IVZ 29 | Negotiating Across Borders

 

Any experienced traveler knows that you can’t just copy and paste what you know in the United States to be true and expect it to work in another. This is especially the case when you’re negotiating across borders. Ron Fortin, the founder and CEO of Homeschool Spanish Academy, learned this when traveling to set up a business in Guatemala. In this episode, he shares with Christine McKay the key lessons he learned when working in another country. He talks about the differences he had found between emotional negotiation and ego, the contracting process between Guatemala and the United States, and how each country deals with conflict. Join in on this conversation and learn from the inside out how negotiations across borders work and what you can expect along the way.

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here:

Taking Us To School In Guatemala: Negotiating Across Borders With Ron Fortin

I have with me, Ron Fortin and he’s amazing. It’s interesting because one of the things I love about having met Ron is one of my daughters introduced me to Ron and told me that I had to talk to him and get him on the show. She was right because we had our first call and it was amazing. Ron is the Founder and CEO of Homeschool Spanish Academy. They work with learners ages five through adulthood to get Spanish fluency by connecting them to certified native Spanish-speaking teachers online via Google Meets in small group, paired or individual learning environments.  

They work with almost 200 teachers in Guatemala. They teach about 8,000 classes a week to students in over 50 countries around the world. Ron comes from a telecommunications consulting background after he graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio. Prior to that, he was in the US Marine Corps. Thank you for serving. I’m always excited about my guest. I loved our conversation and I’m super excited about where we’re going to take this discussion. Welcome, Ron. Thank you for being here.

Thank you. It’s such a pleasure to be on your show, Christine. Thank you for having me.

I read a little bit of your bio but fill in the blanks. How did you come on this journey? How did you come to start a Spanish academy in Guatemala of all places?

In my bio, I mentioned that I was in consulting. While I was in consulting, they had this interesting perk where I was a traveling consultant, so you could travel anywhere over the weekend. As long as you’re back by Monday, you were fine. It took a couple of days and I had a friend who was already down in Guatemala. He invited me down and I got to hang out with him. He was giving me a tour of the place. During this tour, he was like, “I’m leaving towards the end of the year. My contract is ending, but you would be the perfect replacement for me.” I didn’t say no and I didn’t say yes.

I went back to San Antonio, back to my consulting life, and then through a huge set of events, I realized, “There’s got to be more to life than just what I’m currently doing.” In the consulting world, you tend to get burned out in general with all the traveling. You’re everywhere but you’re nowhere, so I wanted a little bit more. I had the realization at that point that I needed to be within 2 to 3 degrees of separation from the end-user. I knew whatever I was going to get into, I would have some end-user interaction or be close to it.

Before going down, I didn’t know any Spanish. My friend, Brandon, said, “Ron, you should probably learn Spanish before you go down.” I go, “How do I do that?” He said, “You can fly down for a couple of weeks. They have these great immersion schools down there. That’s what Antigua was known for, and then you can fly back, hang out with your family for Christmas, and then fly down in January when your job starts.” I was like, “No. That’s way too much money. That’s a lot of time off and a lot of risks. You don’t know what’s going to happen.” He was like, “An alternative to that is, have you ever heard of this program called Skype?”

Keep in mind this was 2009 around October or November, that timeframe. Skype was just starting to hit its popularity stride. I was familiar with the software. He happened to know somebody in Guatemala with an internet connection at their house. Their internet connection was half a megabyte up and one megabyte down. We were barely able to do this. He ended up getting us connected and I let my company know. I spent over the last two weeks with my company and the other three weeks before I went down, so a total of five weeks. I started learning Spanish online.

By the time I got down there, I could understand about 30% to 40% of what was coming at me. I could conjugate verbs, give directions, understand directions and ask for things. I could say, “I don’t understand. How do you say this?” Basic phrases that were survival necessary were within my toolkit now. I thought to myself, “If I would have had this in high school and learned this for two years in this format, how much more fluent could I have been?” I started thinking, “Somebody’s got to do this.” I started looking up online and no real companies are doing it.

In the consulting world, you tend to get burned out in general with all the traveling. You're everywhere, but you're nowhere. Click To Tweet

I was like, “Here we go.” I would say on the tail end as I was starting to phase out of my contract and my contract has ended, I started the company in moonlighting and then went full-time at the end of 2010. That was the start of the business. I started in a little tiny apartment. I was able to fix some of the big problems such as redundancy. The internet was bad and has gotten slightly better. Having an understanding of how redundant networks work and things of that nature helped me have a competitive advantage because the idea wasn’t novel.

Other Spanish schools were trying to do what I was doing, but they didn’t have the technical knowledge in terms of how networks work, but then it also didn’t have the US connection, which I did. I started off in a tiny apartment. My first office was “underneath my bed.” I paid a carpenter $100 to loft my bed. I was sitting underneath my bed with a lamp that was up shining down. I did that for two years. Anyway, now we’re at 200 teachers and around 8,000 students around the world in over 50 countries. That’s a quick up to speed version of how I got to where we are now.

I love that story. It shows so much resourcefulness to see the opportunity, and then put the things in place and emotion that needs to happen in order to get you there, so thank you for sharing that. The reason why I love what you do is how you, as an American, didn’t speak Spanish for long before you decided to embark on this venture. You learned some interesting things about working in Guatemala, in particular, things that you’ve been able to extrapolate as you’ve expanded and have been working in other countries. Tell us a little bit about that.

One of the foundational things that I learned was that you can’t just straight copy and paste what you know in the United States to be true, and then expect it to work in a different country. That was one of the biggest things that I took away. I travel a lot in the military and I came from a diverse background. I am of ethnic origin myself and my family background. Even all of those different data points didn’t prepare me for the experiences that I would have in Guatemala. Upon traveling, one of the big things that you learn as a tourist even as you’re traveling through is that you have three different prices. You have to be aware of this so that you don’t get ripped off.

You have the tourist price or effectively in Guatemala, they call it the gringo price. You have the local price, so you can be a gringo but live there locally. You also have the Guatemalan price, so the native price. If you know and you’re aware that there’s this hierarchy and structure, then you can often play that to your advantage and get the best deal possible. Understanding that you have to negotiate is a big thing of living there in general. The locals have this understanding, “They’re less practiced than I am.” I know if my base margin is this, I can mark it up to this and I know that they will only negotiate it a little bit down.

Anyway, that was one of the foundational things that I’d learned. I was sharing a story with you in terms of how I often negotiate. I know that as Ron Fortin negotiating a deal will often yield the worst results. I send local agents to go on my behalf. They’re typically Guatemalan and they, hands down, get way far better deals than I could ever get. I feel comfortable going to the market and negotiating things like that, but as soon as they pick up on an accent or as soon as they pick up on some perception switch in their head. No matter what you say or no matter what you do, you’re going to get not as good of a deal as if you sent somebody else.

It’s the default now to send other people to negotiate on my behalf or the company’s behalf. I’ll give you one quick story that I didn’t share with you at the beginning of the company stage. Where I had my first office, we had our landlord. We were leaving and moving offices to a new building. He wanted us to pay all the repair costs because I had been drilling holes and all this stuff. To his credit, he wanted me to pay on top of the repairs a ridiculous amount of money.

I hired my operational director and she’s married to a Guatemalan. She’s a foreigner herself so she couldn’t go, but her husband is Guatemalan and is a wonderful negotiator, so he went on our behalf. Not only did he negotiate to say, “No. You’re not going to have to pay that,” but they also gave us our deposit back, which was not normal at all. That was the first instance of understanding that people have been taken advantage of me.” Because of this, I know that in the future, moving forward, that this is the best path.

That’s an important thing to unpack to a certain extent. Even if you are in your own country, even if you’re in the US, and this has happened with me a handful of times when it turns out that I’m not the most effective person to be negotiating that particular situation. Having the self-awareness to say, “There’s a better deal to be had here, but I’ve reached the extent of what I can do. I need to bring in somebody else to help take it over the finish line.” Remove the ego from that process because you don’t always have to be the one doing the deal.

IVZ 29 | Negotiating Across Borders
Negotiating Across Borders: You can’t just straight copy and paste what you know in the United States to be true and then expect it to work in a different country.

 

The other thing is that when you’re a smaller business, it’s often useful to have an escalation path in the negotiation process. Especially if you’re the owner or the founder because as owners and founders, our businesses are like our children, and we get emotionally attached to the outcome. What happens by having a thirdparty engage on your behalf is that the final decisionmaker being new isn’t in the room. If there becomes a sticking point or an issue, then that thirdparty has to come to consult with you. That gives that person the ability to do things like, “I understand where you’re coming from and I totally see your perspective, but I am not authorized to agree to that. I had to go check with the owner or the boss or the CEO or the board.”

I often tell smaller organizations, “Make sure you have an advisory board at minimum. Not that your advisory board has veto rights.” If you in your relationship or the deal that you have with your advisory board say that you’re going to talk to major customer decisions and major supplier decisions because they’re your advisors. You’re going to go back and you can say, “This customer wants to do A, B, C and D,” or “The supplier wants A, B and C. What should I do?” Give yourself that out. Give yourself that escalation path so that when you’re sitting at the table, you can say to your counterpart, “This is something that I’m committed to taking into my advisory board to discuss.”

It gives you so much more power and leverage, but you’ve got to be self-aware to put your ego to the side to create that escalation path for yourself because you can find power through that process that you may not have if you didn’t have that. I love that you’re talking about when we’re in different cultures, the importance of understanding that there can be different prices. Certainly, in many countries, you see an American coming and the price skyrocket. It’s not our culture. If you’re talking about going to a market where you’re haggling, it’s not in our culture to haggle, so we don’t have experience doing that. To your point, they know that. They’ll jack up the price and they know that it’ll come down a little bit, but there’s still a lot more room in there. It’s not in our experience to do that.

One of the other things that I thought was interesting living in another culture was the difference in emotional negotiation and ego. You had mentioned that part. I personally don’t get heated. I’m neutral. I don’t get hot or cold. It’s like, “Here it is.” A lot of the interactions business-wise or what have you during my time has been the case, not necessarily emotional but ego-driven. We were negotiating an internet contract. Fiber optics in the US is common but in Guatemala, it’s rare. Not only do you have to get all these different permissions, but there’s only a couple of companies that can do this thing.

You’re taking it for granted that in the US, you can get something like 100 megabytes for $20 a month or something like that. Down there, you’re paying $1,000 for twenty megabytes of data. They’re paying hundreds of dollars per megabyte. You have some salespeople who are tied and they want to push on you. That’s where’s time in how you mentioned that. I don’t think I’ve ever negotiated a significant contract in a day. It’s always taken multiple meetings. They’ve had to come from Guatemala City. That has also been a shift where in the US, everything can get done. It’s speed and efficiency.

The ego lengthens the time in contracts and how long they take in order to complete. That’s another cultural aspect that is fascinating. When we’re doing our projections, whether it’s a building or an internet contract or any type of negotiation, we don’t just add 20%. We generally add 50% in terms of length in order to make sure that it gets completed and it doesn’t mess up anything on the backend that we have on following that.

A lot of times, I’ve negotiated with different major corporations throughout the globe and whatnot. In my experience, let’s say it’s a customer contract or it could even be a supplier contract, our ability to get product and service is not impeded by having a contract or not. As long as we’re in the process of negotiating, then most companies in the United States don’t have an issue giving product and selling product that then becomes governed by the contract, or buying a product that then becomes governed by the contract. Sometimes you have high-level things that come into play.

In Guatemala, what’s that process like? Do you wait until you have a contract? Is that a hard contract? Is it a handshake contract? How does contracting work? The United States has the most complex contracting processes on the planet. It’s crazy. Other countries do not use contracts the way the United States does. The UK does more and Europe does more. Once you leave that and you go to Asia, they have a completely different contracting structure. You can have a multi-billion-dollar relationship that’s on a small number of pages but here, it’s a 200-page contract. Tell us a little bit about how contracting works in Guatemala and how your knowledge of Spanish early in the company’s history impeded your ability to negotiate those effectively because it’s a different language. You can be fluent in a foreign language and not be fluent in the business side of things.

In terms of contracts, contracts operate and are utilized differently. They are hard contracts. I don’t think I’ve ever had an official business per se. They won’t provide service without that actual contract. I’m talking about rent. I’m talking about the internet. Those are our biggest expenses. Everything else is either on a purchase basis or something of that nature where a product is delivered and not ongoing. Everything’s either one-time use transactional and not extended contracts. There’s a huge trust issue within that culture.

The ego lengthens the time in contracts and how long they take in order to complete. Click To Tweet

Even in my own culture being Filipino, when I go to the Philippines, I hear there’s a lot of that same perspective, where within your own clan, tribe, network and the people that you know, you can extend X, Y or Z. There’s some leeway there. If it’s somebody that you don’t know, the amount of trust between those two parties is zero. Not only that, but the entire process is physically longer. Meaning, they still operate on physical signatures. Not only do you have to do physical signatures. Sometimes, you have to get stamps, lick them and paste them on the paper, and then you have to get a signature from this person. You got to go get a stamp by the Ministerio, the local government.

Is that like notarizations and stuff in the US?

Yes, but from a specific office. Not just any notary that people can have that as their job. You got to go to this specific office with this particular seal and they’re only open during certain hours. You go there, but then they send you to this place over there, but that’s not the right thing because your paperwork wasn’t right, so then you got to start back from square one. Figuring out that system took several years in itself.

That would be trial and error.

I was lucky that I had mentors and advisors in the country that were gracious enough to point me in the right direction and I was persistent enough to keep asking because that’s a big part of it too. A lot of people just give up because they’re like, “This is too ridiculous.” With that being said, in terms of understanding contracts, there was a lot of googling and setting aside enough time to go through all of the stuff. On top of that, after you read it through 2 or 3 times, then I still ask more subject matter experts, “I understood it to be this and to say this. Does it say this?” Oftentimes, even today, it’s like, “No. This paragraph here, you interpreted it one way, but it means this.” When I review contracts, it still takes me extra long. I still have to write margins and ask about certain things. It’s still difficult but it’s gotten much easier over the years.

I was talking to somebody who’s a CPA and he had an account. He was telling me the story of a strawberry grower company. They were in Mexico and the company that he was working with, his client was here in the US. They bought the strawberries from Mexico, and then they made products with those strawberries. They got a batch of bad strawberries and needed to expedite a new order from the farm in Mexico. By the way, the CPA is from Mexico and he’s telling me, “When you’re doing stuff, especially in Central and South America,” because that’s his area of influence. It’s true throughout the world. Whenever you’re working in not your native language, you have to be clear on what a definition is. It can be the smallest definition.

They said, “We’ll expedite it,” but there was no clear definition of what expediting was. To the American company waiting on the strawberries, expedited means it’ll be over the border in 24 to 48 hours, three days at most. Two weeks later, they didn’t have the expedited strawberries. This is true even when you’re working in the US. If you’ve got language where there could be an interpretation in it in two different definitions, make sure you have clarity on what that definition is. It eliminates the challenge of when you ask for something and you think it’s one thing, but your counterpart interprets it as something else, and you don’t have a way of reconciling those two different definitions. Something that simple is easy to solve but doesn’t impact your relationship negatively.

Your business in that regard. Two weeks can be an eternity.

Especially for strawberries. I love that story though. I can imagine sitting, waiting and getting on the phone over and over again. It’s like, “We’re hurrying,” and it’s like, “That isn’t what I thought.”

IVZ 29 | Negotiating Across Borders
Outliers: The Story of Success

On the American side, it could be a frustration of, “If I had another person, I don’t want to bother them,” or, “I don’t want to take up somebody else’s time. That’s not efficient.” We’re so pressed on efficiency. It’s a big-time vendor or something of that nature. I rely on my agents and my people to double-check that I understood exactly what they were saying because the other people around me if I miss something, I’m depending on them to catch that nuance. With many of my negotiations now, it’s not just me. It’s not just my director of operations. It will be my accountant or my lawyer, for example. I’ve also found that sometimes, my accountants’ agency will send somebody who has a little bit more legal accounting expertise, understands the rules and things of that nature. I feel a lot more protected on that front and it helps negotiations go smoother. The questions get answered. I understand inevitably what’s going on and now I can have additional side conversations about it. I’ll take notes, and then we’ll recap after the party leaves or hangs up, but then we’ll rebrief, and then we always make sure that we’re all on the same page. That helps.

One of the things you talked about that I haven’t talked about on the show at all is the concept of negotiating as a team. Team negotiations can be beneficial because everybody’s paying attention to different things. Everyone hears things from their own perspective. A person is talking and five different people hear five different things because they’re hearing it from their own perspective, which is rooted in their own history. You get richness in terms of understanding when you have a team. As long as the team is on the same page before you’re engaging with a counterpart, everybody has a clear role, everyone knows what they’re there to do, and people are not tripping over each other in that process.

For smaller companies, I always tell people, “In a negotiation, you can have at least two people in the conversation. One person to do the talking and one person to write notes because there’s a difference between what we write and what we hear.” When you walk out of a meeting, you’ll often have the person who’s doing the talking and the listening will pick up on something, but the person who is writing notes will have picked up on something different. It’s a good way to get a more holistic picture of what was being said. As Americans, we have an interesting relationship with conflict. Other cultures have different relationships with conflict. Tell us a little bit about, as an American working in Guatemala, how you’ve had to deal with conflict? What are some of the strategies you’ve used to address that? How that’s different from how you might do it in the US?

In Guatemala, conflicts take on a different perception or require a different strategy. Specifically, in that, there is this concept known as a power distance struggle. In a book called Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, he ends up talking about this airline, Korea Air.

Great book. I highly recommend that book. One of my favorite books.

I don’t mean to spoil this chapter, but it’s just a chapter. Anyway, Korean Air ends up having a bunch of consecutive plane crashes, so they do an investigation as to why that happened. The common thread between that or this concept that came out of that was the power distance struggle. Meaning to say, the co-pilots weren’t able to talk directly to the main pilot, and they were always dancing around the situation. Meaning to say, “You should probably take a look at that meter,” as opposed to, “You’re going to crash us pull up on that stick or whatever.”

Korean Air was number two in the book in terms of being passive. The United States was number one in terms of being aggressive. Meaning to say, in the United States, if something’s wrong, people are not afraid to tell you that you’re wrong into your face and be blunt about it. On the other side of the spectrum, Korea was number two.  Number one was Guatemala in the book. You see that all across the board. It always depends on who feels like they are in a position of power. You’ve got to understand that and take that into calculation when you’re going through these negotiations. It can play in various ways.

When you go up to a negotiation and you are a gringo or a foreigner, and you’re trying to negotiate something, there’s some defensive mechanism to that individual that says, “I don’t want to show that I’m weak.” Therefore, they will try to one-up you or best you. To me, that’s a form of aggression. “I don’t want to get the fair deal. I want to get a better deal than you. Therefore, I will jump up the price.” With employees, there’s a huge power distance struggle as well. That’s something that you need to consider when talking to your employees or your fellow colleagues. Essentially, what ends up happening is you need to figure out in those conversations when you’re negotiating a work contract, you want to be able to relate to them and build rapport in order to let them open up a little bit before you can have the actual conversation that you were meaning to have.

That book is phenomenal. To the audience, if you haven’t read Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, I highly recommend it. I also highly recommend Talking to Strangers. I like that one even better.

IVZ 29 | Negotiating Across Borders
Negotiating Across Borders: Negotiating on the employee front is about searching for their why and appealing to that why or their intent.

 

I haven’t read that one yet.

It’s good. It has some great stories in it about when we meet people, we misinterpret who the person is. It’s a powerful lesson in how our own judgment can cloud what’s real, so I highly recommend that. If an American was thinking about doing business in Guatemala or in any foreign country, what are the top three lessons that you’ve learned that they need to be thinking about as they move forward into theoretically uncharted territory from a business perspective?

The first thing is to be humble and understand that you’re not going to learn everything overnight. You’re not going to bring over a system that will work on day-one. You can implement bits and pieces and you can modify things, but you want to be humble about those sorts of things. The other thing is to get to know the Guatemalan culture or whatever country you’re going to. Understand their culture and their people, and that includes their history as well. We go to power distance struggle stuff. There’s a lot of history with the United States, everything from the Banana Wars to even Spanish colonialization. When we’re talking about power distance struggle and structure, a lot of that comes from colonial periods, the kooky stories and all that other stuff. Understanding that and trying to view that lens is key. Also, understanding patience and that everything is going to take 3 or 4 times long as you think it is.

Those are the biggest three things, on top of the language. I would recommend it to anyone who’s thinking about starting a business. The other thing I would also mention is that there’s a ton of opportunity there. I feel like I’m giving away a secret here, but it’s close to the United States. The Spanish is almost identical to Mexico with a few caveats here or there. Anything that’s being used in the United States is also in Guatemala in terms of the Spanish language. They talk slow. The overall environment, especially in tourist areas like Antigua is a relaxed and much slower pace of living. Hence, it takes 3 or 4 times longer to get things done. It’s a beautiful place to work at once you start to figure out things. The people are amazing. The food’s amazing. The overall lifestyle is great too. I would highly encourage it. Just know that there will be some challenges. If you were to start a business anywhere, there are going to be challenges but be aware of there are some additional challenges because it’s not what you’re used to.

I love what you said, especially when you’re talking about history and understanding the country. We had a guest named Mimi Daraa and she has a company called Maison Palo Santo. She’s out of Ecuador and she used to also have a company that operated in Morocco. She talks about the importance of being international but operating locally, and how understanding not just country culture, but local culture. Geography drives a lot of politics and borders are established because of politics, and that’s true at a regional level.

Understanding the local culture, politics and history is important. In all of Central America and South America, you’ve got indigenous populations, you got the people who came over and colonized the region. Every country in Central and South America has interesting relationships with the United States because our history is influencing a lot of that geopolitical environment, which leads to different views of what Americans are and aren’t. The culture war between the indigenous population and the colonials is a huge issue. My daughter, Lyra, introduced me to Ron, and she lives in Guatemala. She talks a lot about that and the challenges that come from that colonization perspective versus the indigenous people.

As you were talking, you triggered something in terms of a point that I wanted to at least mention in terms of other things that I’ve learned during my time regarding negotiation. We’ve been trying to hire a lot of folks in order to fill our demand and our need in all this in all of our different departments. One of the things that I’ve learned in terms of negotiating on the employee front is searching for their why and appealing to that why or their intent. I don’t know what the technical jargon would be.

Essentially, in my interviews, my big goal is to understand their why. Understanding their why generally, at least the people that speak to me most, is I’m not necessarily interested in the people who command high salary figures, even if they’ve had years and years of experience. The people that I’m searching for and I’m able to negotiate the best for in terms of wages are people who are looking for something more than a salary. They’re generally looking for things like hope and they’re mission-type oriented. They want to be part of something bigger. They want to be part of a company that’s stable and they want stability.

This idea of safety within a company has been one of the things that I found gives us a stronger bargaining position or negotiation platform. We can offer all those things. The difference between the US and Guatemala is a stable income. Twelve months out of the year, we pay on time. I know that sounds ridiculous, but paying on time is a big deal. Health benefits, people don’t do that. In Guatemala, they have this salary payment deal. It’s a law where you have to pay 14 payments versus 12, so you get two extra payments throughout the year. One is at the middle of the year and one is at the end of the year. By law, those are part of the contract. A lot of people, more often than not, are independent workers. We would consider them 1099 in the United States, but in Guatemala, they’re known as individual contractors. With that designation, you can get paid more, but you don’t get the extra benefits.

Be humble and understand that you're not going to learn everything overnight. Click To Tweet

People are looking for those benefits because if you pay into them, you qualify for Social Security or the equivalent of Social Security in Guatemala after you retire, and that’s a big deal. When I’m able to say, “Yes, we offer planillas, stable this. It’s a safe environment. During COVID, you can work from home. We’re completely remote. We’ll give you training.” We’ll give them all that speaks to their why, their intention, and things that emotionally are worth more to them than the actual sticker price tag of wages. I’ve learned that what are the intangibles that people want that aren’t necessarily going to be outlined in the text?

The thing is whether it’s a B2B negotiation or whether it’s with an employee or whether you are the employee, having an understanding of what those intangibles are is important. I talked about it in terms of the first and most critical step of any negotiation is to get clarity. Get clear on what it is that you want and how important it is to you, and then determine, is that doable for your counterpart? When you think about when you’re hiring, you want stability. I’m assuming that stability in your workforce is important to you.

You want people who are looking for some stability because you want continuity in your instructor pool. Understanding that you can quantify all of these things. They’re all quantifiable. I often say that price is an outcome of a negotiation, not an input. In an effective negotiation, price is an output. Salary is the same as price, it’s an output. It’s all the other things that you can apply value to, but the assumptions that go into creating the price are the things that are negotiated.

Those are the things that we should focus on negotiating so that when the price comes up, then all the assumptions are agreed and you just say, “That’s the price,” because we agreed to these assumptions. We assign value to those different assumptions. I like that you mentioned that because that’s important for people. Certainly, not everyone in our audience is looking to build a business in Guatemala, but if you’re looking to build a business outside or expand your business outside the United States or outside your geography. Even if you’re somebody who’s looking for a job and you’re trying to think about, “How do I think about salary?” Don’t just focus on salary. Think about all the other things that come into play that have value to you. That’s an important distinction. Ron, it’s been great having you on the show. I love what you’re doing. You’re doing some amazing stuff. How do people find you? How do they find the academy?

Our website is simply Spanish.Academy. We have set up a deal over at our landing page, Try.Spanish.Academy/venn.

Thank you for that gift for the readers. I appreciate that. That’s amazing.

You’re welcome. That’s where you can check us out, and then all of our links to our social media will be on both of those pages.

Ron, thank you. It’s been an honor to have you here. I hope that this has been a great experience for you.

Thank you for having me.

For those who are reading, thank you for gracing us with your time. It is the most valuable gift that you can give to us. I hope to see you at VennNegotiation.com where you can check out our programs. Subscribe to In the Venn Zone. Please go rate and review it. I love to get your feedback, thoughts, and ideas. If you have great ideas for guests or topic ideas, go to Venn.Zone and you can find information where you can plug it in and let us know. Also, my book, Why Not Ask? A Conversation About Getting More, is available for pre-order on our website. Please go check that out. We look forward to seeing you next time on our next episode of In the Venn Zone. Remember that negotiation is nothing more than a conversation about a relationship no matter what country you’re in, and you cannot win a relationship. Happy negotiating. We’ll see you next time. Cheers.

Important Links:

About Ron Fortin

Ron Fortin is the Founder/CEO of Homeschool Spanish Academy where they help learners, ages 5 through adulthood, get to Spanish fluency by connecting them to certified native-Spanish speaking teachers online via Google Meets in a small group, paired, or individual learning environments.

His Spanish Academy employs approximately 200 teachers in Guatemala; they teach about 8000 classes per week, to students in over 50 countries around the world.

Ron also hails from a telecommunications consulting background – a job he landed after graduating from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX.

Prior to that, he spent four years in the United States Marine Corps, where he attained the rank of Sergeant.

Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share! https://venn.zone/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *