How often in life and business do we avoid asking for what we want our needs simply because we don't want to bug someone I'm sharing my thoughts about that in today's episode.
It's time for the Becoming a Profitable CEO podcast and it's all about providing you with the tools to succeed on this ever-evolving business-building journey. My mission is to make sure you know you are not alone, that it is possible and that you, yes YOU, CAN do this. You matter, the world is a better place for having you in it, and your voice is needed!
I’m Teresa Cleveland and I believe we can all make a difference and that having a successful online business is one of the best, most effective ways to do that.
Let’s get to it!
Welcome back to another episode of the profitable CEO podcast. I'm so glad you're here.
We're looking at week 10 of 2021. Have you checked in on your goals this week? How's it going? As I mentioned last week. We are now in the last month of the first quarter and I'm wondering how you're feeling about it. I am pretty excited and, full transparency, I can tell you that I am totally not on track for my quarterly goal this quarter. Even so progress is being made and I'll be talking about that in a couple of weeks here on the podcast. Wherever you're at with your goals, kudos to you for keeping track of them and keeping them in front of you.
All right. This week I want to talk about fear and specifically about how the fear of asking can hold us back in our business.
But first, a little story. A few years ago, my son Liam who was 5 at the time got so excited about the day after Thanksgiving and wanting to put up the Christmas decorations. Which is really weird because we have three birthdays, on the 12th 13th and 14th, yes days apart.
So I don't put up the Christmas tree and decorations until after the 14th and that last birthday happens. I've just heard so many stories over time where people who have December birthdays feel like they get cheated out of things and I always wanted to keep them very separate from Christmas. So at 5, it wasn't like we had ever decorated the day after Thanksgiving anyway. So at 5, this child had to hear it somewhere because in his lifetime he had never seen that happen.
I had hosted Thanksgiving that year so by Black Friday, I was wiped out. I just wanted to veg out on the couch and do nothing more than the bare minimum. I didn't want to take out Christmas decorations wrestle with Christmas lights and put up a tree for sure.
Anyway, he climbed in bed with me that morning, the day after Thanksgiving, and he asked "Can we put the Christmas tree up today?" I looked at him for a minute and I told him that I was planning to just relax all day and play games, that we could do it another day.
He said, "Okay, what about tomorrow?"
Simple request right? He wasn't being whiny or pushy. He just gracefully accepted my no for today and asked if we could do it tomorrow instead. He didn't take the no personally and in true mom fashion I said, "I'll think about it."
" Okay!" he said and he bounced out of the room, you know to return to whatever he was doing before we had this conversation.
And you know, what happened the next morning, right? First thing the next morning he ran in my room jumped in bed with me and said "Mom remember you were thinking about putting up Christmas decorations."
I told him it was true and he asked if I was still thinking about it and I told him I was. Then he looked at me and he said "You've been thinking about it for a long time and you usually think about things for a short time. Can we put up the Christmas tree today?"
And again, he wasn't being whiny or pushy it was just a simple request. He wasn't worried about bugging me or being too persistent and there I was feeling pretty tired, but I was struck by how unfettered he was by insecurity or worry about what I think of him.
He just asked.
And in that moment, I stopped to think about us in business as adults, right? I feel like sometimes the universe just sends us these little clues or breadcrumbs to bring our attention to something we've been ignoring or simply unaware of.
Like I asked earlier, like think about it. How often in life and in business do we avoid asking for what we want, what we need, simply because we don't want to bug somebody?
Well, we say we don't want to bug people and while that may be true, I think most times or at least many times that it goes a lot deeper. I think at the root what we fear is hearing "no."
Like how often do we take "no" personally? Like when does that even start happening? If Liam is any indication, it's somewhere between 5 and adulthood that we learn this, right? When we're children, we don't worry about bothering someone or take things personally. We don't preface our request with "Hey, sorry to bother you" or any of the things that we catch ourselves saying.
Which is simply the way Liam asked, are we doing this or not?
And here I am being in this business over 12 years. and I still get caught in that from time to time.
So tell me if this sounds familiar. Your partner, your family, or your clients are constantly overstepping your boundaries. Not because they're bad people or doing it on purpose, but because you failed to set the boundaries and communicate with them. Like I said, I still run into this.
Or how about you haven't raised your prices in months or years just because you don't want to offend your clients or make anyone think that you're overcharging, God forbid.
Or maybe you have a ton of work arounds and do things the long way because you haven't asked for the materials you might need from clients or asked yourself to purchase the program that will make a difference. Yes, sometimes we need to have that chat with ourselves as well.
What happens? You end up resenting these people in your life because they aren't giving you what you want or what you think you need - and they probably have no idea.
So what if we simply let go of the fear of asking and stop taking "no" so personally? What if we could approach a question and an answer with a completely neutral mindset?
Just imagine. What if we could simply make a request with an unattached energy and accept and respect the answer, whether it's yes or no or I'll think about it?
Here's what I want you to think about. The answer does not affect who we are, the quality of our work, or our worth!
Think about it. Yes and no are words and it may be disappointing to hear a no but nothing is changed. You're the same person before and after the no.
So what if we reframe that. Is it possible to look at that no as releasing you to move on to the next decision you need to make?
For example, if a client doesn't want to work with you at your higher rate, at least now you know. You can decide to start marketing to prospects who will so that you can release that client.
Now, this is just like any other muscle or behavior, right? The more you exercise it the stronger it will become. I know there are a lot of different ways that we can remind ourselves of this because that's it, I really want us to remember that it really doesn't have anything to do with our worth.
Like I said before, after the "no" we're still the same people. Just a bit braver and armed with the knowledge that we can move on now.
And oh my goodness! What if the answer is yes? Right?
So my thought is if you need a sticky note to put up on your computer or your work area, do that. If you need a little doodad or stuffed animal or something to keep on your desk to remind you, that's okay. I know that people use things like that. So when they're ready to ask a question and there is any fear that comes up they will either read their note or they'll pick up that stuffed animal or doodad, whatever it is. It's going to remind them not to take that "no" personally.
You also might want to have an easy button on your desk. So when they say yes, you can hit that or some bell to ring or something else.
If we can go into these situations and remind ourselves that everything works out the way it's supposed to, go ahead and ask!
So that's my challenge to you this week. To ask for something and expect a no. Embrace the no. Take it as a sign that there's another option and that everything is okay.
And for bonus points, you may want to sit down and make a list of all the things you've been wanting to ask for and haven't.
I always love hearing about what happens when the people who are listening here to the podcast, put some of the things that I share in place. So today, I'm going to ask you to reach out, shoot me a message, jump over to the Facebook group. You can get there by going to ThePurposefulCEO.com/Facebook or even hit me up on the website and let me know how this works for you.
All right. Well, that's it for today's business building episode. Be sure to tune in later this week for our guest interview. In the meantime, let's go make a difference!
Thanks for tuning in to another episode of Becoming a Profitable CEO. I'll be back next week but in the meantime, let's continue the conversation. Head on over to our Facebook Group at ThePurposefulCEO.com/Facebook and share your take on today's episode.
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