Guest Post by: Tumi Frazier, founder of Tumi Frazier International
Google cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page approached Yahoo and suggested a merger back in 1998 but were told to keep working on their little school project and come back when they had grown up. We’ve heard countless success stories of entrepreneurs who had courage to ask for what they wanted; not just once but many times. These entrepreneurs kept asking until someone said yes to their ideas.
The question is, are women entrepreneurs afraid to ask for what they want or need in business? And what is at the heart of that fear - are they afraid of rejection, afraid of looking desperate, needy or weak? Most of us know how to build and maintain strong networks; yet some of us do not capitalise on them.
It takes a network of people such as business partners, financial partners with resources, peers, the right employees and others to succeed.
The bottom line is that only by learning to leverage relationships will you be able to build a scalable business. After all, what is the worst that can happen if you ask for what you need from your contacts? Think about this for a moment; if the answer is no, then you are no worse off than from where you started. If the answer is yes, then you are better off than where you started; the point is, you have to be willing to take the risk.
Realise that when you do not ask you are rejecting yourself in advance before anyone else has a chance to. You are essentially saying no to opportunities that could add value to your business. As Muhammed Ali so eloquently put it: “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” It doesn’t matter how many rejections you receive; someone, somewhere, someday will say yes.
So, take a risk and ask for what you need.
How do you do it?
- Connect with people willing to share, because it’s of no use to have people with resources or knowledge they are not willing to share.
- Ask as though you expect a positive outcome.
- Ask someone who has authority to make a decision regarding your request.
- Be specific; if it’s money you need then specify the amount.
- Do not give up.
And finally, remember that if you don't ask the answer is always NO!
Tumi Frazier is a South African entrepreneur, professional speaker, author, TV personality, consultant, and founder of Tumi Frazier International, Tumi Leadership Academy, and Tumi Foundation. Tumi is an internationally acclaimed Leadership and Change Management expert who has worked with high profile clients and organizations across Africa, United States and Europe. Tumi has authored 4 books: Courageous Stories of Inspiration; In the Midst of the Storm; Stepping Stones to Success; and Your Moment. Follow Tumi Twitter | LinkedIn
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