You have not because you ask not.

We hear it so often that we can easily brush it off as cliche. But cliches are often true. Think about it: how often do you complain about something that you had the opportunity to change by simply asking.

•You didn’t get that raise? Well, did you ask for what you deserve?
•The person who came in after you got the last fancy (fill-in-the-blank) that you REALLY wanted, but there weren’t any on the shelf? Did you find a store representative and ask if there were any in the back?
•The barista made you the wrong drink and now you are going to be grumpy all day? Did you speak up and ask him to make you a new drink? (You might even get a “drink on us” for your next visit.)

So many times people complain about things like not getting paid enough, as if it’s their boss’ fault. Or complain that they got swindled out of the doodad by the guy who was behind them inline, or that their drink is wrong and it’s the barista’s fault. Maybe the barista did make a mistake, but if you didn’t ask him to remake it, the only person to blame is yourself.

Here’s the thing: if you got a mocha, but you ordered a carmel mocha, what do you have to lose by asking for the carmel mocha? Even if the store manager is a jerk and he says, “Sorry, pal. Can’t you see I’ve got 30 people in line out the door?”, you still have the mocha. And the chances are that the barista will apologize profusely, make you the carmel mocha, and send you on your way. Now what are you going to do with 2 drinks? You are going to make someone’s day at your office by giving her that mocha.

What about just asking on a larger scale? You’d be surprised at what people will agree to for no other reason than the fact that they hadn’t thought of it until you asked. Example: a couple of years ago I threw a huge party to celebrate finishing grad school at a funky vintage boutique in Midtown called Bows & Arrows.

Would you ever think of asking a funky vintage boutique to let you host a party there? Why not? All I did was ask the store owners, and they said yes.

2 thoughts on “Risk-taking: It never hurts to ask

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