good life with kenzi and cassandra
Part of cultivating a good life is having the courage to just ask.
As small business owners on social media, we often are asked how we have grown our business and gotten to the point we are at. When asked this question, I often think of the long hours, the persistence, and the lucky breaks. And then I remember that those “lucky breaks” aren’t really all that lucky. In fact, most of them included one simple thing: us asking for something.
It is so easy to get into the mindset that good things can and will come to us. We love to hear success stories of that actor getting discovered while working as a waiter, but the reality is, that doesn’t happen to most people. And potentially the only thing standing between you and a huge opportunity is just having the courage to ask for it.
And I say courage because I know how scary it can be to muster up the confidence to ask someone for something, whether that is a business opportunity or a personal favor. Because let’s face it, we are all afraid of rejection. Maybe it all stems back to that cute boy in high school that we were too afraid to ask to the Sadie Hawkins dance, but in reality, what is really the worst thing that can happen? The worst is that they say no and you move on.
Now I know that “no” could feel devastating in the moment, especially if it is something that you really want or have been working towards. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t worthwhile to ask. A “no” may mean “not right now” or it may mean “not ever,” but either answer is valuable. Asking is a way of progressing. And while it is important to prepare, work hard, and find the right time to ask, at some point, there really is no moving forward until you have the courage to be vulnerable and ask the tough questions:
“Will you collaborate with us?”
“Will you invest in us?”
“Would you like to go on a date?”
“Will you please pick up your socks instead of leaving them on the floor?”
Okay, I know that last one may seem a little silly, especially as I’ve been talking about big opportunities that can come from asking, but this one is important too! Having the courage to ask doesn’t just apply to your career or major life decisions, it also is important to your everyday life. I can’t count the number of times I have heard my parents say, “I’m not a mind reader! You have to tell me what you want!” And how true that is! How does your partner, your parent, your child, your friend know what you want if you don’t have the courage to ask them for it? It is so important to know yourself and your needs and wants, and not feel guilty or ashamed to ask for those things.
In all of this, it is also important to keep in mind that we cannot know the “why” behind every answer we receive. Think about all the times you have said no to someone. In our own experience, we have had to say no to opportunities because we weren’t able to take them on or because the timing wasn’t right. There were no bad feelings towards the person; it simply just wasn’t the right opportunity. I know it can be so easy to assume the worst when we are turned down. I have often found myself thinking that someone disliked me just because they said no. But then I put it into perspective and remember all the other possible reasons that answer may have come about. We must have the courage to ask hard questions but also have the perspective to accept any answer.
And finally, we also must have courage to answer others’ questions. To say no when we need to and say yes when we are scared to! When opportunities do happen to come knocking, consider them carefully. If it doesn’t feel quite right, you have permission to say no! There have been too many times that out of fear of hurting someone’s feelings or missing out, we have said yes when we really shouldn’t have. It is a constant battle, but as we have grown, we have learned more and more the importance of knowing when to say no. And conversely, we have passed on opportunities out of fear when we should have been brave and said yes. Really it all comes down to what is right for YOU.
Oprah once said, “You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.” When we came across that quote two years ago, it immediately resonated with us and ended up being one of our early sign designs.
In order to grow we must work hard, persevere, and ask for what we want. Ask for help, ask to build relationships, ask for opportunities.
What questions will you ask today?
a note from becky
How I LOVE this message! And … how we LOVE our collaboration with Kenzi and Cassandra! This mother-daughter duo is the driving force behind DETAILS2ENJOY, who not only makes our wooden signs but of course they make a whole lot of other signs as well. Plus, they’re just awesome human beings. We are honored to call them our friends and do business with them! And in case you’re wondering … YES, we both pretty much asked each other: “Should we collaborate?” The rest is history.