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Get What You Want


SamaraThere’s a lot of wisdom out there about how to get what you want. My morning inbox alone stands as a testament to the chorus of different voices in the mix: the daily emails from The Universe reminding me – in increasingly quirky ways – that thoughts become things jut up against the Danielle LaPorte bon mots encouraging me to head toward decisions that will evoke the feelings I desire to feel. You probably have a few favorite go-to’s for a boost of persuasion therapy, too (share in the comments below and help a sista out). After all, those of us who are freelancers or entrepreneurs or creatives of any sort always need to practice healthy mindsets for attracting good work toward us and staying optimistic during the lulls… and, ehem, I’m pretty sure this relates to dating too.

But whether your practice is The Secret or meditation or ancient African voodoo, it’s one thing to think big-picture about a life philosophy; it’s quite another to have some practical, down ‘n dirty tools for how to get what you want when what you want is right in front of you but requires a little proaction. Clinch the deal? Get the pay bump? Sell the project in the room? Persuade your agent to start submitting you for the type you really are instead of the one it seems she mistakenly thinks you are?

Call me a pragmatist, but that’s some info I could use. After all, those would all result in cold, hard cash and this crazy Hollywood game ain’t sustainable without it. But often getting it means figuring out how to get paid what you’re worth – while not scaring off the prospective client or the agent or even just your day-job boss who deserves no thought whatsoever except that he holds your paycheck in his oily hands. How do we – and yes, we women specifically with all those culturally-agreed-upon underdeveloped negotiation skills – make the case and change the game and persuade the heck out the powers that be with a graceful combination of dignity and humility? How do we navigate the subtle drama of seeming composed and nonchalant on the outside while our insides resemble a puppy maniacally chasing twin squirrels down the middle of Mulholland?

Tools. Tools we can learn and master and master some more. I’m in the midst of reading a book by Stuart Diamond called Getting More, about how to negotiate better using very specific, and in some cases very counterintuitive, guideposts. Additionally, this newly translated 1931 Walter Benjamin podcast – before that was a thing – provides some delicious words of wisdom for how to arm yourself before a negotiation with your boss (hint: it has to do with inner stuff). Practical, useful, timeless advice. But if you’re in the mood for a ten-ish minute video that will enlighten you on the science of persuasion (how we can persuade better… and also, interestingly, how we are persuaded ourselves) this pretty much wins:

Of course the meditation and the daily emails will help us stay centered when we don’t get what we want – but wouldn’t it be cool if that seemed a rarer and rarer occurrence?


About Samara Bay

Samara's all about collaborating to tell stories that are good for the world or good for a laugh or both. She edits books, copy, and scripts in Hollywood and contributes culture and tech/innovation content to various publications, including Wired: Insider and the Huffington Post. She's a frequent moderator at Silicon Beach conferences and was recently on the leadership council for the United Nations’ first ever summit on the role of media in promoting social causes. She's an Ambassador of coworking space WeWork, an Advocate for artworxLA, an Al Gore-trained Climate Reality Leader, and a member of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. As a speech and communication gal, she dialect coaches on TV and film sets (most recently Captain America: The Winter Soldier, X-men: Days of Future Past, The Lone Ranger, pilots) and works one-on-one with professionals in the creative, science, and business arenas to improve their ability to convey their message and connect. Follow her on Twitter and IG @samarabay and check out her website,, for more.