On my walk yesterday, I had Jessica Lorimer in my ears. Her podcast episode I was taking in focused on leveraging relationships in your sales process. Her point about 20 minutes in struck me. She recalled when she was getting her business going, she wanted to make connections at different organizations. As she was chatting with friends and saying she wished she could get in, they responded: Why didn’t you ask? We would have helped you.
Straightforward. Seemingly simple. And it sparked a whole lot of action within me yesterday to ask and see what happens.
The results: I had two outward asks and one inbound.
Outward Ask One: There is a thought leader I follow and by follow I mean quasi-stalk. Her content, energy, style, and way of doing business are inspirational and motivational for me. As part of her practice, she holds free events to share her knowledge. In full transparency, these “busk outs” as we call them serve as a way to get clients. I’ve wanted to attend one of these events for YEARS. Actual years. However, I felt a little weird showing up wanting to learn and not so much being there as a potential buyer. They’re live events so I couldn’t just “get the recording.”
Yesterday, I said enough, Erin. Why don’t you ask her if it’s cool if you come?! I sent off an email, professed my professional-fan-girl-ness, and shared my intention of wanting to be there to see her in action and learn from her. Guess what? She responded that she, too is a fellow stalker. She would love for me to be there. Would love my thoughts on the session after. She is a queen of feedback–and is asking for my feedback? I mean COME ON!
Outward Ask Two: I tend to get decision overwhelm combined with procrastination which leads to indecisiveness plus super high expectations of finding the perfect…whatever it is…which makes any sort of a decision a complete cluster. Put it this way: these days when I go out to eat and the server asks what I want I zing ‘em back with, “What would you have?” and that’s what I order. 🙄
This fine trait of mine brings us to the TV room table situation. We moved in September. FYI it’s mid-May. We have no coffee table in our TV room. Every day we say, “We should get a table.” Every night we put our drinks on the floor because we have no table.
I’ve liked 23423 tables on Wayfair. I can’t decide. Yesterday, I thought, “Ask Eve!”
Eve is one of my squad of 8 ladyfriends from JMU. We joke that in the final chapter of our lives, we’ll be living Golden Girls-style at the beach. I say yes to this fantasy/dream/goal for many reasons: Eve’s thoughtful, wise, quirky personality is life-giving to be around. We share a love of wine, (as evidenced by the wine-tasting class we took for college credit back in the day) and last but not least, that house by the beach will have Eve’s decorating touch. Walking into Eve’s home now is like walking into a big, welcoming, comfortable hug.
Last night I texted her: Yo. If I send you pictures and a video of our TV space, would you have time to give your design thoughts for ideas for a table for the space?
Response: Yes! I would love it!
Hours of Wayfair clicking saved! Eve gets to do what she loves! We will no longer have drink rings on our rug!
Incoming Ask. My bestie from high school is in the job search process. She sent me her resume and asked if I could give it a look over. A 7-minute Loom video later from my end plus about an hour’s worth of work from her end, she has a resume that glistens with her talents and experience and shines as she does. (Anyone looking for an uber-talented and experienced L&D Director? Hit reply and let me know! I thought I’d ask. 😉)
She was SO THANKFUL. I felt good for being able to help. Her resume looks SO GOOD.
At the end of the day yesterday, as I was doing my daily reflection, I thought about the asks. Not only did things get done, but I felt lighter. I felt motivated in my work. I felt like I was leveling up in ways. I felt the relief of having a table and having the “buy a table” off of my 8-month thought loop. All from asking and answering a few straightforward questions.
Is there a decision that you’re pondering that could use some outside perspective?
Can someone help you with something that’s been on your list?
Can you give something over to someone who has more talent than you at that thing?
Can you ask someone to teach you something, look at something, or participate in something so you can learn from them?
In what areas might you have a question that could use an answer from a friend, a colleague, or a boss that would say, “Why didn’t you ask? We would have helped you.”
My outward ask of the day. Go ask some asks! Hit reply to this email and let me know what you asked and how it went! I’ll report out next week (anonymously) your responses and we can see what sort of relief was felt, tables were purchased, and connections were made and celebrate the momentum that asking questions can create.
I can’t wait to hear!