Defined Sight

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Leverage Is A Powerful Thing If Used Correctly

Leverage Can Be Powerful If Used Correctly

People are often more powerful than they realize. We live in a world of high competition which bodes well for us as consumers. As for employment, there is also high competition but most companies that are worth working for will go above and beyond to retain quality talent. There might be a lot of good employees out there but there are tons of crappy ones too. These current trends give us an excellent opportunity to use leverage in our lives to better our situations.

How I’ve Used Leverage At Work

I wish I could give you folks a top secret trick here on how I use leverage at work. But honestly, I did it by showing up on time, getting stuff done, and by getting along with people. No gossip, no trash talk, just work. Only once did I have to speak up about pay, about three years in or so. I didn’t raise a big stink, just mentioned it to my boss and he ran it up the ladder. I had never mentioned money or griped about anything of the sort so he took it seriously. A day or two later, magically that pay bump happened. Mind you it wasn’t earth shattering, but it was what I felt was fair and the going rate at the time. I know he certainly didn’t want to lose me to a competitor.

Fast forward several years (about 7), and it is time to move to a new city. My wife lands a sweet new gig that we can’t refuse. I have a heart to heart with the boss and tell him the unfortunate (for him) news that I will be leaving in a few months. He was pretty down about it but then asked if I had ever thought about working from home. I’d be lying if the thought didn’t cross my mind but I played it somewhat dumb anyways. I said I would be potentially interested in doing that if it would work for the company. So again he ran it up the corporate food chain and he came back and said it was approved.

The funny thing is that I don’t love my job. I don’t even like it on most days. But I do enjoy saving money and investing and this job allows me to do that. By utilizing decent job performance over the past years, I was able to leverage myself into better situations. I didn’t have to stress out about finding a new job immediately when arriving to this new city. I wouldn’t have had to anyways due to the way we’ve saved through the years but you get my drift. Once you are established at a job, don’t be afraid to ask for things. You might be surprised to find out just how valuable you are.

Using Leverage As A Consumer

Businesses want your money and they need it more than ever right now. Have you heard how the auto market is suffering these days? If you are looking for a vehicle, use this to your advantage! We bought a new vehicle a few months ago, sorry Mustard Seed Money! He’s all about the used cars and I don’t blame him. Fiscally that is the smart move but we ended up going new this time. Anyways, I must have emailed and called 10-15 dealers in a 500 mile radius. I told them exactly what I wanted and needed their bottom line, no BS best price. I made them well aware that they were in competition with each other. We were happy to find that our closest dealer eventually came through with the best price and we put a deal together. Leverage the competition and make them earn it.

Another fun dance I do is with our TV bill. I’ve been a long time Directv customer, mainly for the NFL Sunday Ticket. I intentionally stay out of contract so I can negotiate a better deal. This usually involves threatening to cancel and go elsewhere until I can get that Sunday Ticket for free or close to it. One year I did get it for free and also a discounted monthly rate. I must have had my “A Game” for that call. Directv has been playing hardball lately, perhaps due to the AT&T merger?  This reminds me that it is almost time to do battle again as the season is almost here.

Did you know that cell phone data overage charges can be negotiated? I didn’t until a few days ago when my boss called Verizon and split the difference on a thousand dollar corporate phone bill overage. Apparently one of our VP’s just needed to watch Game Of Thrones and did it without WiFi. Unbelievable isn’t it? I think my wife and I have only gone over our data limit once and it wasn’t much. But if you get in a jam, claim ignorance and beg for mercy. And if that doesn’t work, threaten to switch companies. The squeaky wheel usually gets the grease.

The Best Leverage Of All Is Financial Security

It’s amazing the power and freedom one can have when their finances are in order. Little or no debt usually equals little or no stress. One that doesn’t need a crappy job probably isn’t going to have one, at least for long. Being secure could mean the ability to take advantage of opportunities that others cannot at the time. Things like moving to another country or maybe spontaneously snatching up a cheap rental unit that just hit the market. When you have the cash, you can be flexible. Money isn’t everything but it is a tool that can stack things into your favor. Try some of these methods to gain more chips on your side of the table.

8 Comments

  1. Heck yea! Negotiation and haggling will save you thousands upon thousands of dollars in your life, so learn how to do it.

    I was actually writing a bit of wisdom for my next post and I will share it here since it is so relevant.

    “Haggle – They want to sell the thing more than you want to buy it. You will be amazed where you can talk people down on the price. Always negotiate.”
    MrDoublingDollars recently posted…Guest Post: How to Live Like You’re Rich for Pennies on the DollarMy Profile

    • Mr Defined Sight

      August 26, 2017 at 9:06 am

      Yes I love! I look forward to reading your post. You are right, the companies selling are almost desperate to do so. So much competition for your dollar, take advantage! Which reminds me, I need to do a write up about switching from Scottrade to Schwab. A prime example. Thanks for stopping by my man!

  2. Hi DS,

    You are a great example of an employee that every employer wants and would almost do anything to keep.

    I’ve followed simple leverage principles as yours when I was working and it has always payed off. The best leverage we have with our employer is the work ethics. The respect , the perks, and the pay raises follow.

    When I was quitting Intel, my manager offered me any project in his group that I wanted, just to make me stay. I had offers from other teams as well when they learned I wanted to leave. I ended up leaving anyway, as I was tired of the corporate environment and needed a change.

    And you said it very well, Financial Security is the best leverage, we got.

    Thanks for an awesome post!
    Mr. ATM recently posted…A Lesson From History: Market Does Not Go Down In A Straight LineMy Profile

    • Mr Defined Sight

      August 27, 2017 at 9:18 pm

      Thank you very much, Mr. ATM for those kind words. I do try hard to be an employee that I myself would want to employee if the situation was reversed. I can totally understand having enough of the corporate environment especially with a company as large as Intel. Your manager was doing the right thing in trying to keep you on. You were no doubt a top shelf employee, I can tell from the intelligence in your writings. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  3. Great post, Mr. Defined Sight!
    I have an idea for a post written down about using a margin account to build a dividend portfolio. I thought you had beat me to it when I read the title of this post haha.

    With that said, I love the concept of leverage, especially the leverage provided by financial security. I love that you alluded to your mentality at work – I make an effort to get along with everyone and just do my work too. It’s awesome to hear that your attitude and the quality of work has led you to working from home! This post is a great reminder for me that opportunities will come if I keep putting in the work. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on using leverage to achieve more out of life. Hope you’re enjoying the weekend! 🙂
    Graham @ Reverse The Crush recently posted…Dividend Income Business Update #3 — August 2017My Profile

    • Mr Defined Sight

      August 27, 2017 at 9:21 pm

      Hello Graham and thank you for reading and commenting! I am looking forward to reading about your newest idea. Opportunity does come to those who work hard and have patience. Sometimes it is tough to wait though. One just has to look how fortunate we are and be grateful for what we do have. Things could always be a lot worse! Having a great weekend and I hope you are doing the same!

  4. Nice post. Great to see that your work ethic was noticed by your boss and that you were offered the “work from home” option. It will give you a lot of freedom and time.

    I’ll be following your journey!
    Mr. Robot recently posted…A different buy: Crypto Coin – RippleMy Profile

    • Mr Defined Sight

      August 29, 2017 at 9:56 am

      Thank you Mr. Robot! It is quite nice to work in shorts and a T Shirt everyday I must admit. Plus the time savings like you said. Working from home does play to my strengths as I never really cared for the office BS and plus I get to miss out on meetings that are usually a waste of time. There are obstacles but it works out well for the most part. Thanks for stopping by!

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