Reality is Negotiable


There is a little business book called The 4-hour Work Week… you may have heard of it.

One of the key points from that book is that “Reality is negotiable“… the examples used in the book were things like: “how to convince your boss to let you work from home half the week” etc…

I believe that one of the key skills in the modern age is the ability to negotiate reality.. to operate in the gap between what is expected and what is possible, to shun the norm, and laugh at those who say my least favourite phrase in the world: “That’s just the way it is”.

Disclaimer: The above doesn’t apply to science or the law.

For example, a friend of mine recently mentioned that he wanted to speak at an industry event, but there were two BIG problems: #1 – He had been told that all the speaker slots had already been taken, and #2 – The deadline for submissions had already passed.

“But Dean, the submission form is offline, so I can’t apply, it’s impossible.”

“No problem” I said, “We simply won’t use the form, let’s find out who the event organizer is and get them on the phone, maybe you can work out a deal to at the very least speak on a panel.”

There is now a good chance he will be one of the main speakers at this event.

I was on the phone with an industry leader recently, and she said something that I really liked… I was asking about the possibility of doing a win/win deal, it was a longshot, but hey, if you don’t ask you don’t get … and she said “Dean, this is what I have to tell you because it is company policy, but once I have said this, there is a comma and a however….”

I loved this… next time you are told that something isn’t possible, or can’t be done, just assume there is a comma and a however. Reality is negotiable, you just have to have the balls bravery to go for it.

  • Craig Dewe

    So true… if you really want it then you can make it happen.

    And for the record reality doesn’t apply to science or the law either as both are heavily weighted by the people doing it. A drug company is statistically more likely to prove their drug safe than a government agency. A good lawyer is more likely to help someone go free than a bad lawyer.

    Everything is subjective and nothing is written in stone. Even the “law” of gravity doesn’t apply at the quantum level.

    Great examples Dean :)

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  • Miriam Ortiz Y Pino

    I push the possible all the time. I used to be in customer service and know it’s really about finding out what the reality actually is, and working with that. Great post Dean!

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  • Tennisbass

    To paraphrase another book title “Your Perception of Reality is too Limited.” Pass the load (monkey) to someone else–just ask.

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  • zersys

    It works obviously in the real part…

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  • marianacarlos

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