If you don’t ask, the answer is always “No.”
In this digital age, contacting others has become laughably easy. With a simple social media interaction or an email exchange, you can gain many things. You can make a new online friend, connect with an industry leader, or get free swag from a brand. I’ve done all three simply by asking for what I want.
Recently, I have:
- Won a Cana Rum Bar membership from Gratafy
- Been offered beta access to Say Hello There
- Received a Tonx sample
- Gotten Lyft credit (for myself and for friends)
- Gotten Sidecar credit
- Received information on open positions at interesting, innovative companies which lead to interviews with at least one company
- Been quoted in or contributed to articles on various topics
- Became friends with several very interesting, smart people who I otherwise would have a slim chance of meeting & even eventually met up with them in person
How I did this is straightforward:
- I tweeted the person or brand either a question or a response to a tweet of theirs. For example: the rum bar membership, Sidecar credit, beta access, and articles were all a result of me answering their request for information. In several cases, there were barriers which could’ve stopped me from inquiring further, the rum bar is in L.A. and I live near San Francisco, but I let Gratafy know that and they encouraged me to enter anyways. I’ll probably end up visiting L.A. sometime in the next year (the length of the membership) and when I do, I have someplace fun to go for free.
- Usually, my response is followed up with a request to email the original poster to work out details. I would quickly send off the email with a link to the Twitter conversation for context. In terms of the new friends I’ve made, simply engaging them in discussions of our shared interests has given me invaluable interaction with incredibly interesting people who have introduced new ideas to me.
- Finally, I always make sure to thank the company or person for their response to me. Being grateful and respectful is a way to build healthy, lasting connections, even those that are contained online.
So you want more information about a company’s open positions or to try out a product or to get to know someone whose ideas you admire, what do you do? Just ask.
Originally published December 30, 2013.
Why I’m Not Afraid of Rejection
— What’s the worst that could happen?
You’re Not Trapped
— You have a choice.
How to be Successful just by Improving your Common Routines
— Routines that can change your life, how they work, and how you can improve them.
What’s the worst that could happen?
If your fear of being rejected is preventing you from taking a risk, whether it be career or relationship related, don’t let it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always “No.” And if the answer is “No,” well you’ll just be back in the same place as if you hadn’t asked. So why not risk it?
Whether it is your project proposal getting shut down or a “Thanks for applying, but…” email from a job you want, there are a variety of situations related to work when you can be rejected. This can be discouraging and perhaps you’ll feel like you should give up. Don’t! Just because one time your idea or application wasn’t accepted, doesn’t mean you don’t have something to offer next time. Keep thinking of solutions, keep applying to positions you want, keep taking steps towards what you want. Doing nothing after an initial rejection will never help you succeed, trying again might.
I don’t just mean romantic relationships either, this encompasses potential friendships, networking connections, mentors, and even family. When you feel a connection to someone, naturally you want to pursue it, but sometimes the feeling isn’t mutual. I always try to give the person a semi-graceful way to bow out of exchanging contact information, making someone feel pressured into interacting with you is no way to develop a healthy and worthwhile exchange. Much of the time when someone rejects you, it has nothing to do with you personally. There are often outside influences that result in them severing the relationship between you two. Often there is nothing you could’ve done differently that would have changed their mind. Of course you should acknowledge how this makes you feel, but try to step outside of it as well, put it into perspective and move on. After all, no matter how you felt in the moment, in reality you’ll be fine whether they stick around or not.
Sidenote: Do not employ the same technique of trying again as in the work rejection situation. You need to respect people’s right to not want to connect with you.
What To Do About It
You could get angry, defensive. Or you can turn that negative emotion into something better by accepting what has happened and going forward. In terms of work, re-evaluate what didn’t get your idea accepted and then improve it. In terms of relationships, ask yourself, do you really want to try and pursue having someone in your life who has made it clear they don’t really want to be there? Personally, I prefer to spend my time and attention cultivating meaningful connections with people who value and respect me as much as I do them.
There’s no way around it, being rejected hurts. Your ego gets a little bruised, maybe you question your worth. That pain is what stops many people from even attempting to get what they want. It is up to you not to let it.
You’re Not Trapped
— You have a choice.
Importance of Company Culture Fit
— From the perspective of the individual
On Anxiety: How Changing Your Mindset Makes All the Difference
— What you think about, you bring about.
Turning every day into an adventure through constant curiosity. @curious_heather heatheryamadahosley.com
Updated December 13, 2013
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