Don’t hold back. Do ask.

by Himanshu Jhamb on April 8, 2010

Have you ever been in a situation where you were going to ask for that elusive raise, but did not? Ever been in a situation where you wanted to ask for that extra day of vacation and decided not to? Or that time when you wanted to ask … well! you get the point.

Here’s the thing about asking. Without the act of asking, the world around you simply does not know what you want. Now, I am not saying that by the simple act of asking, you will get what you want. No. Chances are… 9 out of 10 times you won’t because you are probably not very skilled at asking. Even so, what will happen is that the people around you will know what you want… regardless of whether you can get what you are asking for at that time or not. Eventually, there comes a time when you have something they need… and they know the point at which to align with you… and they offer you that. This is where magic happens!

Here’s a small story that speaks to this point:

A friend of mine bootstrapped a company with a couple other partners who said they all would invest some money together, over a period of time. Another friend of theirs wanted to join the company, was willing to invest but was told that he could invest but could not participate as part-owner since he joined a little later. This did not bode well with this fellow and he stuck to his guns aligning the group with what he wanted – to participate in contributing to the business as one of the part-owners. This request was met with repeated declines for more than 2 years… and then the magical moment came. Not all of the original partners could fulfill their commitments of investing what needed to be invested & guess who the remaining partners went to, to fill the gap? Yep! The same friend of theirs who had been consistently asking what he wanted.

Of course, most of the people called this friend of theirs “Lucky”. Reminds me of the popular saying:

Luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparation

Opportunity knocked on their friends door in the form of the investment needed to keep running the business; Preparation happened all the time with the standing request of participating in the business not as a passive investor but as a player!

One of the quickest lessons I learned as an entrepreneur when I started Active Garage was not to hold back & ask. “What’s the worse that will happen”, said our mentor, Rajesh, “People will say NO or maybe they won’t respond. What have you got to lose?” … and armed with that piece of advice, I asked away. There were more “No’s” than “Yes’s” that came my way but here’s a little secret that they won’t tell you… the No’s have been far better teachers to me than the Yes’s… as they created powerful opportunities for me to grow… and I have a very strange feeling that Rajesh knew that all along!

Oh! … and did I mention you can get all this, too if you just simply STOP holding back and START asking for what you really want!

Himanshu JhambThis article was contributed by Himanshu Jhamb, co-founder of ActiveGarage and co-author of #PROJECT MANAGEMENT tweet. You can follow Himanshu on Twitter at himjhamb.
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  • Niharika

    AGree, the No’s have been far better teachers  than the Yes’s… and NO’s that are converted to YES with persuasion and persisitence are the best teachers.. 

  • http://activegarage.com Himanshu Jhamb

     Very well said, Niharika! BTW, loved the subtle caps on the “AG” of the AGree.. :)

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