After careful strategizing and planning, my business partner (for Coaches HQ) and I ran into a brick wall. For six weeks we tossed around ideas, interviewed candidates, and tried to stay positive while we wracked our brains to find a way forward.
While we tried to work through the roadblock, I also happened to have a call with a connection of mine currently volunteering for Pawssible. During our conversation, I mentioned that one of our other volunteers, Sam, was donating his digital marketing services to film an upcoming presentation. Before hanging up, I made a note to follow up with Sam to go over the details.
10 minutes later, I was back on the phone with my business partner for our normal weekly call. Once again, we half-heartedly threw out ideas to maneuver around the brick wall. I made some notes about a few possibilities. But I’d already made a ton of calls and hit nothing but dead ends. I felt like I’d wasted a lot of time already.
After hanging up with my business partner, I decided to go ahead and knock the call out to Sam to arrange for the filming for the nonprofit presentation. I wanted to make sure he knew how grateful we were for his donation.
Sam answered on the first ring (unusual for him) and seemed to be in a really great mood. He enthusiastically asked how I was doing. I replayed my deflated emotions in my mind but verbally responded I was hanging in there.
Suddenly, a lightbulb when off, and before I even thought twice, I opened my mouth.
“Hey Sam, you can say no, but from one entrepreneur to another, can I ask you something?”
“I know I have already asked for my quota of favors, but I have this business venture that my partner and I are involved in, and we recently hit a brick wall…”
I briefly explained the brick wall and how I ideally hoped to solve the problem.
“Do you have any ideas for us?” I finished, holding my breath.
Without a moment’s hesitation, Sam stated he not only had an idea but also would like to take the conversation further. He wanted to be our solution.
If I hadn’t asked, I’d still be staring at that brick wall. It’s amazing what can happen if you just ask.
Still skeptical? Here’s another “ask and you shall receive” story, this time from a client.
A client of mine had been looking for a project manager for months. He had seen tremendous growth in his company, needed the help, and really wanted to find the right person.
In between coaching sessions, he received a call from one of his previous clients who had recently left his role managing several teams at a huge company. The connection wanted to make sure he had my client’s updated contact information.
In our next session, my client shared this interaction.
“Why don’t you ask him if he would be interested in being your project manager or if he has any ideas about someone who would be a good fit?” I asked.
“No,” he replied. “The company he was with was much larger than mine, and I can’t afford him.”
“Well, it wouldn’t cost you anything to ask,” I reminded. “He reached out to you. He obviously wants to remain connected for some reason.”
Stating he couldn’t argue with that, my client agreed to reach back out to his connection.
Within the week, my client had reached back out. As it turned out, the gentleman was very interested in my client’s offer. Today, he is part of the team and, regardless of salary, is very happy to be working for a quality, values-based company.
My client is thrilled to have someone he trusts supporting his growing team and company, which allows him to focus on the bigger picture.
All because he asked.
Now before you start protesting, I know you probably have plenty of stories where you asked and the answer was no.
But don’t allow hearing a “no” to stop you from asking for a future “yes.” Doors are opening all around you all the time. If you never try to walk through them, you will miss out on amazing opportunities and experiences.
Comment below with a time when you asked for something and were shocked by the answer. I promise I will read and respond to every one of your comments.
Now here is my ask of you: Go make the world a better place!