NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Success is life on your own terms and Hollywood lawyer Jeff Cohen says his book, "The Dealmaker's Ten Commandments: Ten Essential Tools for Business Forged in the Trenches of Hollywood," is a methodology for figuring out what the terms are for yourself and then getting them.
"This is not necessarily a feel-good book," says Cohen, who started in the entertainment business as a child star in films like "The Goonies." "It's about how deals get made and it can be very dark stuff."
Dark indeed. In fact, Cohen based his book on Niccolo Machiavelli's textbook for grabbing and holding power, "The Prince." Cohen even tips his cap to Machiavelli in his first commandment: "It is better to be loved than feared."
"The dealmaker needs to create a situation where they are in control. Fear is something you can control. Love is something you cannot," says Cohen. "So it is better to create a system that you can control and that mechanism is fear."
Cohen says his experience as an entertainment lawyer is how his deal-making commandments came into existence. However, he says they are broad enough to be applicable for any businessperson.
For example, he says his fourth commandment, "Things are precisely as they seem," holds special significance on Wall Street because traders often feel frustrated that the price they see on their screen for their favorite stock is not as high as the one in their mind's eye.
"In a negotiation people are often afraid of being deceived by the other side when the real danger is deceiving yourself," says Cohen. "You need to shave away desire, anger and envy and analyze the facts alone."
And while he deals with big personalities and egos when inking deals in Hollywood, Cohen says ultimately a negotiation is a negotiation and "what's on that document ends up being the truth."
The most important tool of all in Cohen's commandments: Leverage.
"As long as I have the leverage I feel comfortable," says Cohen. "When you don't have it there is nothing you can do."