What do you want in life, and how do you get it? See, it did not take long for me to reveal the secret of life here on the blog. Actually this is a common theme that will come up often in my posts and there are a few more secrets that are tent poles, supporting your creative and business life, but this one is probably one of the most important. You may do a lot of self help or self development, or research business ideas, or work on building your empire or creative shop, and if so, this is one tip you don’t want to miss.
If you want something, just ask.
Creative artists are sometimes wired to be a little more demure than other people. You may be more focused on your craft, work and brand, and spend less time asking people for favors. But the key is to not be shy about it. Lots of successful people I know ask me for things often. I look at it as an opportunity to help and welcome it. I can’t help everyone all the time, but I do try to do my best.
Lets take photographers. When ramping up a photography career, you’ll often see a creative artist who is really focused on photographing events, people and other subjects. But so often they grumble about the lack of money that the work is bringing in. Sometimes they don’t see the value they provide. Or they once asked a few times for money, got shot down, and decided not to bring it up again with anyone. Of course they would do it for free because they love it, but it’s quite compelling to do something you love and get paid as well.
Professionals do this too. Even a seasoned pro with a successful operation will often be a bit shy about asking for the sale. They have lined up a great proposal, worked to get a client interested and then often leave it to them to let them know. Asking for the sale is important. It’s a black and white question. It’s probably more aggressive than you may be comfy with, but asking in general is a path to getting what you want and need.
I actually happen to know a few “serial askers”, really these are people who ask everyone for everything. I am floored by how much people do for them. Even more amazing is everyone is not grumbling, they are happy to help because the people are grateful to have the support. These people know what they lack and know to ask for help to fill in the needs.
Getting help is another main area. Most creative projects take resources. If you are planning anything it helps to have people involved. You may think people are too busy or may not be interested, but believe me, you may be surprised who steps up to help you in your mission. This can apply to your income as well. You may work at an agency and not be making the amount you think you should, or not as much as your peers. Ask for a raise, it can’t hurt and it merely will convey that you are on the rise and want more, as opposed to having your head down behind the monitor and quietly settling. Being a creative director for years, I was always impressed with the employees who worked for me who wanted more. I always thought to myself that these were the people on the rise who were going to make it.
Asking really is an art form that few master, but the ones that do have a lot of abundance. They are surrounded with people willing to help, they have the support they need in many areas, they have moved to higher steps not because they waited to be asked, but because they advanced the effort to move forward.
Ben Franklin said if you ever want to make a friend, ask them to do you a favor. Don’t limit asking to just your inner circle, journey out of your group of friends and ask new people to help, contribute and assist you in your path to what you need. The more comfy you get with asking, the better you get at it, the more you ask, the more you can receive.
I always tell people, “How do you get anything you want in life?”
Are you comfy with asking? Have you been waiting to ask someone something but have been hesitating? What have you asked for lately?