No, it’s not wishing for it.
About three months ago my marketing team at Launchpeer had a great idea. Content marketing is huge for us and a member of my team thought having a big event would give us the ability to reach out to our target market while also leveraging influencers who can speak at the event.
There was one problem; me.
Influencers? Who the heck would want to speak at our event. Besides, we never held an event, and most of these people probably never even heard of us. It was a valid concern so I did what any good bootstrapped founder would do. I told my marketing team we would do it if we could validate the idea.
My team and I promptly created a wishlist of influencers, leaning heavily toward the ‘wish’. Here was our shortlist:
- Chris Savage of Wistia
- Laura Roeder of Meet Edgar
- Andrew Werner of Mixergy
- Mark Rockefeller of Streetshares
- Rick Mulready (Facebook Guru)
- Jason Fried of Basecamp
After making the full list I thought there was no way we’d be able to pull that off. No way these people would set aside time to be interviewed by someone on my team, a team they’ve never heard of, without getting paid, and with no substantial benefit to them or their business.
But I asked.
I sent a cold email to our entire wishlist of speakers. I remember before I sent the email, I stared at it for a minute and thought “am I really doing this?” I was so afraid of rejection that I almost didn’t click send. I was really close to just cancelling the event and telling the marketing team to find some other tactic we could do instead because this was never going to work.
Despite these fears I clicked send. Here’s the email I used and stared at for hours before finally shooting it off:
I sent the email at close to midnight, with it being scheduled to go out the next day at 8am, mostly because at that point I wanted to close my computer and forget about it.
The next morning I got into work around 9am and already had the top 5 people on our wishlist respond saying yes.
So what was the trick here? Just asking.
There was nothing special about me, my company, our event, the email. The only difference between getting what we wanted and not was asking.
Don’t Let Fear Stop You
There are times in our lives when we need or want something.
The biggest difference between where you are today and where you want to be is asking for it.
I find this is the biggest differentiator between entrepreneurs who are successful, or will be, and entrepreneurs who are really just going through the motions.
Want to meet a specific investor? Ask someone for an intro. Want a testimonial for your product or service? Ask your customer for one. Want to get awesome speakers for an event? Write them and ask.
Don’t let fear paralyze you into inaction.
That’s the real reason we often don’t ask for what we want. We make the internal decision that it’s scarier to ask and be told no than to never ask at all.
Fear is normal. It’s part of our every day lives, and it’s something that’s helped us survive as a species for generations. We have to live with it, but we don’t have to let it control us.
As you go about your day making decisions for your business, ask yourself if you’re choosing to do something, or not do something, out of fear or out of rational thinking. Are you not asking for something because you’re afraid of an answer that may never come? You’ll probably find, like I did, that the only thing getting in your way is you.