“Gun to the head—what would you decide now?”
“Fast forward 6 months after your sabbatical--how would you decide: what criteria is most important to you?”
“Putting aside a list of pros/cons, what’s the *one* reason you’re doing this?” “Why is that the most important reason?”
“What’s end-game here?”
“What does success look like in a world where you pick that path?”
“What would the best version of yourself do”?
“The Quakers have this idea where you don’t speak unless the spirit moves you. I'm waiting for the spirit to move me.”
h/t a friend
A/ Thanks for sharing because I value this relationship + want both of us to get needs met
B/ What I heard was X (summary)-- was that accurate?
C/ How can I contribute to meeting your needs?
“….” Don't’ say anything!
Take a lap. Or cold shower. Workout. Change your mind state before re-entering the conversation
“....” Still don’t say anything!
Ask for a pause: “Do you mind if we take a quick break and return tonight? I want to make sure I can fully listen to your story + appreciate where you are coming from.”
That last part is key.
“…” Probably best not to.
Unless you ask the caveat: "Are you interested in hearing feedback?"
Instead of “Why did you do that?”
Maybe: “What was going on for you?”
“If you had a billion dollars what would you do with
a) the money
b) your time”?
This shows where they want to change society and what they truly want to be doing.
This determines how they'll talk about you in the future--whether they'll view you in a charitable light or not.
“I’m going to pause right there for reactions”
Conversational tactic:— Erik Torenberg (@eriktorenberg) February 28, 2018
After rambling so much you either forgot your intended original point and/or don\u2019t know how to elegantly stop talking, say \u201cI\u2019ll pause for any thoughts or reactions.\u201d
“Let’s take this offline”.
“Why not bootstrap it so you can control your own destiny and have more optionality over selling for 50m, 100m?”
Also just a good question for every founder to ask themselves.
9/ Note: The Q should come from a place of seeking mutual benefit. Or else it\u2019ll ring hollow and manipulative.— Erik Torenberg (@eriktorenberg) December 4, 2018
When asking for a raise, it's less: \u201ctrue for you to feel I deserve this?"
More: \u201ctrue for you to feel it\u2019s in all of our best interest?\u201d
And you genuinely mean it.
More from Erik Torenberg
Like company moats, your personal moat should be a competitive advantage that is not only durable—it should also compound over time.
Characteristics of a personal moat below:
I'm increasingly interested in the idea of "personal moats" in the context of careers.— Erik Torenberg (@eriktorenberg) November 22, 2018
Moats should be:
- Hard to learn and hard to do (but perhaps easier for you)
- Skills that are rare and valuable
- Compounding over time
- Unique to your own talents & interests https://t.co/bB3k1YcH5b
2/ Like a company moat, you want to build career capital while you sleep.
As Andrew Chen noted:
People talk about \u201cpassive income\u201d a lot but not about \u201cpassive social capital\u201d or \u201cpassive networking\u201d or \u201cpassive knowledge gaining\u201d but that\u2019s what you can architect if you have a thing and it grows over time without intensive constant effort to sustain it— Andrew Chen (@andrewchen) November 22, 2018
3/ You don’t want to build a competitive advantage that is fleeting or that will get commoditized
Things that might get commoditized over time (some longer than
Things that look like moats but likely aren\u2019t or may fade:— Erik Torenberg (@eriktorenberg) November 22, 2018
- Proprietary networks
- Being something other than one of the best at any tournament style-game
- Many "awards"
- Twitter followers or general reach without "respect"
- Anything that depends on information asymmetry https://t.co/abjxesVIh9
4/ Before the arrival of recorded music, what used to be scarce was the actual music itself — required an in-person artist.
After recorded music, the music itself became abundant and what became scarce was curation, distribution, and self space.
5/ Similarly, in careers, what used to be (more) scarce were things like ideas, money, and exclusive relationships.
In the internet economy, what has become scarce are things like specific knowledge, rare & valuable skills, and great reputations.
Why is this the most powerful question you can ask when attempting to reach an agreement with another human being or organization?
A thread, co-written by @deanmbrody:
Next level tactic when closing a sale, candidate, or investment:— Erik Torenberg (@eriktorenberg) February 27, 2018
Ask: \u201cWhat needs to be true for you to be all in?\u201d
You'll usually get an explicit answer that you might not get otherwise. It also holds them accountable once the thing they need becomes true.
2/ First, “X” could be lots of things. Examples: What would need to be true for you to
- “Feel it's in our best interest for me to be CMO"
- “Feel that we’re in a good place as a company”
- “Feel that we’re on the same page”
- “Feel that we both got what we wanted from this deal
3/ Normally, we aren’t that direct. Example from startup/VC land:
Founders leave VC meetings thinking that every VC will invest, but they rarely do.
Worse over, the founders don’t know what they need to do in order to be fundable.
4/ So why should you ask the magic Q?
To get clarity.
You want to know where you stand, and what it takes to get what you want in a way that also gets them what they want.
It also holds them (mentally) accountable once the thing they need becomes true.
5/ Staying in the context of soliciting investors, the question is “what would need to be true for you to want to invest (or partner with us on this journey, etc)?”
Multiple responses to this question are likely to deliver a positive result.
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Thanks to @chamath for laying this out in Social Capital's 2018 annual letter.
I've always appreciated his outspokenness.
2/ The hardest thing for most startups today is the path to market: first finding product-market fit & a way to reach customers, then building a ruthless machine to acquire, monetize & retain them.
3/ Because of this, when the VC industry invests capital into fast growing startups today, the plurality (if not majority) of invested capital will go into user acquisition and ad spending, for better or worse— usually worse.
4/ Todays massive venture-backed advertising, sales, and user acquisition playbook has morphed into one that champions growth at any cost.
This is creating a big bill that will soon come due...
5/ Ad impressions and click-throughs are bid up to outrageous prices by startups flush with venture money, and prospective users demand more and more subsidized products to gain their initial attention.
We want to tell people what they deserve to earn, buy, make, be, say, believe, enjoy. Where they can live. Who they can love.
We even do this to kids through the story of Santa Claus and his naughty or nice list.
And we’re all just trucking along like this is okay.
We do it to ourselves. “I deserve a break”, “I deserve this cookie”, “I deserve a promotion”.
Why are we so afraid of wants and needs? Why do we frame it in terms of this moral currency? It’s weird.
We've traded our freedom to have wants and needs on the basis that we just have them for the ability to police others' wants and needs through whether or not they are deserving of the things they're asking for. But to do that we have to play the same game and be "more deserving."
I never said which society or how long we’ve been doing it. I’m sure you could trace this ideology back to agriculture at the very least.
Neatly phrased, Miss Erynn! But I think if we look back we\u2019d find that it was ever so. The feudal system from the Middle Ages and even unto the 20th century in Czarist Russia saw societies based on your observations.— Edward M. Cook (@edcook111) November 1, 2018
People in a free society are entitled to any point of view no matter how obviously wrong or outlandish or destructive provided they do not impose their views on others.
But suggesting that something ignorant or divorced from reality warrants the same kind of treatment in public debate as something based in fact or at least credible is absurd and when done on behalf of a society in public media or academic settings it is self-destructive.
We would not grant media coverage or much bandwidth at all to a group that argued that unicorns exist or that there was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Yet views like denying climate change or basing policy decisions on sweeping, obvious lies, are just as unsound.
Somewhere, somehow, judgments must be made. Some behaviors are wrong and must be condemned. Someone must challenge lies and demand facts. Coddling people who embrace idiocies does not help them no matter how loudly they demand to be coddled.
Too many patterns leads to a boring, predictable, logical lifestyle.
Get the emotions involved.
Do something spontaneous out of the blue moon & flip the script.
'What's wrong with the patterns?'
Nothing is wrong with patterns.
However, there is a problem when all you have are patterns.
'Can you explain why?'
The thing with relationships is that it's meant to be an emotional experience.
It's very difficult to logically explain love, right?
Well this is where you want to steer the ship the right way.
1. Too emotional is bad.
2. Too logical is bad.
Let me break it down.
1. Too emotional
If a relationship is completely ruled by emotions, then it's too volatile.
You will never reach productivity if you are aimlessly only following each others emotions.
This lifestyle tarnishes any structure for the couple.
'So why do people do it?'
Because it's fun.
You may ruled by this stage in the honeymoon phase.
You'll be so spontaneous that it almost becomes a lifestyle.
But it's hard to level up your life when you're too spontaneous.