In a society where we apologise when someone bumps into us, thank people for not moving out of our way and always always smile politely, the concept of asking for things is something that makes us more than slightly uncomfortable.
The ‘very british problem’ of being almost too polite for your own good is something I’m all too familiar with. The desire to be seen as a nice person or simply put, not a kn*bhead, is something that can hold us back from putting ourselves out there in any way that could be deemed rude, brash or arrogant. So naturally asking for money, or something of value, is amongst the biggest taboos. To clarify, i’m not talking about handouts. I am talking about asking for money, but in return for your services – effectively asking for business.
Although i’ve been self employed for almost three years now, i’ve only actually been full time (and no longer a student) for about 6 months. And if there’s one thing thats become clear during this time, it’s that if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Overtly self conscious as a youngster, asking for, well… anything really, has always been out of my comfort zone.
But between running a start up, seeking work as a blogger and selling to PT clients, i’ve been thrown into the deep end and have had to face my fear head on. If you think about it, all that really holds us back from asking is the fear of getting ‘no’ as an answer. But all a ‘no’ really is is a diversion. Every time I get a ‘no’, I admittedly first take a minute to lick my wounds, and then I formulate another strategy to that same goal.
So many great things have come from putting myself out there, and allowing myself to be in a position of vulnerability. Admittedly, there will always be times when people don’t get it and perhaps do perceive you to be impolite. But, if you know your proposal is valuable – it really doesn’t matter if not everyone gets it.
Asking for things isn’t confined to being self employed. Whether it’s asking for a pay rise, a new opportunity or even just for help, I think we can all gain something from asking for what we want. Of course, we can’t just ask for things for nothing – but if you deserve something you should go and get it! I guess what i’ve realised is that I can’t wait for opportunities to come to me, I have to go out and create them – and to do that i’m going to have to ask, ask , ask.
So, in the spirit of which, can a girl get a like on this post? 😉
Photography by Bernadette Baksa