I don’t need any help! How many of you, as entrepreneurs, are still carrying this core belief? If you are, it’s going to kill you and your business. Seriously.
No one can succeed on their own. No one! But, if you were raised in a household anything like the one I grew up in, then I can totally and fully understand where this thinking comes from. I was always told to learn whatever I needed to know so that I could handle things myself.
That was a very strong core belief of mine as I stepped into the world of entrepreneurship. And let me tell you just how difficult and lonely that made things for me in the beginning. My saving grace? Buying and reading the book, ‘The Aladdin Factor’ by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. It had been recommended to me by one of my mentors – and, while it has incredible content, the true value came from implementing what I learned.
‘Asking for What You Want’ is one of the greatest lessons you’ll ever learn says John Gray (who endorsed the book). I totally agree and, in this article, I want to give you some of the key lessons I took away and the impact they had on my business when it came to understanding the barriers to asking, how to ask and so much more.
“Ask, and it shall be given to you;
Seek, and ye shall find;
Knock and it shall be opened unto you.
For every one that asketh, receiveth;
And he that seeketh, findeth;
And to him that knocketh
It shall be opened.’
- Matthew 7:7-8
- BARRIERS TO ASKING
In the book, it is explained that there are 5 barriers to asking – Ignorance, Limiting and Inaccurate beliefs, Fear, Low Self-Esteem and Pride. For me, the major barrier was Ignorance. As an entrepreneur, there were many, many times when I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I just didn’t know what questions to ask! So, I started to hang around successful people and listen to their questions. I would watch interviews on TV and pay attention to the questions. I would listen carefully to my coaches and my mastermind colleagues – and pay attention to the types of questions they were asking. I believe asking good questions is a skill and one I want to get very good at. It’s by asking questions that we learn. What is it you need to ask?
- HOW TO ASK
“Don’t wish it were easier – wish you were better!” - Jim Rohn
In the book, there are many different explanations on ‘how’ to ask. It all stems from what they reference as ‘the ground of being’ – for me, that translates into your intention What is it you want, exactly? How precise are you in your thinking? When you are clear on your intention, you stand in your confidence and you speak in clear language – chances are your request will be fulfilled. The second part to this is WHO you ask! You want to ensure (to get around that fear of rejection) that you are asking the people who can actually help you out. So, be discerning when you approach people with your ‘ask’. It was interesting to me a number of years ago when I was approached by a representative of the local United Way – they were wondering why I had not participated in the fund-raising campaign. My reply? Simply. I told them that no one had asked me. Think about this. How does it apply in your business?
- ASK A HIGHER POWER
‘Let your request be known unto God.” – Philippians 4:6
I totally, and absolutely, believe in the power of prayer. ‘Mother Teresa of Calcutta had a dream. She told her superiors ‘I have 3 pennies and a dream from God to build an orphanage.’ ‘Mother Teresa,’ her superiors chided gently, ‘you cannot build an orphanage with three pennies. With three pennies, you cannot do anything!’ ‘I know,’ she said, smiling, ‘but with God and three pennies I can do anything!’
Again, I ask you, where do your beliefs hold you back? And/or, where do your beliefs move you forward. I very much believe in the power of prayer. I very much believe in God’s grace, love and support. In my business, God has been my partner – at times, when I felt very alone and challenged, I quickly recognized that I am not alone.
“When I pray, coincidences happen. When I don’t, they don’t!” – William Temple
The reason for this article today is to encourage each and every one of you. Reach deep inside. Reflect. Consider what it is you want and need in order to grow your business – in order to grow yourself – in order to best serve the people you want to serve with your gifts and talents.
Recognize that you cannot do it alone. Commit to improving your ‘asking’ skills – and watch the difference in makes. It really is those who ask the questions who grow and succeed.