3 things about you that will help you get anything you want

Do you ever wonder what the difference is between someone who seems to be living their dream life and you?

It comes down to one thing.


That person you admire so much, who’s living the high life you wish you had? They had the guts to ask for what they really wanted. You have what it takes too, you just have to ignite it.

Chase what you want like a cheetah after an impala! Does a cheetah hesitate, waffle about and contemplate whether they are deserving? Of course not! They’d starve to death. It’s completely up to you. And let me tell you what I know about you that will help you make the strong, confident choices for your future.

1. You’re never going to ask for something you can’t handle or don’t deserve.

In my 20 years of coaching conversations, I can’t recall a single instance where a woman asked for something:

  • she couldn’t handle

  • she hadn’t earned

  • completely unrealistic

Therefore, the Asks you will make will never be too big. If you’re thinking it, it’s probably already in alignment for you.

2. You know when it’s the right time to make an Ask that matters to you in your career.

As a coach I’m not telling you what you should do. I’m asking if you are ready to ask for something. You know what the when is. You’re going to intuitively make the Asks that matter WHEN they matter.

3. You have everything you need when it’s time to Ask.

I trust you. As a co-active coach, I know you have all it takes within you. You are naturally creative, resourceful and whole. You’re completely capable of crafting a bold Ask for yourself to get what you want. As your coach, I don’t necessarily have answers, but I can develop your own capacity to come up with answers for yourself.

Now that we’ve covered the 3 things about you, let me tell you 3 things I want for you:

1. When it’s time to make an Ask, Ask big enough to honor your work, mission, goals and potential.

Ask big enough to support, reinforce and honor who you are!

2. Use the capacity to know when it’s time to Ask to scan the full scope of your career.

Are there other areas that may be improved with Asking?

3. Understand that the room is big.

If you get a NO and have to walk away because values collide, realize that there are so many other opportunities. If you know that deep within yourself, you can carry the confidence to make your Asks powerfully.

Let’s end the deep, dark secret within women’s world of Asking. We all seem to hide the fact that there’s a ton of hand-wringing going on behind the scenes of Asking for things that matter in our careers and businesses. It’s a universal experience of feeling uncomfortable and frequently unworthy, even though it’s usually far from the truth. Instead, let’s support each other with practical tools to identify and articulate Asks that matter. Let’s make our Asks boldly, courageously and unapologetically.

Inquiry: Is it time to Ask for something that will move me toward my goals?

Have you experienced the painful agony of nervousness and timidness around asking for what you deserve?  If so, you aren’t alone. For many of us, it’s a very scary thing to contemplate going in for a big Ask. And, while I can tell you with absolute certainty that you are deserving, you may still feel held back by your own self doubt. I get it, I really do. If you still feel pretty far away from ready to make a big Ask that’s on your mind, you may want to check this out:

My 5 tips for igniting the power of Asking in your life right now.

Imagine how your life could change if you felt empowered to stride forward boldly for what you want. Aren’t you excited for the possibilities?

How one Ask changed everything: The story of T.H.

The post you’re about to read has the potential to generate amazing results in your life, like:

  • That hefty raise you know you deserve

  • A new promotion you want

  • An incredible partnership that would be mutually beneficial

Whatever it is you are seeking, moving the needle forward is done by asking. I’m sorry, there’s no “easy button,” no tactic that lets you work around it. Sometimes you just have to do the hard stuff to get what you want. And that, dear reader, is why some people get what they want in life, while many others live in quiet desperation. Nobody is going to hand you a winning lottery ticket. You have to take charge and make your own luck.

Instead of talking more about how to do the big scary thing, I’d like to share a brilliant success story. Then you can see for yourself that this stuff really does work!

The story of T is one woman’s quest to change everything with one Ask. Doesn’t that sound exciting? Asking can do the same for you. So let me share with you the things she did to make the most powerful Ask to get herself the best yes she could possibly attain.

T was looking to make a BIG change in her life. She was employed as a lighting engineer for an architecture firm and wanted to transition into real estate. She needed more time to pursue her real estate business.

She was going to ask her employer to drop from a full-time employee to part-time independent contractor status. No biggie, right? Wrong! She was also renegotiating her pay to a significantly higher hourly rate than what she received as a full-time employee.

The stakes felt very high for T, asking for ALL THIS… What if they say no? If they say “Stay as is or go,” T would feel like her future plans were in jeopardy.

These are the perfect conditions for you to decide to shrink your Ask so small you feel assured you’ll get a yes. But it’s not the yes you want or need.

T resisted the urge to shrink her ask. She stayed strong and requested what she truly wanted. Because she remained steady, she ended up with a yes that worked for both parties.

Here’s a breakdown of what T did to pull this off:

  1. She didn’t overexplain her ask. She assumed mutual value. A mistake women often make is feeling the need to lay groundwork that is already well established. Don’t hem and haw and take the energy out of your ask. Get straight to the point.

  2. She jumped into her Zone of Freaking Out. This is a natural feeling when you are asking for something that feels very big.

  3. She mapped out the Ask in detail. This means deep-diving into the details. What am I asking? What are the terms? Hourly rate? Hours? What’s my offer to make the yes easier? What’s my reserve? What if they say no? The ask map is a 360 degree view, covering all the angles so you can feel prepared in any event.

Here’s a follow-up message from T to me after her meeting:

“I used as much of the stuff you gave me as possible. They gave me everything I asked for, even my rate. The rate I asked for was squarely in my Zone of Freaking Out. They said $5 less than what I was going to ask for, so I told them what I was actually going to ask for, and they said, ‘OK, that sounds good.’

So much for the no! I really thought I was in the no range, but it turns out I could have asked for even more. That being said, I did it and it turned out great! Your advice was a huge help. One thing you said that stayed with me is that I didn’t need to sell myself. That was so true. They already had ten years’ proven track record from me and they were so glad I wasn’t quitting.”

Congratulations to T! I’m hoping after sharing this amazing story, I will get to congratulate many more of you this week. I invite you to share your courageous asks with me on social media. I’d love it.

Inquiry: What do you need in order to make a powerful ask?

I hope you can see how this stuff I’m sharing with you really does work. And once you learn it, it becomes addictive. Your life can improve like you wouldn’t believe! This is why clients love paying me for my expertise. But you don’t have to pay thousands of dollars like my corporate clients. I’ve made Welcome to the ZOFO just for you, so you can break free and start asking big. If you need a little extra help, it’ll be just the ticket to get you on the road to your big ask.

The dark side of asking: What if they tell me NO?

A reader inquired how to ask for a raise. She was nervous and didn’t know what to say. It’s totally normal to feel that way, no matter what level you are in your career. Asking for a raise is scary and it’s a request with the potential to get told “no.” But the possibility of a “no” shouldn’t prevent you from making the ask.

I’ve covered in previous blogs the necessity of courage in making an ask. Courage is definitely required. You don’t get to stop there, though. If you are making the kind of asks that I coach women to make, it’s a pretty big, hairy, scary ask. I want you to actually GO FOR THE NO.

Next, after you have the most exhilarating ask crafted, you have to do some soul-searching work to define exactly what will be an acceptable counter offer and what is a no-go for you. When you make a big ask, your goal is to make sure you get the most out of the heart-pounding, stomach-sinking, knee-knocking big ask. I want you to come away knowing that this was a win, even if it was made clear that it’s time to walk away — that you and your audience don’t align.

You must be super clear on what will constitute your yes — the thing you’ll accept that is still aligned to your goals and timeline. If you’ve ever shopped on eBay or been to a live auction, certain items are “reserve.” That means if a minimum bid isn’t met, the item doesn’t get sold. In the same regard, if your minimum requirements can’t be met, you don’t accept the counteroffer. Clearly defining what this looks like for you is key to accessing the courage and confidence you’ll need going into the conversation.

So in the next step of your ask process, courage is required for negotiating. You may get a counter offer. In fact, you SHOULD get a counter offer if you’re following my guidance. Some back and forth should occur at this point to come to a mutually agreeable plan going forward.

Or maybe the best you are offered doesn’t meet your minimum.

If this happens, don’t take it personally.

Think of it as a difference in values — and what you both value — but this is where your preparation and consideration of what is minimally acceptable to you allows you to draw that line in the sand. It’s perfectly OK to say, “No, thanks, I just can’t accept that.” You end up standing up for what’s important to you, which gives you a pretty massive boost in confidence and energy. You do need to have an abundance mentality, though, and know that other opportunities, asks and offers will come your way.

Inquiry: Where do I say yes, when I really mean no? Women, in particular, are notorious for saying yes to too much. Wouldn’t it be great if we all started saying YES to what we really want and NO without feeling guilty?

I know today’s message went deep, detailed and step-by-step, and maybe leaves you feeling a bit naked and afraid.

Like, “That’s great you’re so dang brave, Dia, but that’s not me.”

Asking is just like anything else you want to excel at, though. It takes practice. You can’t expect to become a powerful asker if you don’t take the first step. The desires and goals you have are in your heart and mind for a reason. Do you want to keep living your life ignoring what you truly want? You wouldn’t be here if you did.

If you need more help, you can easily get it with Welcome to the ZOFO where I show you exactly how to quit holding yourself back. You can be ready to rock an ask in just 53 minutes!

You can master asking, even if it seems scary

Daffy Duck has an important lesson to teach you about the art of asking. Let me share an excerpt from Looney Tunes cartoons as an example of how you might feel when asking. The stage is Tina’s workplace, a copy shop, and Daffy Duck wants to ask her to go on a date.

Daffy (No eye contact for approximately infinity): So, uhh, Tina, I was wondering if by any chance you’re not doing anything tonight, which you probably are because you’re not ugly, if for some reason you’re not, would you maybe, possibly, no pressure if you can’t, just wondering, y’know, would you like to go out with me? Maybe. (shy glance towards Tina finally)

Tina: Yeah, I’d love to.

Daffy: Well, you can’t blame a guy for tryin’. (starts to walk away)


Daffy: Really?!

I think that nicely sums up the awkwardness and bumbling inadequacy you may experience when considering something like how to ask for a raise, even if you know with certainty you deserve it. Am I right? Maybe you haven’t put yourself out there with an ask, but feel like you’d be fumbling over words like a cartoon duck if you even tried.

But you don’t have to feel that way AT ALL. You absolutely can master asking for what you want without those feelings. Let me walk you through this.

Three core components are all you need to create powerful outcomes in asking. These key points let you know you are moving toward mastering the art of the ask. From there, you have a success strategy you can use for life.

  1. Have the courage to ask BIG every single time. What I mean by this is asking so big it feels too big. Really, really scary big. Like if you get it, rainbows will shoot out of your ears. The reason I say to do this is twofold. For one, when you ask this way, you don’t have to wonder if you left money on the table. You will know you got as much as you could. Most women I’ve coached lowball themselves like crazy. Let’s put an end to that nonsense right now! Second, the more you can get yourself to do this, the more courageous you can become. It will start to be a part of who you are and you may even start to enjoy asking for things you want.

  2. Have a sense of control going in and coming out of an ask. This means you are steering the conversation. Your hands are on the wheel, not the other person. How great would that be? And what a difference it would make to your confidence if YOU are able to control and guide the conversation instead of the person you are asking. This is a powerful skill.

  3. Speed up your goal-getting. You will know you are gaining mastery of asking when you can tell without a shadow of doubt that your asks are helping you make LARGE leaps forward. Mastery is pretty much the opposite of playing small, so you will be making moves that clearly impact your financial or career trajectory. Mastery also has no room for waffling or procrastinating. Speed is the name of the game!

Now, I realize you likely are not to the point of mastery. We are all on a journey of discovery. I’m sharing this breakdown with you today so that you can develop an understanding of what is involved. You can use this as a measure for reaching your desired outcomes.

Inquiry: Take a moment to consider all three of these mastery elements — courage, control and speed. If you had to choose one, which would serve you most right now? I’d love if you’d share your inquiry result with me on social media.

If you think this sounds good, but you’re still stuck and immobilized, you can get more advanced training from me. My introductory online course, Welcome to the ZOFO: Break Free, Ask Big, is a fast, effective way to get you powered up to break free from your blocks. You can be ready to start asking big in 53 minutes. Check it out.

P.S. What was the lesson Daffy Duck taught you? He got the date. So the takeaway is to push forward and make that ask. You can even do it badly. You might still get what you want.

I spy a need for women to ask for more

Would you like a career catapult? A young woman was able to propel her communications coaching career very early on. She’s since spent years working with amazing leaders, helping them tap into their power and move their businesses forward. She uses a sweet little trick she wants to teach YOU, so you can get more of what you want in your professional life.

Yup, indeed, I’m talking about myself, Dia Bondi.

One of the main takeaways I have learned in communications coaching is that you definitely want to gain clarity around exactly what you want. What’s the precise outcome you desire from a talk, presentation or pitch?

From there, the important question to ponder is: What’s the story that supports that outcome? That’s where my professional focus has been — on the story.

You could sit down with a notebook, pondering those two simple but powerful questions and make great progress already.

And now I’m shifitng my focus to the first question: What do you want?

I want you to understand where I’m coming from and what my motivation is for the new coaching program I’m launching. Most importantly, I want you to see how I can assist you in asking for more and actually getting it if you’re not already doing that in your life right now.

Mission Possible: One Million Empowered Women

Two specific items have led to the birth of this new venture:

1) Have you heard of SheEO?

SheEO is a global community of women radically transforming how we finance, support and celebrate female innovators. Becoming a SheEO Activator powerfully impacted my viewpoint. Activators have one main goal in common: they are women who believe in supporting women. Not only is funding awarded, but the community provides a place to ask for what they need to move their business forward. It quickly became obvious to me how big a role learning to make a direct ask really has on the success of their business.

2) Do I hear a bid for more?

The other incredibly impactful experience for me was attending auctioneering school. 100 cowboys and me in St. Louis; what a thing to do! I’m using this skill to do fundraising for non-profits that support women and girls. In this scenario, again, the very precise outcome is defined: the monetary target we want to reach. The story portion is how we make an appeal that makes sense for the audience to respond the way in which we want.

My precise outcome for the Ask Like An Auctioneer project is to help one million women learn to live on their own terms. The definition of “living on your own terms” varies by individual, but the impact is feeling bold and courageous enough to be able to define your desires and actually make the bold asks that get you there.

Ask yourself: Where do I not ask, where I could, to get closer to my goals?

Now that I’ve got you excited about the possibilities, let me drop disappointing news: The Ask Like An Auctioneer complete coaching program is not ready to launch just yet. Sorry, it’s a work in progress. I am dropping serious value right here on the blog for you to action, though.

If you have a need right now to make an ask, however, and could use help formulating the details, you can jump into my introductory course to get the ball rolling. It’s just 53 jam-packed minutes taking you from scared to ask to bold, courageous and inspired to JUST DO IT.

Check out Break Free, Ask Big now!