427. A Career of Finding Common Ground
Kwame was offering free seminars on negotiation strategies to get clients for his law firm, and he was loving it more than anything he was getting paid to do. Then it hit him: “I could be doing this for a living.”
Kwame is a business lawyer and founder of the American Negotiation Institute. He is passionate about teaching entrepreneurs and business professionals the art of negotiation so they can get better deals and advance their careers. He is regularly invited to give negotiation seminars and consults with individuals and companies to create and implement powerful negotiation strategies. He also hosts a podcast called Negotiation for Entrepreneurs where he interviews successful entrepreneurs and shares powerful persuasion techniques.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
“After passing the Bar exam and earning a degree in public policy, I was doing important social justice work. But I felt kind of obligated, like it was work that I ‘should’ be doing. I was serving the community well, but I felt guilty I wasn’t passionate about it like my colleagues. One way you can tell you’re operating in your passion is through your energy. My colleagues would see injustice and get energized, but it just drained me. Today, I’m podcasting and teaching people about negotiation.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“From childhood, I was always trying my hand at business. Growing up as a minority—a young black boy with a thick Caribbean accent in a mostly white town in the Ohio heartland—I was curious about the psychology of how people related to each other, and how I could fit in. Learning negotiation was a perfect combination. It blended my interests in business and psychology, Negotiation is all about relationships with people, finding common ground, and finding a way to make that relationship push you forward.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“For me, the fear of regret is greater than the fear of failure. I don’t want to live my life with regrets. As the statistics say, many people are essentially sleepwalking through their lives. I don’t want to wake up in a decade and say, ‘I have not enjoyed my job.’ The most time we spend at any one thing is at work.”
Steps to Success from Kwame Christian
1. Discover your curiosity. It’s a good key to finding your passion.
2. Don’t run away from your talent. Embrace it and start using it.
3. Don’t live a life you’ll regret. Risk failure rather than sleepwalk through life.
On His Bookshelf
The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan
Top Tools on His Browser
Negotiation for Entrepreneurs, Podcast:
Connecting With Kwame Christian
Partnership Success Guide: https://americannegotiationinstitute.com/partnership/
How to Develop Your Personal Negotiation Style: https://americannegotiationinstitute.com/style/
List of Negotiable Business Expenses: https://americannegotiationinstitute.com/list/
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