Leverage is Being Able to Walk Away

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awyer has outlined a counter-offer to the initial option agreement. It looks fair by what I’ve heard are industry standards. But compared to Producers’ initial lowball offer, it’s aggressive.

The next thing Lawyer asked was what kind of leverage we have.

I don’t know what kind of industry related jargon that may refer to, I just assume he means leverage leverage. Power of influence. Hand. So I told him all I could about my side of things.

And I felt confident. At first.

All I’ve had is positive responses to this script. It’s being tracked by a couple other places. I even received another option offer a few months back. I left it open ended to see how this relationship with Manager would pan out.

I can only guess that Manager has been keeping Producers abreast of all of this. He’s their would-be partner after all.

So is that leverage? It sounds like leverage. If they think I’ve got other options (literally and figuratively) then that’s power of influence in my corner, right?

My only experience in these matters is watching my wife-like creature haggle with bohemians at flea markets. The leverage in those circumstances are things like how many other people are looking at the seller’s wares. What’s the competition like. Is it early or near closing time. But there’s one important element of leverage that supersedes all others. Whether you’re haggling at a flea market or negotiating a contract that may well launch your career.

The ability to walk away.

Now, I’ll walk away from an antique set of spoons… But an opportunity to launch my career…

So do I truly have any leverage in this option negotiation?

I had another offer. But I passed on it in order to pursue a relationship with Manager. Is that door still open? Maybe. But I sure couldn’t expect much in the way of leverage crawling back there.

And with Manager tied so closely to this current offer, could I really walk away and not expect to lose Manager as well? Probably not.

So leverage?

In reality? Not so much.

Unless you include dignity. There’s always that. I could get such a crappy final offer that dignity compels me to walk away out of principle.

… Please don’t let it come down to dignity.

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