I was talking to an online group about all of the crazy things I have asked others for- asking for Work, asking for connections, asking for help… Some turn into some of the biggest accomplishments in my life and career thus far. Others were huge HUGE bombs.
My friend saw what I wrote, “I ask for things I have no business asking for” and she responded something to the effect of “I love that you have no fear.”
Here’s the deal. I am DEFINITELY afraid when I ask for things. I get extremely anxious and I try to talk myself out of it every single time. I think, “It’s stupid to ask. They have too much going on, I shouldn’t bother them. I’m not going to get it anyway so I shouldn’t waste my time. I’ll ask on Monday instead.” I have A LOT of fear. But the fear doesn’t matter. It’s what I do despite the fear that makes the difference between where I am now and where I was yesterday. And today I am closer to where I want to be and the person I want to be than I was yesterday.
What do you want to ask for? What have you been wanting to ask for for months now? What do you want?! Asking is so freaking hard, but if I have learned one hard lesson in our 8 years of owning our Photo + Cinema business, it’s that NO ONE and NOTHING is going to be given to me. People don’t wake up in the morning and think, “Gee, how can I help Christine Yodsukar today?” NO! They wake up and think about all the shit they have to take care of that day, the things they don’t want to do, the errands they forgot to do the day before, their kid is crying because they want breakfast, they are late on a deadline, and they have a client who is making them want to quit their own business. Everyone is human and just trying to do their best just like you are. They don’t have the time and energy to make things happen for me. Or for you. I have to make things happen for me and you have to make things happen for you. This is where the ask comes into play.
If no one is going to bring you a triple latte with extra foam and four pumps of hazelnut on a silver platter then you need to ask them to do so. You need to ask very specifically for exactly what you want, because if you don’t then they might bring you a coffee but it might be a peppermint decaf with coconut milk and you’re like WTF is this?! Ask and be specific in your ask so if the opportunity is there, people can give you what you want.
So how do I go from the fear of asking holding me back to actually asking? I play dumb. I literally shut off my brain (as literally as I can), and I type the words and hit send. Or I pull up the person’s phone number (and after ten minutes of giving myself excuses) I press the green phone button and the phone starts ringing. Then when they answer I say the words I need to say- very straightforward, no hoopla, no flowery words, I just say what I need to say. I disconnect myself from my anxiety and my fear for that moment I hit send or that moment I verbally say the words. Afterwards, you would think that’s when I freak out, but by that time the opportunity to freak out has passed and I’m on to the next big thing that scares me.
The key is to play dumb with yourself. You’re not afraid and you’re not nervous. Heck, you’re not anything. You’re just a robot saying the words you need to say to ask for the thing that you want. Done end of story.
Now this is going to be helpful for those of you that know what you want and who you need to ask to get it or get there, but for those of you that don’t even see the possibility of asking as a real thing, we need to go a tad bit further. If there is something you want, something that you think about constantly or even just often, YOU ARE ALLOWED TO HAVE IT. Yes you have to work for it and you have to make it happen, but you are absolutely allowed to have it. You are worth it. You are good enough. Stop comparing yourself to other people, other business owners, other photographers, other parents, other young single dudes, and focus on growing yourself. Compete with yourself. If you are in your business simply to be better than your neighbor selling a 3 hour session and all the digitals for $99, you will never win. But if you are in business for a purpose and everything that you do is working toward that greater good, then every single step will be a win.
So now you can write down all of those things that you want and you dream about that you never thought you were good enough to have or deserved to do, and now you can start making action plans to make them happen. You can start figuring out who can help you get closer to those goals and you can ask them for what you need.
The bottom line is this: we get one life. Don’t waste it worrying that you’re playing by the rules and being better than $99 Tommy Thomas. Forget Tommy and make your own game with your own rules. Make your life YOUR life. Do good. Spread love and joy. And be Happy.
I share my WHY when it comes to being a business owner, and why I feel fierce AF in the pursuit of my business goals here: https://www.theyodsukars.com/blog/2017/9/7/sharing-my-why-on-being-a-business-owner