If you ask, you shall receive

If you ask, you shall receive

If you don’t ask you surely don’t get… It’s an age-old adage, and one that almost always prevails.

Did you know? According to multiple sources on the Internet, the average amount of remotely conscious decisions an adult makes each day equals about 35,000. Researchers at Cornell* found that people make an average of 226.7 decisions about food alone.

The amount of decisions and choices we make each day is hard to fathom. The good news is the people around you and circumstances in your life aid you in making those decisions. However, people forget the power of the “ask”. I personally struggle with asking for support myself. Asking for support is something that I’ve been working on.

Recently, I took my own advice and reached out to a friend. He’s not a close friend but rather someone I speak to a few times a year. I admire how he lives his life and I trust his judgment around business and leadership.

I simply crafted an email outlining my request. I made it very clear that I appreciated his time and would accommodate his schedule. I want to add that this person is very busy traveling, speaking and consulting with some of the biggest brands in the world. I truly value this person’s time!

What happened next taught me a great deal.

After completing my email and pressing send from my inbox, I felt both relieved and anxious. Relieved that I “asked” and “anxious” because I know how busy people’s lives are, specifically my friend. Shockingly, exactly 6 minutes later I received this response:

 

 

Please book a 30 min call for Tony & I to discuss below.

Tony – Reach out any time – and we need to get you over this hurdle of asking for help – anyone who’s ever gotten anywhere has had help from others – you’ll have your time to give back later & now too. 

 

 

Needless to say, the call was awesome and the insights were great as expected. The lessons I learned are:

  1. Those who ask, get something in return
  2. Failure to ask gets you nothing
  3. Reach out to your networks, they are an email or call away
  4. Make time for others and others will make time for you
  5. You’ll have time to give back today and tomorrow if needed
  6. People genuinely want to help others
  7. Nobody I know has ever said, “I have no time”
  8. Anyone who’s gotten anywhere has had help from others

All the lessons above are great, but the last one for me hit home the most. Anyone who’s gotten anywhere has had help from others. This phrase really touched me, and has me thinking about the young Steve jobs. When Steve Jobs was a kid, he grew up in Mountain View.  HP was right around the corner and at the time was being run by Bill Hewlett, one of its co-founders.

To quote the HP website:

When he was in eighth grade, Steve Jobs decided to build a frequency counter for a school project and needed parts. Someone suggested that he call Bill Hewlett. Finding a William Hewlett in the telephone book, the 12-year-old Jobs called and asked, “Is this the Bill Hewlett of Hewlett-Packard?” “Yes,” said Bill. Jobs made his request. Bill spent some time talking to him about his project. Several days later, Jobs went to HP and picked up a bag full of parts that Bill had put together for him. Subsequently, Jobs landed a summer job at HP. He later went on to co-found Apple Computer. 

See Steve recall his story:

Ask and you too shall receive… Remember be there for others and others will be there for you!

Happy Asking!

*Wansink, Brian and Jeffrey Sobal (2007), “Mindless Eating: The 200 Daily Food Decisions We Overlook,” Environment and Behavior 39:1, 106-123


Tony Gareri

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