“I don’t technically need more”

“They’ll just say no”

“I’ll look greedy”

“I might get it, but at what cost?”


Asking for more can be terrifying, right? We have all sorts of self-sabotaging thoughts that run through our head that can talk us out of negotiating. And while you don’t want to negotiate for the sake of negotiating, you do want to negotiate when you know your value and know that you can earn more.

Being smart with your money isn’t just about saving more, it’s about making more.

While it may seem trivial to negotiate for an extra $5,000 or $7,000, it’s not. Imagine that you and a co-worker are hired at the same time. He negotiates and is able to land a $7,000 raise. If you both get the same raises and promotions over the next 35 years, he will end up earning over $1,000,000 more than you.

$7,000 may not seem like a lot now, but does $1 million?

(um…yes, yes it does.)

This guide was created to help you get comfortable asking for more. Whether it be $7,000, additional time off, or a promotion, we all need to get better at voicing our value and asking for what we want.

Use this guide as a starting point to help you learn to negotiate. Knowing how to negotiate is a lifelong skill that can serve you in your career or daily life – not just when you’re gunning for a raise or a promotion.

If nothing else, learning how to negotiate, ask for more, and speak up teaches you how to voice your worth.

That’s a really fair question, don’t you think?

You somehow found your way to The Worth Project, you decided you wanted to see the negotiation guide, and now here you are about to invest your time reading and watching videos full of my negotiation advice.


I’m not a smooth-talking negotiator (as you’ll see in the videos). In fact, I was terrible at negotiating. Luckily, I’ve learned. A lot.

I took classes on negotiation when I was getting my MBA at Duke. Did those help? Well, not really. I was still a bumbling fool who would get red and quickly apologize for asking. But the one thing that business school taught me was to believe I should ask. And that was the start of my journey to learn how to negotiate.

After my failed negotiation attempts I’d probably be the least likely person to end up teaching you how to negotiate. It’s just not a natural talent of mine. Or, I should say, it wasn’t.

Since my negotiation flops, I’ve:

  • Interviewed over 100 women for my Forbes column on negotiation
  • Interviewed leading researchers on negotiation
  • Negotiated – successfully – dozens of times. Which helped me pay off over 20% of my six-figure student loan debt.
  • Negotiate successfully for almost everything else in life: rent, client projects (now that I’m self-employed), and bills that you probably didn’t know were negotiable.

The best part of this all is that I know first hand the financial freedom and confidence negotiation can bring.

Managing your money well isn’t just about saving more, it’s also about making more.

Let me help you do that.

I know how easy it is to get overwhelmed with details. Tips and tricks for nailing the conversation can easily become overwhelming. So rather than give you a laundry list of things to remember and do, I break the process of negotiating down into 3 steps.

You’ll notice that the two most critical steps happen before you ever get in the room to negotiate. If you put in some time beforehand, the conversation will be so much easier. Let’s not make this harder than it has to be – right?

1. Research: Know what you bring to the table and know what it is they value the most.

2. Prep: Practice what you’re going to say with an easy framework: B.A.M.M.

3. Ask: The simple secret of silence





1. Research

Most negotiation research starts with heading to online salary aggregators like salary.com or Glassdoor. Sure, that’s one place to start (and you’ll get some decent information), but stop there and you’ll definitely be selling yourself short.

Before you dive into your online resources to try and find the average pay for a job title that exactly matches yours, it’s important to research 2 things that are less quantifiable, but just as important:

1.) What your superpower is
2.) What the other person really values
Dive into this research by watching the short video below.





2. Prep

Like I mentioned, I was not a star negotiator in the past. I would get tongue-tied. I’d trip over my words. I’d take less than what I deserved. And I felt awkward asking for more.

Basically, I was a mess.

But the great thing about being a mess was learning how to get over it and now sharing it with you. One of the best ways I got over it was to create a framework I could use in any conversation. A framework that would help me be in charge of the message. That would help me communicate exactly what I was wanted and why. And a framework that I could practice over, and over, and over again.

This framework? B.A.M.M.


Watch the video below to learn more.





3. Ask

Here we are. You’re in the conversation. You know what you’re asking for, why they absolutely want to give it to you, and you’ve perfectly positioned your ask with B.A.M.M.

What else is there to know?

How about the easiest trick in the book? The one that will keep you from accidentally undermining what you’ve prepared.

Ready for it? It’ll take you just a few seconds to master. Watch the last video below to master it.




When I get to this part of the training, nearly everyone says the same thing: “I’ve got it! I feel so great! I can ask for this.

Oh, but wait. What if:

they bring up this point?
they say “no”?
they don’t want to meet with me?
they’re not ready to talk about it?
I say the wrong thing?
I ask for too much?
I ask for too little?
they HATE me?
they laugh at me?they bring up this point? they say “no”?
they don’t want to meet with me?
they’re not ready to talk about it?
I say the wrong thing?
I ask for too much?
I ask for too little?
they HATE me?
they laugh at me?

I’ve got you covered.

You’ll find more negotiation articles on The Worth Project. You can binge all day long.

Of if you want more in-depth, step-by-step training, take a look at my course:

Not Your Father’s Negotiation Course.



This guide does not constitute personalized financial advice. As always, consult a professional for specific questions regarding your personal situation. Want more info? Read our disclaimer here.

Erica Gellerman, CPA

Erica Gellerman Bio The Worth Project

Erica Gellerman is a CPA, MBA, personal finance writer, and founder of The Worth Project: a weekly money newsletter you actually want to read. Her work has been featured on Forbes, Money, Business Insider, The Everygirl, The Everymom, and Lifehacker. When she’s not writing about personal finance you can find Erica exploring Europe from her temporary home base in London.

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