriate Currency to meet his or her Need? Here you’re taking the Buy Someone Equation and calculating what it will cost you to acquire the skills and knowledge you desire.
The above systematized thought process involved in “buying” someone is highly characteristic of self-made millionaires. Very telling is that many people are running this sort of calculus in their heads all the time. Nevertheless, self-made millionaires tend to be very deliberate and methodical enabling them to sell rich and buy fairly cheap. And, so can you.