Usually something big starts from something that was once small — an idea. Ideas are often rustling throughout my mind on various things in my life. From freelance work, to blogging, to family stuff, ideas are something that will never end. After College, I began to understand how important it is to take your idea and run with it. One thing that I have learned from that is to not be afraid to ask for something that you need to help take action and turn that idea into reality.
This May I wrote an article that was published in a coffee and tea publication and ended up making the cover story. All this would not have been possible if I didn’t learn to ask for what I wanted. Asking for what you want is highly connected with getting it. Starting with the idea of wanting to share Canada’s first tea plantation with the world, I reached out to a well-known magazine and pitched the story. Of course, I didn’t get what I wanted right away and sometimes things just do not go exactly as planned. The process was just the beginning. Whether it’s for a hug or job related, asking for what you want is necessary for anything big or small. Here are some strategies to help you begin “asking”.
- Be clear on what you want. At the end of asking, will you have what you really wanted? Take time to learn and discover what your ultimate goal is for what you want. For me, I wanted the opportunity to highlight the tea industry in Canada but also use this opportunity to educate myself about growing tea in Canadian soil. Here is where you should also determine the appropriate target. Asking an individual or organization that is related to your goal will increase your chances succeeding with your idea.
- Organize your thoughts and believe in them. How do you expect to sell your idea if you do not believe in it yourself? Write out exactly what you want and how you will get there. In my case, I jotted down the topic of my article, the angle, reasons I was qualified to be the writer, why it was best suited for this publication, the approximate length and the timeline. This was helpful because I didn’t leave anything out that the magazine required when it came to pitching. It made me well prepared and extremely confident in my story, which made for a successful discussion.
- Have a back up plan. Don’t worry; you won’t be the first person who got rejected. Don’t fear it. Instead, use it as an experience that you can grow from. Having a back up plan is good to be on the safe side. Your back up plan can be asking a different relatable individual/organization or pitching your idea in an entirely new way. Don’t give up on your idea right away because a “no” can simply mean “not yet.”
- ASK! I know this seems like an obvious step but it really is the most important and can sometimes seem like the hardest. After you have prepared your thoughts, the last thing you want to do is back out. You just have to put yourself out there. I once heard somewhere a quote that is a perfect reminder for a time like this, “if you do not ask, the answer is already no.”
- “Thank you” goes a long way. Whether you landed that new promotion, raise or just got that hug, do not forget to say thank you. Even if you didn’t get what you wanted in the end, gratitude will benefit you in the future. Always leave things on a great note as whomever you spoke to is now a new connection.
Asking is a powerful thing.
– Lu Ann Pannunzio
Follow Lu Ann @teaaholic