Ask! Ask! Ask!

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Principle #17 in Jack Canfield’s book “The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be” is “Ask! Ask! Ask!

Often, you can exactly what you want simply by asking. This is especially true if you are pursuing a passion and are asking for help in achieving one of your goals.

There are some key things to think about though. For example, it’s best to give the person a good reason to say Yes, and of course, it’s important to be clear in your request.

Ask! Ask! Ask! And Give a Reason for Someone to Say Yes

Most of us love to help someone that is passionate about something, especially if they are taking positive steps to achieve a goal in pursuit of that passion.

As an example, Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform that has helped people fund many passions since 2009. It has helped fund over 250,000 creative projects such as films, music, stage shows, comics, journalism, video games, technology and more. At this point, more than 10 million people have pledged more than $2 billion.

Why have these 10 million people pledged their money? Typically because they get excited after hearing about someone’s passion and they want to help. It reminds me of a quote from one of my favorite books The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

Take a look at some of the projects on Kickstarter. As you look through the projects, you might be inspired to help someone. If so, ask yourself what it is that you saw or read that inspired you. It is typically because of the excitement and passion of the person (or people) that are trying to launch the project.

Remember that when asking for someone else to help you. Show your excitement and passion in your request and you’re much more likely to get a Yes.

Ask! Ask! Ask! But Be Clear

If you want someone to help you, it’s best to be clear and specific. Even when people are willing to help you, they are unlikely to do so if they can’t understand what you want.

As an example, I sometimes receive queries that leave me puzzled. Here’s a recent query that I received.

“Good morning Darril I have a quick question do you have links to the performance questions online I am scheduled to take the security + next week.”

I assumed he was asking about the performance-based questions I have created so I responded with this:

Here you go: http://gcgapremium.com/pass-the-security-sy0-401-exam-the-first-time-you-take-it/

He then replied with:

HI Darril I have already bought your study material a couple of months ago

How many performance questions are there I am able to use the one you just sent me the demo the one I bought I am not able to see it.

I was left with more questions than answers. Is he asking how many performance-based questions are in the package he purchased a couple of months ago? Is he saying he can’t see the demo in the page I sent him the link for? Or that he can’t access the questions he purchased a couple of months ago? Even a question mark somewhere would have been helpful.

In contrast, I recently received a query from someone saying “I’m teaching a Security+ class in a couple of weeks. Can I get 15 copies of your book at a discount?” The question was clear and I was able to ship the books to him at a discount. It was good for both of us.

You’ll never Get A Yes if You Don’t Ask

Some people don’t ask because they’re afraid. They fear they’ll hear a no. They fear how they’ll be viewed. They fear others will judge them. This is one of the times to experience the fear and take action anyway.

Jack suggests the following actions:

  • Make a list of things that you want from home, work, or school
  • Write down what is stopping you from asking, such as what you fear
  • Add the benefit you could receive if you asked (the potential benefit is what you are giving up by not asking)

The worst that can happen if you ask for what you want is that you’ll hear a “No” or simply won’t get a response. The best that can happen is that you’ll get exactly what you asked for. Remember, you’ll never get a “Yes” if you never ask.


About This Post

I’ve been learning from Jack Canfield (of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame) since 2008. I credit much of my success (including authoring or co-authoring more than 40 books) to applying principles in my life that he teaches. I’m currently going through his book “The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be,” covering one principle a week.


Here’s a link to other musing’s on Jack Canfield’s Success Principles.


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