Let’s be real: lots of things are out of reach overnight. In all likelihood, you won’t wake up a millionaire. Your dream home won’t magically appear before your eyes. And that amazing job until retirement will likely elude you for many years. In fact, very few of us get what we want and when it comes too easy, we don’t truly appreciate it.
Things take time. The morning you wake up a millionaire, chances are that moment has been building and building for quite some time through diligence, frugality, and smart investing. And also a little bit of opportunism.
Opportunism is the product of asking.
How often have we performed a chore begrudgingly alone because we somehow knew no one else would? That resentment festers, but the solution is simple: just ask.
There’s a reason why the term “If you don’t ask, you don’t get” exists. Over and over we silo ourselves away from opportunity because we don’t ask. Whether that’s for help with a chore, with discounts, or with career opportunities. Sometimes we think there’s some magical power in the universe that will somehow work to open up opportunities for us. This is categorically untrue.
I once had a colleague who was upset she didn’t receive a promotion after her manager left. She had been working there for 5 years and imagined that through her experience and commitment, she was a no-brainer to get the job. She sat there idle, imagining someone would come to her with an offer in hand – until she found out the job went to someone else. She resided to negative thoughts and poor performance in her future work, which crippled whatever leftover chance she had to move upwards. Her problem though? She never once asked. Asked about when the vacancy would get posted, about what management really thought of her, or what skills she’d have to work on to become a manager.
Asking for opportunities is one of the easiest things we can do and its applications are endless, especially when it comes to things that will genuinely move things forward for us in life.
Would you go into a car dealership and settle for the first price presented to you? Probably not. You’d ask for something better. The same goes with everything else.
Things I’ve asked for.
- Jobs. My old boss believed I wasn’t ready to be a manager, but I asked somewhere else through their application portal and got the job. And now I’m the top performer. I sincerely believe career advancement is directly tied how aggressive you are in your asks.
- Discounts. I asked about my cell phone bill. They gave me a discount. Same goes for a lot of other things. Sometimes I won’t know a deal exists until I ask.
- Gifts I actually need. Ever get crap for Christmas? Try asking for EXACTLY what you need. It actually works. My girlfriend got me a bike helmet!
- Help. Time is money. Sometimes a helping hand really makes things more efficient.
What about you? What have you had success asking for?