Personal happiness, fulfillment, creative expression, professional success, and abundant energy is most likely at the top of every entrepreneur's wish list. While no two humans are completely alike, the differences between people are marginal once you look at the big picture of things.
When it comes to succeeding as an entrepreneur, the majority of entrepreneurs struggle with mostly the same things. Often times, you may think your shortcomings are due to a lack of tactical resources or an unknown hack that hasn't been shared with you. I thought this as well when I was feeling stuck with my progress.
As I found out after reading 'The Aladdin Factor' by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, I discovered that my progress was stuck in neutral due to me not asking for what I need and want.
"Just ask" are two magic words that are conceptually elementary in nature but difficult for entrepreneurs to practice.
What happens when you don't ask
If you look at the big picture, most of our perceived pains and frustrations on a daily basis stem from not effectively communicating. You can become flustered with teammates and employees simply because you're not asking for what you need.
Your great startup idea can stay as a mere idea simply by not asking for funding or assistance. Your relationships aren't as enriching and beneficial because you didn't ask for the things that would help you show up better.
Not asking for things has the ability to affect every single facet of an entrepreneurs life. While just asking for what you want and need seems straightforward, there are underlying reasons that prevent entrepreneurs from asking. A few of those reasons are:
1. You don't know what you really need and want.
At one point, my to-do list was jam-packed with activities, but as the months went by and I reviewed my goals, I wasn't making any substantial progress. It wasn't because I was being lazy or procrastinating, it was because I was out-of-touch with what I needed and wanted. I lacked clarity.
In today's world, it's easy to stay busy doing things but yet and still, have no idea why you're doing those things. It's essentially like being in a car driving, but having no destination in mind.
Asking feels difficult when you don't have clarity on what it is you're pursuing. To make asking easier, take some time to be in solitude so you can get in touch with your ultimate end destination. Once you know your destination, it's easier to ask for things because you can see what's missing to get you to that desired destination.
2. You are being controlled by fear.
While this seems like a no-brainer, merely being aware of fear isn't enough. You must know what kind of fear so you can handle it appropriately. Much like a chameleon can blend into its environment by adjusting a layer of special cells nestled within their skin, fear can easily masquerade into numerous identities.
When it comes to fear, it could be avoiding rejection, feeling stupid, being powerless, feeling humiliated, or falling into an endless chain of obligations to name a few. Whatever the reason, it's important to identify it without any judgment. After that, ask yourself why continually until you get to the root cause.
Only then, can you plant a more empowering thought.
3. You have too much pride.
Asking for help or advice can make you feel weak and inadequate (this is what I told myself). Ego can serve as your greatest barrier to getting what you ultimately want.
As I learned, when I let pride get in the way, I only experience more pain and frustration in the long run because it's taking me longer to achieve whatever it is I'm trying to accomplish. A great way to flip this script in your head is to realize the sooner you ask, the quicker the results and benefits will arrive.
Just asking for what you want isn't the easiest of things, but it's a critical ingredient to success because the lone wolf mentality is nothing more than a fairy tale.
Lastly, as philanthropist Percy Ross, know for his Thanks a Million newspaper column says, "You've got to ask! Asking is, in my opinion, the world's most powerful--and neglected--secret to success and happiness."