If You Don’t Ask, the Answer Is Always No
About 10 years ago, I heard these words from international conference speaker Keith Abraham, “If you don’t ask, the answer is always NO.”
Such a succinct and simple message which instantly resonated with me as a wonderful lightbulb moment – a message I use on a daily basis in both my personal and professional life. Because it’s true, isn’t it? If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.
And yet, why is it in business, we don’t practice this simple strategy every single day?
Most Small Business owners would probably say it’s because of Fear, Self-Doubt and/or Embarrassment. Fear of actually getting up the courage to ask someone for something. Self Doubt because why would someone say yes to little ‘ol me. Embarrassment because if I ask for something I need or want, I have failed because I’m supposed to be invincible, able to do everything and work it all out on my own.
And although these reasons are valid and certainly a key part of it, I believe there’s an even greater reason as to why business owners don’t ask for what they need the most: CONFUSION.
Without being CLEAR on our business, people and systems, we become overwhelmed and frustrated because we don’t know which way to turn or what to do next. And often when we are confused, we jump from one thing to another, thinking it’s what we should be doing; rather than taking a step back to determine the specifics for our business, and then seeing who or what we need to achieve this.
We also don’t make the best decisions which can mean we box ourselves into the wrong financial decisions pertaining to clients, products, services and staff.
I’ll give you an example of how simply replying to an email resulted in a major coup for my business. As part of my 2016 planning process, I brainstormed the organisations/contacts I wanted to have partnerships and the Australian Institute of Management was one of them. I had no contacts in the organisation and I didn’t know what the outcome would look like; at that stage, it was just a name on a post-it note under my partnerships heading on my whiteboard.
And there it stayed until I received an email from AIM inviting me to an information session with the new CEO. Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend so I replied to the email, stating this and asking how I could gain information about the new direction. I also included in the email that I was writing 2 business books and could I please have contact details for those who review and order books.
To my amazement, I instead received an invitation for a coffee chat with David Pich, AIM’s new CEO which I instantly accepted. Upon meeting Dave and hearing about the new AIM, he then wanted to know all about my business and my new books and asked who would be launching The Five Little Business Pigs. I said I hadn’t gotten that far and Dave said, “AIM will launch it”.
I was so overcome with emotion and gratitude, I nearly fell off my chair. Here’s little ‘ol me, a new author and the AIM CEO, who doesn’t know me from a bar of soap, wanting to launch my book. So on 28th July 2016, my book was launched as part of my AIM TEL Talk and it was amazing.
On reflection, I realise this amazing opportunity would not have happened if I wasn’t clear about whom I wanted to work with and then wrote it down on a post-it note I saw everyday in my office.
Clear Intention + Action = Results.
Being clear about what will help me and then being brave enough to ask the question has opened many doors including backstage passes to a Deep Purple concert to meet the band, being mentored by some wonderful business people as well as AIM launching my book.
Benjamin Franklin said…
“They that will not be counselled cannot be helped. No one is knowledgeable enough or have enough experience to think of everything at once, to see all possible meanings in a contract or commitment, or be aware of all of the hazards, or see all sides of the subject.”
So who or what do you need in your business to get it back on track or take it to the next level?
Will you be brave enough to take the next step and ASK? I truly hope so.
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