There’s a tool I want to give you for free that has allowed me (and people I know) get disproportionate results. Like any good advice, the hack is really dumb, stupid and something you would probably discredit straight away.
Are you ready ladies and gentlemen? The answer is this: have the guts to ask.
There was a big build up to that moment right there and I actually told you the answer in the headline, so there was no need for it — but I’m a weirdo sometimes.
Knowing the answer is not going to help you. That’s because you already sort of knew the answer.
Why is asking so crucial?
It’s crucial because questions form our entire human experience. Asking is how you get everything you ever wanted. Does that mean just asking will make your dream come true?
Hell no. Just because you ask, doesn’t mean you’ll get the answer you want. With asking brings possibility though.
“Questions steer a conversation and you can dance around what you want by asking in different ways”
Many of you email me about your career negotiations and remuneration. You want to know how to ask, essentially. Here’s a quality example of how a friend went about ‘The Ask.’
He was negotiating a review of his remuneration package because he was looking to move from Melbourne to San Fran and to take a promotion.
He was going to let them tell him the offer. I forced him to do some asking (well not literally — haha). I got him to ask the following:
“Can I do four days instead of five for that rate?”
“Would you consider six weeks of leave instead of four?”
“Would sending me to two events a year be part of the salary package?”
“Would you agree with me working with Joe for one day a week?”
Just by asking, and being open-ended about it, possibilities start to open up that most people never think are possible.
My friend didn’t get most of what he asked for but he did get more money than they were prepared to offer him just by asking.
His teammates at work were surprised. They couldn’t figure out how he was able to get a better result than they got. Spoiler alert: he asked for it.
How do you ask?
You need to focus on these three little gems:
- Have a curious mind
- Believe in yourself
- See possibility
Having the guts to ask is all about your mindset at the time. These three components form how you need to think to approach ‘The Ask’ in the right frame of mind and actually get the other side to agree, thus creating disproportionate results.
The worst that can happen?
The receiver of your ask says no. What do you do then? Ask something else or ask in a different way.
In the end, asking for what you want causes lots of rejection. The thing is, it only takes a few of your asks to be agreed upon for you to have more than those who never ask.
You’re not going to die a horrible death because you ask.
Asking is not rude.
Asking is a tool that you can use.
If there’s no downside, why not use it?
If you don’t ask you won’t get — everything is negotiable.
There is one idea that shaped my entire life and career: everything is negotiable. As soon as you realize this, EVERYTHING CHANGES.
There are no rules and you can politely ask for anything. Tim Ferriss does a famous demonstration of this on his TV show where he gets a local Yoga instructor to walk into a cafe and ask the owner for 10% off her coffee. To her pure shock, he says yes and doesn’t even ask why.
When you ask for something, most people don’t think to ask you why. They just respond to your request.
Asking builds confidence.
A lot of the belief I have in myself and my confidence has come from the habit of asking. Asking has taught me so much because questions can shape so much of our possibility.
Asking is how you respect yourself and what you stand for. Going with everybody else’s rules eats away at your confidence and has the opposite effect. You start to think that “That’s just how life is.”
“Life is whatever you make it and asking is how you develop that belief”
Don’t be afraid to ask because if you won’t, then someone else will and they’ll get the results that you had the same access to.
Before you go, don’t forget this rule about asking.
Always ask with respect. Never ask with your ego in control otherwise you’ll piss the other person off and prevent yourself from asking them something else in the future.
“Respect should be superglued to every ask you make”
Leading with respect and not your ego is more likely to produce the disproportionate results we’ve been talking about.
When we feel respected, we become open to an “ask” much more than we normally would be. Respect doesn’t equal sucking up someone’s ass either.
Respect is having an understanding of the other person’s situation and being mindful of that.
So next time you’re faced with the opportunity to ask for something, feel the fear, embrace it and ask anyway. That’s how you get the results that so many people dream of and never get!
If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net