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Freshly Pressed

Your Bargaining Power


The following poem was originally shared in a 1937 book about building wealth. I first read the book when I was only 15 years old. It shaped my personality to be more assertive and even ended up starting my own brick-and-mortar business by age 23. This tiny lesson made a big difference! It's an important lesson that has stayed with me through all kinds of negotiations. Not just in business but also personally.

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Everything in life is a negotiation. We don't always get what we ask for. But if we don't ask, then we just end up with leftovers after everyone else has taken their share. So it's important to our own survival and well-being that we learn how to ask for what we need.

I bargained with life for a penny,
And Life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty score.

For Life is a just employer,
It gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.

I worked for a menial’s hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have willingly paid.

~ Think and Grow Rich (1937) by Napoleon Hill
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© Written by Pauline Wiser
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