If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get

Last week entrepreneurs reminded me several times of one of my favorite adages: if you don’t ask, you don’t get. While it seems obvious, the reality is most people assume if something isn’t offered up or available, then you can’t get it. We’re conditioned to assess what’s in front of us, what’s obvious. Only, pushing beyond the perceived limits is what moves the world forward.

One entrepreneur shared how he really wanted to ask a well known business person for advice. Everyone told him it was a waste of time — he’d never get to the person. After trying the networking route with no luck, the entrepreneur made the ask in a cold email. Yes, a cold email. Unexpectedly, the business person promptly responded, they connected on the phone, and hit it off.

If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

One entrepreneur shared how he really liked this adjacent business where the owner claimed they’d never sell. The entrepreneur put an annual reminder on his calendar — December 1st — and every year he’d check in. Like clockwork, he was persistent. 10 years later the owner decided it was time to sell. You know who bought the business? The entrepreneur that stayed pleasantly persistent for a decade.

If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

One entrepreneur shared how he really loved this house he’d drive by on the way to the office everyday. Randomly, a for sale sign appeared one day and he promptly called. The house was already under contract, that same day. Bummed, he let it go. Only, no one moved in and the grounds became unkept. Realizing something was up, he contacted the new owner, who had since changed his mind, and promptly bought the house from him.

If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Making the ask starts out uncomfortable, unnatural even. With effort and practice, it becomes easier and easier. Start now and always remember: if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

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