Book Review: Winning Through Intimidation

If you’ve ever been frustrated by experts recommending positive thinking, you’re not alone.

Traditional Positive Thinking Doesn’t Work

In business it can be incredibly difficult to maintain so called “positivity”. Most deals fall through, and you’re consistently failing as you’re trying new things.

Enter the business classic: Winning Through Intimidation. (Now published as To Be or Not To Be Intimidated)

Sustain Positive Thinking Through Assumed Negative Results

In the very first chapter, Robert Ringer addresses this most basic issue for entrepreneurs.

He recommends assuming a negative result when entering into any negotiation. And the fact remains, most business deals don’t work. So assuming failure is an easy way to avoid letdowns, while facing a reality doing of business. Most people will waste your time.

Four Cornerstones of a Winning Mindset

  • Relativity – Not one person says they’re a dishonest person, and yet there are many dishonest people. Weigh all facts relatively when deciding on a course of action.
  • Relevance – Only focus on those things immediately relevant to boosting your income and achieving your business goals. Cut everything else away
  • Aim High – Ringer refers to this as Mortality Theory. Our time on earth is limited, and we might as well aim high, and take the largest piece as possible, rather than crawling our way up through the ranks.
  • Keep Perspective – aka Ice Ball Theory. Keep perspective, because eventually the entire world will become an Ice Ball when the sun burns out. Be willing to walk away from deals that don’t work, and be willing to laugh at the ridiculous nature of humans.

Assume a Strong Posture

In the book, Ringer initially struggled to close even the smallest of deals. He blames this on being ignorant of the true nature of his deals. He later assumes everyone is out to cheat his commission, and structures his deals for his ultimate protection from the beginning.

This means getting proper legal documentation, all appropriate licenses, using certified mail on all correspondence, and having an attorney present at closings.

Move Forward Regardless of Naysayers

Ringer makes the case for what he calls the “Leapfrog Theory”. We shouldn’t waste our time waiting for permission to work at the top of our chosen fields. Instead, we must declare our position at whatever level we deserve.

Results Are Inversely Proportionate to the Level We Are Intimidated

Your strength and posture are determined by the amount you are intimidated by other people. If you think you are “only a freelancer”, and position yourself as such, you will see very little results. If you position yourself as “the best solution provider”, and can back that posture up, you will see immediate results.

Takeaway: Always ask what can be done to improve and protect your posture before entering negotiations.

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