This is my go-to mantra.
It's on my mind all the time.
"You Don't Get What You Don't Ask For."
However, if all you ever do is ask without reciprocation, you'll be less inclined to get the response you want.
Let me give a few quick examples to illustrate my point.
Here's a few amazing and powerful things I've accomplished in the last 3 months by first thinking, "You don't get what you don't ask for."
Forbes Coaches Council Annual Membership Fee Reduced
Forbes Coaches Council Startup Fee waived
Late payments reversed (Toll bill and Rent)
Bought a car reduced by 15%
Freedom in relationships
None of these things were going to happen on their own. And, this is just a short list of examples I chose from the many I could've listed.
My life is pretty great and one of the reasons is because I ask for what I want. If I don't, how could the other person possibly know what I want.
They are not a mind reader.
An all too pervasive occurrence in our society is for someone to not clearly express what they want or ask for what they want, and then to subsequently not get what they want, only to follow up with the final act of being mad at that person, dissatisfied with the result, or feeling like they compromised at best.
You can choose that route.
Or, you can ask for what you really want.
It's the only way to get it, I'll promise you that.
That being said, there's a small caveat that I would make to this blanket mantra that's always on my mind.
You Don't Get What You Don't Ask For, BUT...
If all you do is ever ask for more, more, more, then it's likely the other person's patience, trust, and general favor towards you is going to waiver.
For example, if you ask your boss to leave early on Friday to do something important to you, chances are that given that you're a great worker, they'll happily oblige.
Then, let's say you ask the next week to extend your upcoming vacation by a few days because your best friend you haven't seen in decades is going to be there too and you don't want to miss the amazing opportunity. Again, chances are they will evaluate you as a worker, and then oblige. You don't get what you don't ask for.
Then let's say the following week you look at your salary and think you might benefit from a 5% raise. When you go to your boss this time, they are likely thinking to themselves, "Wow, this person asks for a whole lot from me. Maybe I should replace them with someone who won't always be asking for so much."
The lesson here is to make sure you establish a relationship of generosity, giving, and gratitude with the person you're asking from.
I truly think that people love to give. But I think people hate when that giving isn't appreciated.
You don't get what you don't ask for.
So, let's take that same example and see how it might be improved.
Perhaps after you leave early on Friday, you show up early on Monday with a box of donuts for the team and thank them all for pulling your weight while you stepped out and let them know that you'll happily return the favor for any of them.
Perhaps when you go on vacation, you bring something back for your boss as a token of your appreciation to show them how much their generosity meant to you.
Perhaps when you ask for a raise, you start by acknowledging how much you appreciate being a member of the team and come with a 90 day proposal for what you'll set out to accomplish and ask whether or not accomplishing that would warrant the raise you're seeking.
These are only ideas, but the idea is to make the other party feel appreciated as much as you appreciate their helping you out as well.
And this goes for your boss, your employees, your partners, your friends, and every other type of person you ever find yourself relating to.
As my favorite artist Trevor Hall would say, "Don't carry stones in your bowl of light."
Or in other words, don't let generosity go unappreciated.
You Don't Get What You Don't Ask For.
And People Love to Help Someone Who is Grateful for the Giving.
So, with your newfound power of asking for what you really want,
What will you be asking for?
Here's to you Actualizing Your Potential!
Founder and CEO @ STRIVENT
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