A Conversation
About Negotiation, Reputation,
and Sustainability
These migrant creatives, with 15 30+ years of experience working on media projects,
have entered many types of work configurations and perform at a high level. At this point,
with impressive portfolios and accolades, they have clients or commissions coming to them
because of proven track record of producing quality media work that matters along with a
reputation for dependability and creativity but ultimately they still must negotiate a deal. I
introduce the notion of negotiation as an ongoing conversation. Negotiation is a continuous
process that is constituted in conversation. There are seven critical elements examined in
the section The Conversation Drives the Freelance Negotiation: interest, conversational
trinity (hearing, listening, and speaking), discovery, mutual coordination, appreciative
capacity, educating the client, deciphering the unspoken rate card, and renegotiation.
Reputation, the ability to keep your word, is intrinsically linked with negotiation because the
meeting would never take place if there were any questions about the freelancer’s capacity
to listen, deliver, or collaborate.
The second part of the chapter invites the participants’ take on whether their freelance is
sustainable in a section entitled, “Sustainability On The Edge: Would Trade Freedom For
Dental.” Although sustainability is often viewed in relation to finances, this chapter explores
the quality of life issues as it relates to the ecology of a healthy work/life/rest balance. This
balance has been essential for the freelancer since it is a profession that requires a
tremendous amount of creative energy. The rest of the workforce population is now
becoming more conscious of energy and balance in the workforce. Progressive, high profile
companies are now embracing a more appreciative approach when it comes to creating a
healthier environment and courting inventive talent. The definition most in sync with my
viewpoint about sustainability comes from a MIT Sloane Management Review:
What does sustainability mean? Depends whom you ask. (Debates about it can
get warm.) But at root it’s the idea that systems including natural and human
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