By Leslie Sturgeon, Women Inspiring Women Founder
I heard Gary Hirshberg, founder of Stonyfield Farms, say that once at an event. He was referring to things in the business world such as “don’t ask for someone’s business, then you don’t get someone’s business” or if you don’t ask a vendor to do something for you that would greatly impact your bottom line, or enhance your product or how you operate your business, then you don’t get the resolution you need. You get the point!
Since that time I have turned that saying into a mantra for my life. First, it is a conversation I have with myself. If I don’t ask myself the hard questions, I won’t know what I want in my life, career, relationships, etc., and therefore I won’t get it! And if the answer isn’t abundantly clear, then I keep asking myself harder, more probing questions – sometimes down 15 or more “layers.” Take Women Inspiring Women for example . . . I ask myself what would be best for the group, how can I/WIW serve the members best, how can we grow and in what direction should we grow, what would catapult the success of the group and the members, what resources and programming would be beneficial, and on and on. If I don’t get completely clear, then I and WIW will never go anywhere.
There have been times when I have used this mantra to help me achieve a goal such as selling more tickets to an event. If I didn’t ask people to help me spread the word, for example, I wouldn’t get more registrations. If I didn’t ask a media outlet to run a press release, then I would not get the media coverage that was essential for an event to succeed. Or ask a local business to help us out by becoming a corporate partner. Don’t ask, don’t get.
When you think about it, this mantra works in every life situation. If you don’t ask for what you need or want, nothing will ever be different than it is right now. If you don’t ask for a certain raise, you won’t get it. If you don’t ask your kids to do chores, they won’t! If you call the doctor’s office and they give you an appointment time that doesn’t work, ask to change it. You don’t know until you ask! It is not selfish to ask for what you need or want. What’s the worst that will happen if someone says, “No?” Nothing ventured, nothing gained as the saying goes!
Don’t ask, don’t get has become part of my daily life. Can it become part of yours? Can you begin by asking yourself what you want – what you really, really want (shout out to the Spice Girls)? Will you promise me you will then ask for whatever you need to make that happen? And one more thing – can you promise me that you will try it for a week, always being mindful of incidents throughout the day when you can remind yourself that if you don’t ask, you won’t get? You can do it, girlfriend.
Leslie Sturgeon is the founder of Women Inspiring Women and a lifelong entrepreneur. She embraces her imperfections while learning about herself and others, supporting the fabulous women in the WIW community, journeying through life with optimism, and laughing so hard she snorts or pees (sometimes both simultaneously). www.womeninspiring.com