Ask for What You Want

September 3, 2009

I’m going to keep this short and sweet. If you want something, ask for it. Don’t make excuses, don’t blame other people for not reading your mind and giving it to you – ask.

No doubt you’ve been in situations where you’ve felt that you were constantly disappointed. The thing you wanted did not materialize in the way you’d hoped – the raise, the thank you, the promotion, the new client, the book deal – we could go on and on. It seems that you’re never quite getting what you deserve. You work and work and it doesn’t come together.

However, when it comes to getting what you want, if you don’t ask you probably won’t receive. I remember once telling my coach that I’d never been in a position to negotiate for a larger salary when I was in corporate. She responded by asking me if I’d ever tried to negotiate. I said no, but I probably wouldn’t have been able to get what I wanted anyway.

Was that really true? I have no idea. I never tried, so I can only guess what would’ve happened. But looking back on it now, I realize that I had been reluctant to take the chance and ask for more than I’d been given. My expectation was that I would ask and be rejected, or made to look ridiculous. So, I accepted what I was offered and stayed powerless.

Not asking for what we want can also affect us in business. If we don’t let people know that we want clients, then how can they refer them? If we don’t reach out for advice or support, how will anyone know we need help? Going it alone may be an advantage at times, but at some point it can turn out to be a detriment to our growth if we don’t let people know what we need.

Even if after we ask the answer is no, it’s really okay (though it might not feel that way) because at least we’ll know what the real deal is. Instead of having false expectations of what might happen, we’ll know for sure where we stand. Of course, on the other hand, we may receive even more of what we desire than we expected – but we’ll never know until we ask.

Copyright © 2008 – 2014 Deborah A. Bailey

Excerpted from: “Think Like an Entrepreneur: Transforming Your Career and Taking Charge of Your Life.”

Deborah A Bailey

Deborah is a writer, writing workshop presenter and published author. She's host of the Women Entrepreneurs Radio podcast.

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