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5 cool things that happened when I asked instead of hoped

I'm a hoper - somebody who hopes that if they do the right thing, then what they want will happen. I've had to rethink that though, since I saw how much better and quicker asking works than hoping does.

Over the last few years, some pretty cool things have happened for me as a result of asking the people who were able to help. Things like:

  1. I got a pay rise

  2. I got my products featured in the press

  3. I made sales to wholesale customers

  4. I got a speaking gig

  5. I got more coaching clients than I could handle

And it doesn’t end here, there are other examples I could give, but nobody likes a show off, right?

‘Of course you got those things’, you may well be thinking. However, it really wasn’t that obvious to me and it never fails to surprise me when it happens.

You see, I was brought up to be more ‘I want, doesn’t get’ than ‘ask and you shall receive’.

And so it stuck with me and it manifested itself like this:

What I wanted

What I did

What I should've done

A pay rise

Worked really hard, hoping it'd be noticed

Asked for one

Get STITCHFINITY's products in magazines

Obsessed over design, packaging, pricing, hoping they'd be noticed

Asked to be featured

Get STITCHFINITY's products in my favourite shops

Visited the shops and dreamed

Asked if they'd be interested

Become a coach

Added coaching to everything I did in the corporate world, hoping people would notice and want me to coach them

Asked them if they wanted to achieve their goals

Run a workshop

Hung out with the right people, hoping they'd notice me.

Asked the right person how to propose a workshop.

Basically, every time I wanted something, I’d take action, but it would be hopeful action, not direct action.

Needless to say, people loved what I did, because I’d work harder than most and aim to please with everything I did. But this wasn’t sustainable and eventually led to burnout and disappointment. Not only that, but often it didn't even lead to the desired result.

Every now and then I’d get a glimpse of the way it should be and my inner voice (Lucy) would tell me ‘– ah yes, that’s for those people who go about asking for things. You’re not like that’. And I’d carry on without questioning.

I can’t recall now, what changed and why. Maybe it was when I gave Lucy her name and stopped listening so closely to how she thought I should run my life. The important thing is, I realised that the worst that can happen if you ask, is that the askee can say no. Hardly a big deal, because your situation is the same as it was before you asked, but with the added benefit of some more knowledge. Because as soon as someone says no, you can ask why.

This could lead to you finding out how to get them to say yes, what they’d say yes to, what is governing them to say no, when would be a better time, and so on.

So, ask-wise you may be no better off, but you’re better equipped with the information needed to make your next decision, or your next ask more effective.

And the next ask is equally important. Your ask is ONLY massively important to YOU. It probably doesn’t hold the askee’s interest for longer than it takes to say no or tell you why not. It’s important to ask and then ask again, with evidence that you’ve understood the assignment.

Here are my top tips for asking:

  1. Take the emotion out of it. It should be as simple as asking for a glass of water, because you’re thirsty.

  2. Ask with the confidence you’d have if you were asking for a friend.

  3. If you have some proof to back up your ask, present it clearly and attractively – make it easy for the askee to say yes.

  4. If it’s a no, accept it, and find the golden nugget of information that will either help you move on, or turn it into a yes at some point in the future.

  5. Ask again, backed up with further proof of why the answer should be yes this time.

Asking is the new hoping.

What are you hoping for that you could be asking for?

Want to plan out when and how you’ll ask and what you’ll do next? Join my 90 day planning workshop on 3rd or 14th December. Yep. 90 days. Your wish could be granted within 3 months!

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1 Comment

Sharon Lang
Sharon Lang
Mar 20, 2023

Love this! It hit home with me in every way 😊

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