All posts in the ‘ Dealing with People ’ Category

The Selfish Importance of Gratitude

Last week was the United States’ annual celebration of gratitude, Thanksgiving. If you’re a regular reader of my blog, it should come as no surprise that Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays: a time to reflect on what is good and appreciate what we have.

I’m always sad that it passes so quickly.

So here is my plug for prolonging the holiday spirit and … Read More

Unsucking Small Talk

“So what do you do for fun?”

I was at a party and had just been introduced to a friend of a friend. Unfortunately, my friend was called away almost immediately and we two not-quite strangers were left staring at one another.

And that’s when it happened.

That is when a seemingly simple question made me want to run screaming from the building.

Small talk Read More

Be a Freelance Rock Star

No matter what it is you do—design, act, write or make music—learning the business of freelancing can be hard.

Business skills aren’t usually taught in school. Even if you’re lucky enough to land a class with a helpful teacher,  the teacher isn’t there when a client calls demanding (another) revision and I’ve yet to see a “textbook example” in real life.

Education by experience is … Read More

What to Do After They Say “No”

One of the biggest fears that novice negotiators have is hearing the word, “No.”

They think that “No” means rejection, means an end before things really begin, means failure.

But it doesn’t. Not really.

“No” is a point in a negotiation, but it’s not the end of the conversation. It’s an opportunity for you to learn more about the client and figure out if this … Read More

Horrible Disease Affecting Negotiators. Are You at Risk?

Have you ever described a difficult negotiation by saying:

“They’re being unreasonable.” or “I don’t know why they don’t care about fixing this.” or “They’re just jerks; that’s the problem.”

If you answered “yes” you may be suffering from a serious, but curable, condition known as conflictus conflatiitis.  … Read More

Why Email is Awful

You’ve been emailing back and forth with a client about the details of a new job: hours, what you’ll do, what you won’t, and of course, how much you’ll get paid. You think you’ve laid everything out fairly clearly in your last email and are feeling good that this negotiation is (finally) coming to a close.

Just then an email from the client pops up … Read More

Artists Make Great Negotiators

I’m always confused when someone tells me they can’t negotiate because, “you know, I’m an artist.”

Artists can make great negotiators! Because artists understand stories.

And understanding stories, why they work and why they don’t, is essential for being a good negotiator.… Read More


I got to teach a workshop at GeekGirlCon last weekend and had a lot of fun! I’m always a little bit nervous about the kind of crowd I’ll get at a convention; negotiation seminars aren’t usually what folks are looking for at a con.

I shouldn’t have worried; the GeekGirlCon crowd was awesome!

They came out in force and asked a ton of great … Read More

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5 Things to Know Before You Sign Your Publishing Contract

The following is the first of five emails from a free e-course about understanding publishing contracts. You can sign up for the rest of the course here. In any publishing deal, you're in charge. That's because a publishing contract is you giving the publisher permission to use your work. They need permission and


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