138 – If You Don’t Ask, You Won’t Get

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I learned something a long time ago.  That was, if you don’t ask, you won’t get.  It sounds simple enough…kind of like you won’t know until you try, or you can’t win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket. 

Even though these are all common sense, simple cause and affect statements, for some reason a lot of guys have a problem with the first one; if you don’t ask, you won’t get.  For some reason a lot of guys never ask the right questions at the right time, to get the things they want and need.  That’s what I’m going to be exploring today.

I’ll start by pointing out that asking does not guarantee getting what you want, you will receive something though; an answer, which is often still better than nothing.  And while asking does not guarantee you will receive your hearts desire, it does increase your chances tremendously. Because your chances started at zero, the simple act of asking makes your chances more than zero.

So what kinds of things am I talking about asking for?  Anything you want, that you don’t currently possess.  It could be a date with a girl you like, a raise from your boss, a contract from a company you want to do business with, or the donut under the glass with the most sprinkles on it, or whatever.  Asking for these things increases your chances of getting them.  But so often…guys just won’t ask.

Why don’t people ask for the things they want?  What keeps them from it?  Fear…good old fashioned fear of rejection, or fear of being denied, the fear of being told no.  This is the real problem; dealing with fear. 

It’s a different kind of fear than being afraid of clowns or grizzly bears or dangerous places.  Rather, it is a subtle, crippling fear that somehow makes us content to do without the things we want, the things we feel we deserve, or the things we need.  This kind of fear makes us complacent and meek.

I think one of the keys to overcoming this kind of fear is to consider the worst case scenario before hand…and accept it.

For example, maybe you feel like you deserve a raise at work and you decide to ask your boss to increase your salary.  Before you go in, decide what the worst possible ‘likely’ scenario is…the word ‘likely’ is important here.  too often we imagine things being much worse than they actually are.

An unlikely scenario might be that he becomes enraged and fires you on the spot and has security escort you out…once you dismiss that as being unlikely you can move onto a more likely worst-case. 

He might tell you no.  Ok, then you are in the same position you were in before, you haven’t lost anything.  But if you are planning this out before hand, then you may have the presence of mind to use his no as an opportunity to ask him what you need to do to increase your value, and be worthy of a raise in the future.  Now you have gained something;  knowledge, information.

After you consider your worst case scenario’s you will realize they aren’t that bad, and it will help eliminate the fear of asking. 

When I’m considering a worst-case scenario, if it doesn’t result in myself or someone I care about being killed or seriously wounded…I will probably ask the question, because almost anything else, I can handle.

Many years ago there was this job I wanted, it paid good and had great benefits and more opportunity.  So I decided I would ask for the job.  I got the guys name who made the decisions and I decided before hand that if he said no, I would thank him, and then I would call the next day and ask again.  I decided I would keep doing that every day until I was threatened with legal action.

The guy’s name was Russ.  I called Russ every day and asked him for a job.  everyday Russ said no, and I would thank him for his time.  I called Russ every day for over six months…every single day, and everyday he told me no.

One day I called and Russ said;  “Aw, Alf, I was waiting for your call.  We just let someone go and we have an opening, you were the first guy I thought of.”  I got the job, and it was a good stepping stone for my family at the time.  If I had not asked, I would have never gotten it.

I have a grand daughter who comes over and works around our place to earn money.  Two days ago she asked for a raise out of the blue.  My wife and I respected her tenacity and willingness to ask…so she will probably get that raise.  If she hadn’t asked, it probably would not have occurred to us.

If I had not asked my wife to have dinner with me, I would not be married right now. 

Almost everything good thing we have in life comes as a result of us taking action, and asking is often the first action that is required.

That’s it for today guys.  Now head out into the world and decide what you want.  Consider the worst case scenarios and deal with them prior to asking, to help you overcome the fear of being told no.  Overcoming that fear will help you be a better man today than you were yesterday.

A big thanks to the sponsor of this episode:  STUMPTOWN KILTS

Go to stumptownkilts.com – type betterman into the purchase code, and you will receive 10% off your on-line purchase.

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