“Is there anything you can’t do?” Great question!
This morning, I apparently can’t order coffee properly. I was heading to my first meeting and stopped at my favorite place for coffee. I always order the same thing: a venti flat white with sugar-free vanilla and soy. I ordered, but I noticed on the screen it read venti flat white with sugar-free vanilla. No mention of the soy.
Because I am who I am, I mentioned it. “Did you get the soy?” The barista responded with a reassuring “yes” but, as is my nature, I was skeptical. Sure enough, when I got to the window, I was handed a venti flat white with sugar-free vanilla and regular milk. So, I handed it back.
He brought me back a venti flat white with regular vanilla and soy milk. I took a deep breath and handed it back again, this time certain that I was going to get more than just sugar-free vanilla and soy in my coffee. “Oh,” he said, “you wanted sugar-free vanilla AND soy!” Bless his heart.
Sometimes you don’t get what you ask for, but you never get what you don’t ask for. People who are successful have asked for a lot. They’ve worked for a lot and they’ve never believed that they couldn’t do what they set out to do. They sometimes got half of what they asked for and they didn’t settle. My point is, don’t settle. Send that coffee back! Still not what you asked for? Try again.
If your life or career isn’t what you want, keep hustling. Hustle when other people slack. Work when they stop. Keep working. Keep asking. Take the no’s and almost’s and turn them into something beautiful. People won’t always understand what you’re asking for. People won’t always WANT to give you what you’re after and people won’t always BE ABLE to give you what you need. But that’s okay.
Asking for something does not mean dreaming about how you want things to be. It’s not asking someone to hand you anything. Instead, it’s asking for opportunities. Opportunities to work hard. Opportunities to prove yourself.
I love the quote by Thomas Edison that says, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” You don’t ask for talent, you develop it, you market it, you build your brand, and then you enjoy what you have earned.
My Granddo, with an 8th grade education, taught me more about business than any college course I’ve ever taken. She loved me to my potential. She taught me how to run a business before I ever dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur. She worked on her feet from daybreak to dark to make her business successful. I knew from the minute I decided to go into business for myself that it would not be easy. I had no false illusions of simplicity. She showed me truth and I was prepared because she prepared me.
I learned early on that if I make 50 calls and 49 of them are no’s, it’s not that bad. I only need one yes. If I secure four keynote speeches when I’ve asked for 100, my bills are paid. Next time, I’ll ask for 200 and I’ll secure eight. It will be a great year. If I didn’t ask at all, I’d be broke. As it is, I’ll continue to make decisions when other people hesitate. I’ll take risks where I can afford to take them and I’ll get most of what I ask for. That’s business and that’s life.
Never be afraid to ask for what you’re not afraid to work for. You can have success in whatever way you define it. You can have healthy relationships. You can have a fulfilling career doing what you love. You can even have sugar-free vanilla AND soy milk in your coffee. Get what you ask for and don’t settle for less.