You Can Be Right, or You Can Make Money

“You can either be right, or you can make money.”

I used to trade currencies. This is a saying I heard from traders. The meaning is that, when the market turns against your analysis, you can either accept it as the new reality, OR you can stick to your guns (irrationally) and proclaim “No, my analysis is right. The market will turn around.”

Traders that have that attitude consistently lose money. Removing emotion and the egotistic need to “be right” is extremely difficult, which is why so many fail.

The same applies in business situations: selling, negotiations, and even internal communications with colleagues, superiors and subordinates.

Everyone wants to be right. People let ego and territorial instincts get the better of them, and create disagreements and disputes that are completely unnecessary and counterproductive.

There is a simple quick fix to these issues: just agree.

Just say “You’re right.” See if you can even say those words out loud without wincing.

Once you have validated the other person’s ego (their need to be right), then they are much more open to your message.

You are agreeing on the surface, while still advocating your point.

The basic tone of the dialogue goes from:

“We disagree on this issue. I believe X and you believe Y, and X is correct. You should believe X.”


“We’re on the same team. I accept what you’re saying. And here is another valuable point that will help you/ help the company.”

Again, this cannot be stressed enough: everyone wants to be right.

Validate that desire to be right, get it out of the way, bring down the wall of “disagreement” or “competition” and move forward productively.

I can hear some of you saying:

“But.. but… he’s NOT right!”

I agree! And by agreeing you will soften him up so that he is receptive to your message, and thus you will turn him towards the truth.

(See what I just did there?)

The best sale is no “sale.” The best negotiation is no “negotiation.”

It shouldn’t feel like a competition.

It should feel like “we are pretty much on the same page and we can work out the details no problem.”

Let go of this need to be superficially “right” and you will be amazed at how much more productive your sales, negotiations and meetings become.

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