Whatever I engage in, I must push inordinately. -Andrew Carnegie

The other day I was thinking about my life.

As I went over different events, a pattern emerged: I’ve always prospered when I err on the side of aggression. I don’t mean being an asshole and starting fights or intimidating people. I mean always going for more– always seeing how far you can push a particular situation.

I’ll review three different examples where this is apparent to me.

1. Gaming

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You’re at the bar, talking to a hot girl. It’s going well. You can either:

a. Keep talking.

b. Ask her for her number.

c. Start touching her.

Here the most aggressive move is touching, and is also clearly the best. Now you’re talking and touching. You can either:

a. Keep talking and touching.

b. Ask for her number.

c. Kiss her.

Again, option c is the most forward. After you kiss, you can either:

a. Keep kissing.

b. Ask for her number.

c. Try to get her to leave with you.

At this point you’ll definitely get her number, but chances of her flaking when you text her later are high. Yes, chances of her going home with you are lower then getting her number. But even if she rejects the advance, she’ll still give the number– you don’t lose anything.

Always pushing for more will get you more. I know it’s obvious in gaming situations and when it’s spelled out like this, but men tend to be pussies anyway. I’ve never regretted getting rejected for pushing the envelope. However, I’ve definitely regretted not pushing the envelope and just getting a girl’s number when far more was possible.

2. Salary Negotiation

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You just got offered a job. Congratulations, you’re a big dawg. They offered you $50,000/year salary. You can either:

a. Take it.

b. Ask for a little bit more, say $55,000.

c. Ask for a lot more, say $75,000.

d. Reject it.

If you do option a and just accept it, then you’re a fucking chump. Not only did you just give up thousands of dollars a year, but you also sacrificed your boss’s respect. He low-balled you and you took it. Even if he didn’t completely low-ball you, he knows that you don’t value yourself higher than his initial minimal investment in you. He offered you shit expecting you to call him on it.

Now, some people aren’t complete chumps. They know they can get more, so they ask for a little bit more, option b. I did this. And it worked. But you know what? When I quit, my boss told me he was surprised I accepted his low-ball offer (even after he raised it by a few thousand). Again, the only regret I can have is not pushing the fucking envelope and asking for even more.

When you ask for option c you give yourself the best chance to make more money. The only thing you risk is coming off as slightly arrogant, but more likely a good negotiator– something to respect. They aren’t going to retract the offer. But they are going to give you close to the max they’re willing to, at least.

3. Selling

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One of the current activities where I make money is personal training. I sell packages of sessions (you can buy either 5, 10, 20, or 30). Imagine I just took you through a free workout. You’re exhausted, your endorphins are rushing, and you feel like you could use this ass-beating on a regular basis. I can suggest that you buy:

a. 5 sessions so that we can meet once a week for the next 5 weeks

b. 10 sessions so that we can meet twice a week for the next 5 weeks

c. 30 sessions so that we can meet three times a week for the next few months

If I suggest option a, what are you going to do? I’ll tell you from experience. You’re going to tell me you need some time to think about whether or not you want to buy anything at all. And probably decide against it.

If we go to the opposite end of the spectrum and I suggest option c (30 sessions), you’re going to tone it down and agree to buying 10 or 20. Whatever I suggest sets the initial negotiation point. And people tend to negotiate a little. If I offer you anything less than the max, I’m just shooting myself in the foot. I won’t get the maximum sale.

This also explains why companies low-ball you with their initial salary offer. They aren’t trying to trick you per se, they’re just being strategic.

Always push the envelope

Next time you find yourself talking to a girl or negotiating something, realize that going for more is the best call. Leave it all on the floor. It’s a mark of the masculine man.

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