Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Just Ask For What You Want

I drove a truck tonight. Well, just the cabin part, not with a trailer hookup. But still. It was cool.
It was something I've always wanted to do.

You know how I got to do that? I just asked.

This seems to be a little known secret and I was reminded it's a secret by reading The Last Lecture (good book, made me bawl like a baby at the end, but great book). People don't ask for what they want enough.

How do you think I got "Mr. Felix and Mr. Norton" to be my business mentor? I asked. (I asked him because I love his cookies and because Peter McAuslan never replied to me, so I had to ask a second person. Third in line was the owner of Dagwoods)

How do you think I got myself on tv? I asked.

Got into the newspaper? I asked nicely.

The secret is to ask sincerely and don't expect too much. Also, don't worry about the answer. Sometimes you'll get a "no" but it doesn't mean you shouldn't ask. Maybe you just need to ask someone else. Or ask again. Most of the time, you'll get a "yes". Especially if you give them a reason for why you want whatever you're asking for. The biggest secret I'm sharing? If you tell them it's something you've always wanted to do or that it would make you happy, you have a better chance of a positive result. Why? Because people want to make other people happy. They want to feel like they played a part in fulfilling a dream. Sometimes, they even need you to ask - it was exactly what *they* needed (especially in the case of tv and print, they always need material). So everyone wins!

Also, I have a rule where I don't ask the same person the same favour more than twice. Often people who don't want to do something will say they are busy or forgot. If they forgot twice, they never wanted to do it in the first place and are trying to be "nice". I'd much rather a straight no, but whatever.

People who *want* to help you but can't will point you in the direction of someone who can. And often they'll be nice enough to talk to that person for you.

I'm also kinda against asking celebrities for anything because they are so often bothered. If they're at an autograph session, it's ok. If they're wandering around looking for a place to eat in a food court (like Scott Thompson was when I was working at Quiznos), I leave them alone...reluctantly. *sigh*

This also does not mean that you sit on your ass and don't work for what you want. Sometimes you have to work to show you deserve it. There was a joke I heard of a man, who each night prayed to God, asking to win the lottery. Finally, one night God answered exasperated, "then please buy a ticket!".

Anyways, it sounds like I'm lecturing now, but people are always asking me how I do things and saying I'm "lucky" or I must "know people" to get what I want. I consider myself lucky after I've gotten what I wanted and I know the right people after I've introduced myself. It's that simple. Really.


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