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Authentic Deal-Making

Authentic Leadership & the Hero’s Journey

Acting From Your Inner Truth
Dov Baron works with the world’s top business leaders and high-level entrepreneurs to help them answer the question, “What’s next?” It may sound like a simple question, but when you’re already operating at the highest level, there is rarely an obvious choice to make. Dov takes his clients on a heroic journey to chip away everything that isn’t real. The journey enables leaders to unbind their success from their identity so they can leave old parts of themselves behind and move into their soul’s purpose.

It is an intense process that only rewards the committed, but the people who push through see incomparable results.

(Interested in growing your own ability to lead authentically? You can get a FREE copy of Dov’s ebook, Authentic Leadership!)

Discover Your Soul’s Purpose

When Dov’s clients grow their businesses and achieve new successes, it is not because they are focusing on business and strategy. Rather, it is because they are focusing on building a stronger connection with their soul’s purpose. Really doing that work has measurable results; one of Dov’s recent clients even grew his business by 5000%. But in our own world where we may already be highly successful, it is extremely difficult to be willing to go deep and chip away everything that is not truly who we are.

We are always doing, but we are rarely being.

Learning how to enter that state of being will put you in a position to handle anything life throws at you. Doing this work will also transform you, your personal life, your business and the deals you do.

Win-Win-Win

We have talked about the fundamental principles of negotiating and dealmaking many times on Fueling Deals. With Dov’s philosophy, we can build on those ideas.

In a deal, we always want to serve the souls on both sides of the negotiating table. One way to do that is by figuring out what drives the other person so we can reshape the context of the negotiation. Shift away from the win-lose mentality and approach the deal intent on enriching the lives of every party involved (beyond just the money). By creating a deeper connection with our soul’s purpose, this is all possible. But only you can make that happen.

You can always make the deal a win-win-win.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker with more than 30 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. He is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker who is passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the Fueling Deals Podcast.

If you want to find out if you’re an authentic negotiator, take the Authentic Negotiating Success Quiz today!

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Authentic Business Relationships Authentic Deal-Making Authentic Negotiating

Publishing Deals and Finding Your Calling

Navigating a Publishing Deal

Move the Crowd is an entrepreneurial training company that focuses on helping people stay true, get paid, and do good. As the CEO, Rha Goddess works with purpose-driven entrepreneurs who are very clear about their intentions to make a difference in the world. More specifically, they are entrepreneurs who are interested in shifting culture. This can be related to young girls in STEM, female parity in the corporate C-suite, or even racial justice and inequity in our society—everyone Move the Crowd serves is interested in moving the needle to make the world a better place. Rha’s latest book release elaborates on the principle of shifting culture, and have it impact the most people, she chose to do a deal with a major publisher.

Doing Deals with a Publisher

Despite the drastic increase in platforms for people to consume content, the print industry is still highly competitive and difficult to break into. So, if you are not familiar with this industry, you might be surprised by the barriers to entry. For instance, to do a deal with a major publisher, generally, you can’t just go directly to the publisher; you have to work through an agent. However, in Rha’s case, she was able to garner the attention of multiple publishers, who approached her, giving her leverage. Since she already had a deal in motion, Rha had her choice of top agent representation to represent her on her book deal.

Leveraging Thought Leadership to Move Books

One of the main reasons Rha was able to approach the deal this way is because of a shift within the publishing industry itself. The new generation of publishers is seeking powerful voices; and what better way to establish yourself as a powerful voice than to become a known expert in your field? Over decades of work behind the scenes and the huge impact she had, Rha became a thought leader known to highly successful entrepreneurs, change-makers and best-selling authors by getting in the trenches and helping them do the same. She built a reputation and a following simultaneously that caused publishers to seek her out. Rha’s work has yielded countless relationships that are extremely valuable in the publishers’ eyes. And just like any other deal, the publisher must assess the potential for return before they make an investment. If you want to learn more details about what Rha did to prepare herself for a book deal and take it across the finish line, listen to her episode, “Publishing Deals and Your Calling, with Rha Goddess.”

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker with more than 30 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. He is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker. He is also the creator and host of the Fueling Deals Podcast.

If you want to find out if you’re an authentic negotiator, take the Authentic Negotiating Success Quiz today!

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Authentic Deal-Making Authentic Negotiating

How to Be a Great Negotiator

If you listened to my last solocast, you already know the primary reasons why negotiations fail. In this episode, we are going to take it a step further and discuss the top five ways to be a great negotiator.

Create and stay connected to a powerful context: Who are you when you walk into that deal? What is your energy? People can read your tone, body language, and micro-expressions, so focus less on ‘doing’ and more on ‘being.’

Be willing to do whatever it takes to get to your truth: It is a lot easier to put on a fake sense of bravado than to acknowledge you’re coming from a place of fear or scarcity. Do everything in your power to get the most out of your internal preparation so you can achieve a state of connection to truth and authenticity.

Identify and fully own your value: When you discuss pricing in a negotiation, you will have much greater success if you truly believe you are worth the number you are asking for.

Always be in integrity: Always make sure you are aligned with your inner truth. Great negotiators listen to their instincts and can tune into them on demand.

Have high expectations: If you go into a negotiation with high expectations, it may or may not work out, but your chances are a lot better. Holding high expectations directly affects your energy and context and is scientifically proven to improve results, so make sure to set the bar high.

Mastering the fundamental principles of dealmaking will turn you into a stellar negotiator; learning tactics and counter-tactics will not. Pragmatic methods and technical skills will help, but they are only supplementary. You need to become a deal maker at your core and negotiate from a place of clarity, detachment, and equilibrium. Following these five steps will help you get there.

If you are interested in learning more about why negotiations fail and want to hear examples, listen to my podcast episode, The Top 5 Practices of a Great Negotiator.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker with more than 30 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. He is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker. He is also the creator and host of the Fueling Deals Podcast.

If you want to find out if you’re an authentic negotiator, take the Authentic Negotiating Success Quiz today!

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Authentic Deal-Making

Current Trends in the Financial Services Industry

Custodian BNY Mellon | Pershing, headed by Mark Tibergien, is primarily responsible for ensuring the safety of clients’ financial assets. But his firm also supports financial advisors in their growth. Since custody is highly commoditized in the financial services industry, Mark’s focus is value enrichment. He looks at the business of financial advice as the core proposition, which encompasses strategy and structure, people and processes, and managing the profitability.

In that context, Mark weighs the costs and benefits of a merger or acquisition, identifies the challenges of integration, and determines if there are any insights that will help buyers and sellers make informed decisions about the transaction. Mark and his associates at BNY Mellon | Pershing deliver higher value to their clients by serving as a resource and a trusted partner.

What to Look for When You’re Doing Deals

The reality is, some deals should be avoided entirely and you have to keep an eye out for key indicators. The market is booming right now because sellers are looking for liquidity and buyers want growth. Mark recognizes the extremely opportunistic scenario, but a lot of details are being overlooked due to the volume of deals. Buyers are drawn to a shiny lure and they fail to address important factors that drastically impact the health of the final product. Are you able to digest everything that is happening in order to create synergy and build a brand? Are the employees going to stay with the organization or move to a new firm? At the end of the day, the client comes first in a service-based industry, so you need to determine whether or not they will be better off post-transaction.

Beyond the Core Proposition

BNY Mellon | Pershing’s business model has value beyond the management of financial assets and they practice what they preach. The financial services industry is comprised primarily of small, closely-held businesses that underestimate the process. Many firms have not built businesses to last so they are seeking liquidity instead of investing in an enduring business. Succession is a growth strategy, not an exit strategy, and Mark is helping people open their eyes to that notion. Evaluating deals, the reasons for doing them and the impact of private equity, market cycle and other factors in this maturing industry are crucial as is expanding the diversity (including age, gender and race) is hugely important to the future of financial services.

Click here to listen to the episode of Fueling Deals where you will learn key indicators for determining whether or not you should do a deal and what Mark has brought from other industries into the financial services space.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker with more than 30 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. He is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker. He is also the creator and host of the Fueling Deals Podcast.

If you want to find out if you’re an authentic negotiator, take the Authentic Negotiating Success Quiz today!

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Authentic Deal-Making

The Origins of Barefoot Wine

Today, Barefoot Wine is an iconic household name, but founders Bonnie Harvey and Michael Houlihan had no lineage in the wine industry when they started the company. At the time, one of Bonnie’s clients was owed $300,000 for grapes provided on a handshake deal. Michael went to track down the payment and discovered the debtor’s winery had folded. So, instead of escalating the dispute, Bonnie and Michael took payment in the form of wine. The deal was contingent on their ability to brand and market the wine themselves—something they knew nothing about. However, Bonnie and Michael designed a brand with the input of the common man and produced a product that kept people coming back.

Listen to the Market

When Bonnie and Michael started pushing cases, they overcame significant hurdles by listening to the market. Their initial strategy did not go according to plan, but Bonnie and Michael detached themselves from the brand to achieve a sense of clarity and equilibrium in their deal negotiations. Instead of sending pallets to supermarkets, they started hand-delivering cases to mom and pop shops in the area. Instead of spending millions on commercial advertising, they built a brand through community outreach and pioneered ‘worthy cause marketing.’ Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of falling in love with their products; Bonnie and Michael took feedback with a sense of objectivity and delivered much more than the market had asked for.

Leverage Strategic Partnerships

Who are your strategic allies? Who gets rich when you get rich? Those are the questions you should think about when you wake up in the morning. Barefoot entered a massive distribution deal with Trader Joe’s, they incentivized their employees to align their goals and grow the company organically, and they joined forces with E&J Gallo to take the company to an entirely new level. Bonnie and Michael even found a trusted partner to give them industry financing without a need for venture capital or investors. Strategic partnerships are the lifeblood of Barefoot, and they continue to propel the brand forward.

Learn about their new audiobook, The Barefoot Spirit and if you are interested in hearing more from Bonnie and Michael, listen to my podcast episode, The Deals That Made Barefoot Wine a Household Name, with Bonnie Harvey and Michael Houlihan.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker with more than 30 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. He is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker. He is also the creator and host of the Fueling Deals Podcast.

If you want to find out if you’re an authentic negotiator, take the Authentic Negotiating Success Quiz today!

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Authentic Deal-Making

Wipe the Slate Clean and Meet Your Goals

With the holidays upon us, we are looking forward to unwinding with our family and friends. But since we are also rounding out the year, the holidays are an opportunity to do a few deals with yourself before closing things out. Many of us fail to live out our New Years’ resolutions and goals because we fail to identify, address and complete the failures, unresolved challenges and limiting beliefs from the previous year. Those things roll over—and each time, the baggage gets heavier, making it harder to carry across the finish line if and when you re-up.

Take Stock of Everything

I have a completion exercise that I perform every year at the end of the year where I reflect on everything that’s happened. We need to take stock of all of our success, all of our failures, and get complete with ourselves about areas where we fell short. Before you re-up, I strongly recommend you do this so you can start with a clean slate. This includes the circumstances and relationships surrounding the unattained goals as well. Shed your limiting beliefs and get complete with yourself because you don’t want to bring any unnecessary baggage into 2020.

Celebrate No Matter What

Everything that happened—good or bad—served you in some way. Celebrate all of it because you deserve to honor yourself for everything you’ve accomplished and learned. By celebrating these events, you subconsciously shift your energy, focus on the wins and lessons, acknowledge yourself and clear the way to start planning and visioning for the next year. Then, it becomes more and more effortless to do visioning exercises from a clear and clean place. By creating an experiential mental image of your ideal future, your mind will start to work backward and figure out the steps you need to take to get there.

Click here to listen to my solocast where I explain more about the year-end deals I encourage you to make with yourself.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker with more than 30 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. He is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker. He is also the creator and host of the Fueling Deals Podcast.

If you want to find out if you’re an authentic negotiator, take the Authentic Negotiating Success Quiz today!

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Authentic Deal-Making

A Leap Forward With One Deal

Matt Wavro’s company, Skyline Engineering, has a unique business model that sets it apart from other AEC (Application Engineering Company) firms in New York City. It is an MEP design firm (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing) operating in the building construction space, but they have four divisions that cover a full spectrum of services. Matt’s firm can take an entire project from start to finish including the concept phase, design, construction, materials testing, and quality control. It is only possible for them to offer such a wide range of specialties because Matt has done deals and strategic alignments to grow the business inorganically.

The Acquisition of Skyline Engineering

Believe it or not, Matt came across the opportunity to acquire an MEP firm on LinkedIn of all places. At the time, he was doing a lot of third-party inspection work, but his roots were in MEP so it piqued his interest. Every MEP project in New York City requires a special inspection, commissioning, and concrete testing, so Matt realized that there was a huge synergistic opportunity. Since he did not have the necessary capital to purchase Skyline outright, Matt approached the SBA, which helped him with a loan that only required a small down-payment and he negotiated an earn-out for the rest. It enabled Matt to tap into Skyline’s existing talent and client roster, while maintaining the former owners and provide them with a succession opportunity when they were ready to retire. Never assume you can’t get a deal done because you are too small or don’t have the capital – especially with a strategic acquisition, like Matt did, you can get creative and find a way to get the deal done.

Skyline’s Strategic Alliances

Skyline’s acquisition is a perfect example of why you should do these types of deals earlier; you will find there are a lot more options on the table. But the industry is primarily relationship-based. So, Matt formed a valuable strategic alliance as well. MWBE (Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises) are given special access to some opportunities, and other times it is even required. By partnering with businesses that meet the MWBE criteria, Matt can acquire new business opportunities he couldn’t access otherwise, and the MWBE businesses benefit as well. Matt’s deals enabled him to acquire Skyline and hit the ground running, so if you are interested in hearing more of the deals he’s done, listen to our podcast episode, Acquisitions and Strategic Alliances in the Design and Construction Industry, with Matt Wavro.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker with more than 30 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. He is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker. He is also the creator and host of the Fueling Deals Podcast.

If you want to find out if you’re an authentic negotiator, take the Authentic Negotiating Success Quiz today!

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Authentic Deal-Making

The Fundamental Framework for Dealmaking

Negotiation is an important part of dealmaking, but it also impacts your business success as a whole. It is something that I cover extensively in my book, Authentic Negotiating, so I wanted to outline my fundamental framework in this episode of Fueling Deals. In thirty-five years of dealmaking, I have seen many tactics and counter-tactics. Some are manipulative and unsophisticated, and others are effective on the margins. But sound tactics will not take your deal across the finish line with the best outcome unless you have clarity, detachment, and equilibrium.

C,D,E

Clarity is the first fundamental principle of authentic negotiation, and it is composed of both an internal and an external body of work. Externally, you need all of the research and due diligence that will put you in a position to understand the party across the table, what the market is like, and what is fair. Internally, you need to do a deep inquiry into exactly what is acceptable to you and what is not. Very few people do the work necessary to get the level of clarity that is necessary for true negotiating success.

Detachment is the second principle, meaning you need to distance yourself emotionally from the outcome of your deal. After you establish clarity and understand each party’s terms, you should be prepared to walk if the deal doesn’t meet yours. It needs to be done from a place of clarity and reason rather than anger and frustration. Many people forget to check their egos at the door, but actively maintaining your detachment will help you rise above that.

Equilibrium is the third fundamental process. Even when you are coming from a place of clarity and detachment, it is possible to be overwhelmed by emotion in a tense negotiation. Your equilibrium will enable you to stay calm and connected to your sense of clarity and detachment. Anything that helps you center yourself in life can be used in a negotiation.

Final Thoughts

By including the fundamental principles of clarity, detachment, and equilibrium in your deal strategies, you will instantly see results. We are going to build on these in future solocasts as well, covering the top six reasons negotiations fail; the five steps to being a negotiator; authentic negotiation techniques; and the principles of CPR. But if you are able to get to clarity, detachment, and equilibrium, you will have an advantage over 90% of other negotiators. If you want to hear more about CDE, listen to my solocast episode, Clarity, Detachment, and Equilibrium, with Corey Kupfer.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker with more than 30 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. He is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker. He is also the creator and host of the Fueling Deals Podcast.

If you want to find out if you’re an authentic negotiator, take the Authentic Negotiating Success Quiz today!

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Authentic Deal-Making

Deal Design: Creative Real Estate Strategy

Gary Wilson developed a passion for drawing houses and architectural floorplans at just eight years old, but as Wilson grew older he would discover a much stronger affinity for the wealth that could be generated by them. His business sense and entrepreneurial spirit have been there through it all, and Wilson was always inspired by the simple exchange of providing quality service and getting paid for it.

The idea that you gotta wake up and show up to get paid is what shaped Wilson’s work ethic and prepared him to be a dealmaker as an adult. Wilson made his first real estate deal within a month of graduating college by assuming the previous owner’s VA mortgage, getting a second mortgage to refinance the seller’s second mortgage, then giving him a third note for his portion of the equity – so he put no money down. It was a very creative deal that was anything but conventional, and Wilson was even able to rent two rooms which paid for nearly all of his other bills.

The Pitfalls of a One-Size-Fits-All Deal Structure

From that point on, Wilson was determined to forge his own path outside of conformity. There are many ways to buy real estate but Wilson’s success is largely attributed to using the right strategy, at the right time, for the right deal. A lot of people tend to shove everything into a universal deal structure and that can be detrimental to their progress because every deal has the potential to be more lucrative if you get creative.

The ability to create tailored deal structures is a necessary component to becoming a great dealmaker, but mindset plays an important role as well. Getting creative with your strategy and taking risks are not comfortable ideas for everyone, but Wilson has picked up on some key characteristics that define a dealmaker.

Transferable Skills

Every year that Gary Wilson spent in the corporate world made him more miserable because he had to suppress his entrepreneurial mindset until he got out. When he broke away from that lifestyle, Wilson was finally in a position where he could pursue the unquenchable desire for financial freedom. The ability to look at things creatively and the desire to make them work are what set successful entrepreneurs apart, and it is a mindset that Wilson brings to every opportunity in his path.

Those skills define business leaders and entrepreneurs across a wide array of different industries, so there is an open door to real estate investment even if you aren’t going to put 100% of your time into it. The skills, attitudes, and talents needed to run a business are the same ones you need to succeed in real estate, and when you have both you gain an asset to borrow against to keep leveraging your business and vice versa.

A Cycle of Abundance

It is an amazing combination that creates a cycle of abundance. So, if you want to get into it, the resources you want to have are as follows: a tax accountant; a solid general contractor or contact in the construction/remodeling business; a good attorney; an investor-agent. The investor-agent is a key player in your venture because they can go beyond listing services to find the best deals that aren’t even published. Off-market deals are crucial in this space and Wilson’s entire brokerage company was based on that practice.

This industry has a learning curve and Wilson has made his fair share of mistakes, but if you are diligent and self-reliant you can avoid simple, costly screw-ups. It should not be a deterrent because the same risks apply in all facets of entrepreneurship. If you approach this business with a concrete strategy, mentorship, and a strong team, there is no telling what you will be able to accomplish with your current business and new ventures generating income simultaneously.

Listen to the interview with Gary Wilson on the Fueling Deals podcast to learn more about Gary and how you can apply your dealmaking skills in the real estate industry.

Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker with more than 30 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. He is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker. He is also the creator and host of the Fueling Deals Podcast.

If you want to find out if you’re an authentic negotiator, take the Authentic Negotiating Success Quiz today!

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Authentic Deal-Making

Overcome the Hand You’ve Been Dealt

Cindy Watson is the founder of Watson Labour Law and more recently, the creator of Women on Purpose and pioneer of the Art of Feminine Negotiation Program. She is keeping the momentum flowing with a scheduled book release this year where she will be launching The Art of Feminine Negotiation: How to Get What You Want From the Board Room to the Bedroom.

One of the things that prompted Watson to pursue this journey of Women on Purpose and the Art of Negotiation was her experience growing up in a rental apartment complex in a tough neighborhood. When she was young, Watson developed a strong passion for creativity and the arts. The only problem was since she came from a family of low financial status, there was a lot more pressure for Watson to capitalize on her strong academic performance and pursue a traditional career path that would guarantee a higher income.

Climbing the Ranks

Now she is based professionally in Toronto as a practicing lawyer, with her own firm close to the town she grew up in. Law is the first field she ever started a business in and Watson claims that “sometimes ‘not knowing’ is the greatest gift we can have.” Although she knew essentially nothing about running a company, her blissful ignorance allowed her to leave a job she was unhappy with to start her own firm. Looking back it seems like a preposterous idea, but that leap of faith ended up serving as a foundation for many great accomplishments to come.

Luckily, everything fell into place because Watson was able to own her value. A lot of people coming from the background she has are either really driven or feel like they’re not enough. Factors like, background, gender, class, race and other things can have a significant impact on what people can accomplish, but most people don’t realize that they can form a conscious decision to fight the circumstances. Women, and particularly women of color have so much more in terms of generations of conditioning, and they are set off with a distinct disadvantage even as early as kindergarten.

Step Into the Arena

When women step into their natural, feminine, intuitive negotiation styles, they can be more effective negotiators than professionals who use typical, masculine negotiation tactics. It can be a real advantage since most people don’t expect women to be good negotiators, especially when considering the expectation that negotiating is all about the bark and the bite. This connotation causes a lot of women to believe that they cannot be good negotiators because they lack the strength to be aggressive and assertive. But assertiveness is only one factor in negotiation among other key components like rapport building, empathy, flexibility, intuition, trustworthiness, and the list goes on.

It is not a question of capability, it is a question of mindset because most of the key successful negotiation attributes are traits that are traditionally considered to be feminine. There is no benefit to overcompensating so you can fit into a perceived “man’s world,” and luckily we are starting to see a generational shift in our society where this is changing. There are two types of negotiations: One will be the start of an ongoing relationship, and the other is a one-off situation that affects your reputation and karma because it is a small world. Real power is being able to use restraint when you don’t have to use it and that is the mark of a mature and experienced negotiator.

In this episode of the Fueling Deals podcast, Cindy Watson joins host Corey Kupfer to tell her story and talk about some of the negotiation wisdom she brings to female professionals through her conferences and book.

Click here to listen to the episode, and make sure to visit fuelingdeals.com for more informative episodes on growing your business inorganically through deals.