I didn’t crown this my word for the year, but maybe it should be the princess to my queen word.
You know the lovely ladies at Think Creative Collective? I asked them recently if they had any insights on how to generate more Instagram sales and you know what they said? “Are you asking people to buy the magazine?” Hmmm…
Then, I had a virtual coffee date with none other than the utterly amazing Cyndie Spiegel of The Collective of Us. I know, strange enough for this introvert to have a coffee date, but with such a firecracker as Cyndie--crazy. I am sure I got WAY more out of the conversation than she did and it was a gift to get to chat with her dynamic self. But here is the thing, she kept repeating something to me: “Are you going to ask?” “Are you going to ask for it?” “What are you going to ask for?”
At first, I was like, “Welll…..(followed by excuses).” Then I realized that my excuses were simply not going to work with her. She was calling me out! To my face. I was speechless and a little embarrassed. There were only two answers to her question: yes or no. Which was it going to be?
Then, Cyndie was interviewed and featured on Forbes.com. Yes, the Forbes. And you’ll never guess what she talked about: asking. You can read the whole piece here (and I recommend it). But it cemented in my mind that this was something that I needed to pay attention to and practice.
A couple of things I've learned.
determine what I want/need to ask for /You have to know what you're asking for in order to ask. Though I like to think I can do it all on my own as a female entrepreneur, I cannot. How do you intend to grow your business and what do you need to get you there? These are the things that you need to be asking for. Maybe you need to ask for help or you need to ask for sales or you need to ask for clients or you need to ask for encouragement. Whatever it is, figure it out.
who do you ask /Questions put to the wrong people are a waste of your time and their time (and can be embarrassing for you which may make you feel hesitant to ask again). Figure out who the right person is before you put your "ask" out there.
"no" doesn't mean you should stop /Be prepared to hear "no" for an answer. A lot. That's okay. This doesn't speak of failure but of effort--you are out there trying to make it happen. Just because you hear "no" doesn't mean you should stop. Keep asking until you get your "yes." It will come.
you have to ask to grow /When it comes down to it, we can't do it alone. We need others both in our personal life and our business life. It's not a sign of weakness to have to ask; it's a sign of strength. You can't grow if you aren't willing to put yourself out there.
I’ll admit, I’ve not started yet, but I’m working up my nerve. No excuses.
I’m trying to keep in simple. I am going to ask businesses to advertise in the magazine and through our other opportunities. I am going to ask new distributors to take on our title. I am going to keep reminding people of the value of the magazine and asking them to buy it.
I KNOW that Belong offers value both to advertisers and to readers. I know that it is changing lives. How? Because YOU are telling me! So why do I feel so shy about sharing this with others? Why is it so hard to ask?
I. DON’T. KNOW. But it is. I get it.
Earlier this week, I sent out a request to fill out a quick 30-second survey. It was an "ask" and it was hard for me to put it out there. But I did it and so can you.