If you really want something in life there are a few things you can do. Some work better than others.
Let’s break down the common ways people get what they want.
You Can Pray
Praying to a higher being sometimes work. People need to believe in something right? But this isn’t the golden rule to getting what you want. But don’t give up on praying if that’s what you do.
You Can Hope To Be Lucky
A lot of people think good things come to the fortunate (or lucky). If you’re one of the fortunate people in life than maybe you can get lucky and get what you want in life.
Luck plays a role in life but you shouldn’t rely on it soley if you really want something.
Maybe Someone Will Read Your Mind
Lots of people just sit on the sidelines and hope they get what they want. They believe others should just know and in due time they’ll get what they want.
Goodluck with this one.
People often try to drop subtle hints about what they want. The problem is that sometimes the person you’re dropping hits to have no idea you’re saying you want something because they aren’t thinking about it.
Guys and girls drop hints all the time that they want to be asked out when they say “so what are you doing this Friday?” Sometimes they are just curious what you’re doing this Friday, other times they want you to ask them out. See how difficult it is to figure out which they want?
Dropping hints will only frustrate you.
You Can Put In the Work
This is a good one. I definitely think you should go out and get what you want. Sometimes that requires putting your head down and putting in the work. But it’s not always the most efficient way to go about things.
Ok So What Is It?
The BEST way to get what you want is to Ask for it. Simple right? So why is it so hard?
Asking is the most direct and quickest way to getting what you want in life is to ask. Now, I’m not saying that this is a 100% fool proof plan to get what you want but it will speed up the process. Let’s start with some examples.
I’ve lived all around the world and currently live in one of the greatest cities in the world – New York City. The city has everything you want: beautiful people, diversity, good food, public transportation and endless opportunities. But if there is one single lesson I have learned living in this city it’s that you need to speak up.
- Want to meet someone new or get a date? You have to ask.
- Want a new job? You have to ask.
- Want a raise or a promotion. You have to ask.
- Want help in general? You have to ask.
The Truth About Asking
Asking and receiving help is like most things in life. It’s a numbers game.
Not everyone is going to want to help you. But if you ask enough people, you will get some sort of help. Now the help you get might not always be exactly what you want but it will put you in the right direction or provide you some sort of feedback to get you to where you want to be or what you want to get.
Why People Don’t Ask More Often
I used to be really afraid to ask for help. And I won’t lie and say I don’t know why, because I do.
I was like most of you. I didn’t want to ask for help because I wanted to protect my own ego. I didn’t want people to think I needed their help. I didn’t want people to judge me. I always thought people would look down on me or if I couldn’t get whatever I wanted on my own.
Secondly, I was afraid that people would get upset or say no if I asked for something that I wanted. A lot of people have these feelings and that prevents them from asking. No one likes to get rejected. It usually doesn’t make you feel good.
Third, I never felt like I had anything to offer. So it was selfish of me to ask for help when I couldn’t return the favor.
So for most of my life, I never asked for help.
Then I Realized Something
In college I read a book that said something my father had always told me.
The worst someone can say is no.
I didn’t understand this at the time. But it’s the truth. So what if you ask for something and you get rejected. They say no. Life goes on. The truth is, I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. If someone said no, it was always going to be a no anyway. At least I knew they wouldn’t help me. And best case scenario, I would get help and I would be closer to getting what I wanted.
So I decided why not? Why not ask for help? I wanted to find a way to Wall Street so I was going to ask everyone I knew for help.
Here’s What I Did
I put together a list of everyone I knew and contacts I could get in touch with.
- Alumni from my college
- Fraternity brothers across the world
- Family and friends
- Random strangers that I found had what I wanted
No one was off limits. I contacted everyone, sharing my story and what I was asking for.
No one actually said no. Sure I got some soft rejections like “I wish I could help you out” but there was nothing very harsh. Perhaps the worst thing that happened was I was ignored. But I asked for what I wanted and let so many people know what I wanted that I had my hands full with more positive reactions than negative.
Plus I’ll tell you this. For all the rejection and ignoring I may have gotten. Finding just one person willing to help me get what I want makes it all worth it. And I think this is the case with almost everything. You just have to have thick enough skin to go through the negative to find the people that are there to help you.
How People Feel When They are Asked to Help
My life has taken quite a dramatic turn from where it was when I was knocking on people’s door asking for help. Nowadays people are asking me for help more often than not. And I can tell you one thing that I didn’t know when I was younger.
When people ask me for help, I feel honored. It’s a compliment that someone thinks that I can help them.
I’ve asked other people if this is how they feel as well and although not everyone says yes, the majority of the people do want to help if they can.
I’ve learned through this that the majority of people in this world are good people. Sometimes you catch people on a bad day or maybe you just asked someone that isn’t into helping. It happens. But for the most part, people are willing to help. All you have to do is Ask!
How To Ask
There are plenty of ways to ask for whatever you want.
We’re gonna cover all of this in detail in the networking guide I’m putting together. Until then, I’d like to give you some pointers.
1. You can be direct. Cutting to the chase is a simple way to get a yes or no answer.
2. State your case. A better way to ask is to share a little bit about why you want something first. Using the word “because” is a great transition. Try to provide some solid context as to why you want something. Maybe it’s a raise, because you’re taking on more responsibilities
- Maybe it’s a promotion, because you’re ready to take on a new role
- Maybe it’s a slice of pizza, because you’re hungry
- Maybe it’s a phone number, because you want to stay in touch
- Maybe it’s an introduction, because you think someone else can help you
Whatever it is, adding some context is good.
3. Offer something in return. People like helping people. But people like helping other people more when they can get something back.
- Next time you ask for help and you have something can offer just say “let me know if there’s anything I can help you with.”
- If you don’t have anything to offer, you can also offer future help by saying “hopefully one day I can return the favor.”
The Game Plan
The plan to asking is simple.
You can ask any and everyone. But this is going about it blindly and you should be a little bit more strategic about things. Just so you know where to focus your attention.
1. Figure out what it is you want to ask for. (job, money, favor, whatever it is)
2. Come up with a list of people you know that might be able to help you with this request
3. Put together a list of other people you think you can get in touch with (that you don’t know) that might be helpful
4. Contact everyone from list 2 and 3. Make it personal. Don’t send out a generic email to everyone.
5. Follow up with everyone. Even if they don’t get back to you. Sometimes people get busy. Try again.
6. Understand that not everyone is going to want to help you. But there might be some that will respond. Those are your leads.
7. Keep asking if you don’t get what you want right away. Keep working toward whatever it is you want and ask again.
8. Have no shame. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Now you know how to get what you want. So go ask for it.