Three signs you may be leaving money and opportunity on the table

Have you ever been out shopping and found a lovely pair of shoes you must have?

You want to make your purchase with cash.

Let’s say your total cost is $70 and you give the cashier a $100 bill.

Do you grab your shoes and go, or do you wait for the cashier to return your change?

You get your $30 back, of course. You don’t just leave your money on the counter.

But that’s exactly what you may be doing in your professional life…

So how do you know if you’re walking away from money and opportunity that can be yours?

I’d like to share 3 warning situations that scream, “You’re leaving money!”

1. In talks about money, you only aim for a yes:

If you’re in money negotiations of any kind, and you find you’re getting a “yes” right away, this is a sign of not getting all that’s available to you. While it seems like a good thing to get a “yes,” unfortunately you probably aren’t getting all you can.

I had a colleague reach out to me recently prior to a meeting where money was part of the conversation. I coached her to make a bigger Ask, first of all. After the meeting, she told me excitedly that she got a “no.” That sounds backwards to you, maybe, but let me explain the perspective. Now she has the opportunity to have a real conversation and figure out exactly what will be the best price for both parties. I haven’t heard yet, but I’m confident she will get more than what she would have if she went with a lower offer.

2. You’re Asking only at an ordained time:

Quarterly reviews and contract renegotiation are times when you are given an opening to make an Ask that you want. But sometimes you can make an Ask out of the blue. You could be passing up lots of great opportunities by not speaking up. Look for ways to move you forward. It doesn’t matter if there’s a preset time allocated to make an Ask. Act according to your timetable, not someone else’s.

3. You are holding back:

A natural inclination is to scale back an Ask. You want to seem less demanding. You want to soften. But you don’t have to do that! You can be bold. You have every right to try to get what you want and deserve. All you have to do is decide, step into your power and make that Ask.

Inquiry: Do any of these three sound like me? And if so, do I want to do something about it?

Ditch the puppet show and find your flow

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt awkward or uncomfortable?

Of course, looking back afterward, you can see how you could have handled things differently, but in the moment, an alternative was not obvious. Let me give you a simple example to ponder.

I attended a speech some time ago, where a very tall man was the presenter. As he took the stage, he was provided a microphone and a stool. I watched as he hunkered down to sit on the stool, then switched to leaning. He continued to slouch and drape and fidget with the stool the entire time he was talking. It wasn’t great for him and it was, unfortunately, distracting to the audience also.

I asked him afterward why he kept messing with the stool, which clearly did not fit with his very tall stature. He said, “I don’t know. It was there. I thought I had to use it.”

How much of your life are you spending doing something just because you think you should?

At times we are plodding along and doing what we think we are supposed to, without contemplating whether it’s truly the best fit.

I’ve been doing the same thing myself. I thought I needed to do my video blog in a certain fancy and consistent setting. I got the impression it’s what I was “supposed to do.” Surely there is a group of successful people who have done it in that way.

But when I stepped back and evaluated how I’ve been feeling about the videos, I noticed I felt too constrained in the space. The ideas and thoughts weren’t flowing as well as when the initial concept took shape in my head. I don’t want to feel like I’m a puppet on a little stage. I want you to get the most out of our time together and that includes a transfer of energy from me to you that I feel was lacking.

So, now that I’ve realized this, I’m giving myself permission to do as I please — to align how I work with who I am. I know I can provide more value working in a way that feels more fluid. I don’t want to sit at that desk anymore. I want to capture the ideas on the fly, as they come to me. I can bring you along wherever I am in the world and when the mood strikes me. It’ll be better for both of us.

So, how about you?

Are you continuing to do unaligned things without considering other options?

Livin’ la vida ZOFO

What the heck is the ZOFO?

It stands for the Zone of Freaking Out. You’ll find yourself in the ZOFO when the Ask you’re about to make feels so big it makes you freak out. It’s the scary place most of us tend to avoid like the plague.

The important thing to understand is that the potential and power of your Ask lives in the ZOFO. A big Ask means you don’t know if you’ll get a yes because you’re pushing the boundaries to see what you can really get. With a big Ask, you feel pretty sure you aren’t leaving money on the table.

Imagine you decide to take a spontaneous trip. You found a great deal on a flight or a girlfriend convinced you at the last minute to just take off for a few days. You’ve got no plan beyond getting off the plane in a new location. You’re in the unknown.

In the unknown exists a feeling of excitement and adventure. That’s where discovery can happen. Discovery allows you to maximize the potential of your adventure. Maybe you decide to have dinner at a rather questionable, hole-in-the-wall restaurant and it turns out to be one of the best meals you ever had.

That’s what the ZOFO is.

You’re not exactly sure what the next moment will reveal, then BOOM, magic happens!

The ZOFO is where you can get a yes to an Ask you really didn’t think was possible. But it’s ONLY possible when you’re willing to embrace the ZOFO, going into the space of the unknown. Great things can happen for you there.

Inquiry: Looking back on your life and career, what was one big Ask that you made that brought you something surprising? Also, reflect on how great that experience felt and what you could ask for now. Share your answer with me on Instagram if you want.

I’m going to be giving away some FREE Jump Start speed coaching sessions soon and the only way to get a chance to win is to get on my email list. Text the word “Ask” to 66866 to join right now. As you know, I think and talk very fast, which means I can accomplish a ton spending just a little time with you. You could have an amazing breakthrough!

Flip the script on your value

“Know your value” or “know your worth” is common phrasing when talking salary and career moves.

But do you really?

Have you actually CHALLENGED your own concept of personal value?

Likely not. It can be scary to push the envelope. We get all this mental chatter like:

Am I good enough?

Do I deserve that much money?

Will people think I’m greedy?

What if I can’t deliver at that level?

But all this internal dialogue means little to nothing in reality.

Maybe it’s time you upgraded what you think your value is…

How?

By making bigger Asks and seeing what you get — in real life, not in your head. After all, confidence comes from action. You can’t think yourself more confident. But you sure can feel much more empowered by pounding the pavement and getting feedback from other people.

This is the only real way to discover what the market deems appropriate, instead of sticking with your own assumptions. Your own assumptions are probably a comfy place to hang out, but those ideas may not be serving you very well in reaching your goals.

If you feel around by Asking, the edges of your current value will come clear. What better way to know! And don’t just take one opinion as fact, either. Investigate and see what’s out there for you.

You can know your value, but regularly challenge it, too. You then have the chance to upgrade yourself, your income, your role and your impact.

Inquiry: When was the last time you challenged what you thought your value was? Is it time to do it again?

If you need a bit more coaching to help you get moving on this, you can get my 5 Tips To Rev Up Your Courage right now. Go make some great stuff happen for you!

Skyrocket your confidence with one simple question

When I speak with women about using Asking to help reach financial and career goals, there’s one thing I hear over and over: I want the confidence to go for it.

Building a plan that gives you the confidence you need to go in strong and stay centered involves many things. Focus on what YOU need and do not get swept into the anxiety of the Ask so much that you end up either 1) not asking at all or, 2) giving away the farm.

You plan the amount, the when and your reserve. You plan out the increments you’ll use in your negotiation. You build the rationale for your Ask. You clarify where you and your audience are aligned and misaligned and close the gap with a great story. You pick the right outfit to wear to the meeting. You design and redesign your email signature. You draft and re-draft the email, but you still haven’t pulled the trigger. You just can’t quite find that THING that helps you walk into the conversation knowing you can handle whatever happens. Why?

Because you haven't answered this question yet:

What will YOU do if you get a NO?

Answer that and you will have the confidence you need to push the button. You can show up with your head held high and the courage you need to speak that Ask that means so much.

Why does this question matter so much?

It matters because when you know the answer, you know you’ll survive a NO. You can see beyond the high stakes moment and see your other options. You can draw power from knowing that THIS no is just ONE of the steps along your path toward your purpose or big goal in the sky. When you have a contingency plan mapped out, you’re not trapped by the idea of getting a no. Sure, you’ll be disappointed, but not crushed. Because you know your next step. And from there? Boom! You have the confidence you need to take that risk.

And if you need a few more tips to get you going on your journey to becoming a Master at Asking, you can get my 5 tips to rev up your courage right here.