Tracey Jackson wrote in her comment to the Temple Grandin interview, “The lesson is in the fact you asked her. .. To quote one of my favorite quotes, ‘If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no.’”
To further this idea, if you ask and get turned down, you’re no worse off than before you asked.
I developed this ‘habit’ at my job as a school social worker. It’s called asking for what you want. I don’t take full credit for it. This idea really grabbed me when I read in the book, “Kabul Beauty School”(for my parent book clubs which I facilitated) that the author, Deborah Rodriguez, asked the Paul Mitchell hair product company if they would donate hair products for a beauty school teaching program she was trying to start in Afganistan, in an attempt to empower and train women. Sure enough she was sent box loads of hair products.
I was so taken with this seemingly simple thing Ms. Rodriquez did, that I decided to try it with some of my school projects. I wanted to take my (immigrant) parent groups to experience a Broadway show in the city; and so I contacted theatre companies explaining my purpose and asking for tickets. Guess what, we got 20 tickets for Mary Poppins and Hairspray.
When my colleague and I were doing a presentation (on facilitating book clubs) at the Marriott and wanted to do an ‘Oprah book give-a-way’, I contacted publishing companies explaining and asking for books for our participants. Guess what, I got 50 copies of a wonderful book that was waiting for them at their seat when they came in.
I’m not saying this to brag but rather to show how important a skill this is in trying to create the life we want.
Hearing, seeing, speaking to inspirational people who have created good lives despite their difficulties is a deep interest and passion of mine. Conducting these blog interviews once-a-month is a highlight for me. It’s putting out there what speaks to me on the deepest core level and hoping to inspire readers with the interviewee’s words, ideas and ways in which they build meaningful lives beyond their challenges.
I must seek out and ask people. And so I take the skill of asking, which got sharply developed at my school job, and utilize it now in creating my own thing.
Now in all honesty, of course the ‘no s’ do come in. To every yes, there could be 5 ‘no s’. It’s obviously about persevering and giving it your best shot, if you believe in it.
The “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series got 144 ‘no s’ before that one ‘yes’ took it to the best seller charts.
I must admit I threw the towel in on my book proposal a few years ago (on my daughter’s medical and miraculous story) after 68 rejections. My agent then said, “put it to rest for now”. I did. And I was proud of the attempts.
Maybe my next goal will be a book of interviews. ‘They’ say if you put out your vision it becomes more real. So here it is – my future vision and goal.
What will you ask for? What steps are you taking to get more of what you want?
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