Who do you admire?

Do you have a hero?

This may sound silly, but I’m not talking about fictional superheroes here. For grownups who want to accomplish career, philanthropic or other goals, having a hero can be useful.

Real people, in the real world, that make you think, “Wow! They’re fabulous.”

Who comes to mind for you?

For me, one of them is Cindy Gallop. She’s a true pioneer who is not afraid to attack the status quo, from sex tech innovation to inclusive hiring practices. I imagine the kind of asks she makes aren’t just big, but paradigm-shifting. She blatantly challenges the way her askees see the world. In order to do that, she really must be committed to and in love with her mission. As she frequently says,

"You will never own the future if you care what people think."

When I began building Ask LIke An Auctioneer, a friend said to me, "Their confusion isn't an invalidation of your vision." No matter what one (or many) people think, when you make an ask, getting a “No” is not an invalidation of your vision, your goals and especially your worthiness.

Think about who you admire.

What kind of asks did they have to make to get to that level of impact and inspiration?

How can you use these observations to move yourself closer to your goals?

Remember, too, that they are just people, like you and me, who overcame obstacles to get to where they are today.

If you are letting obstacles keep you from reaching your goals, discover how to break free and ask big in under an hour, right here.

3 reasons getting more isn’t greed

Women frequently struggle with the idea of asking for more and getting it. Not because they don’t really want more, but because they don’t want to be viewed as a greedy person.

So let’s address this so you can get more without feeling greedy. Here are 3 reasons why getting more isn’t greed:

1. You have goals.

When you’re asking for more, the purpose is to move you closer to your goals. You’re not just asking to grab whatever you can, everywhere you can, and being selfish. When you are crafting an Ask, it’s to impact your greater goals and often those goals have a positive ripple effect that emanates through family and community. Your children may want to do extracurricular activities or you may want to support a local charity effort. You having more means you can build up everyone around you.

2. You’re allowed to have more.

That’s it and that’s all. Having more doesn’t need to be classified as greed. You are entitled to want and get more.

3. You aren’t taking away from someone else. 

Asking for more and getting more doesn’t mean by default that you are taking away from someone else or that you’re gouging somebody. It simply means you’re striving for an equilibrium between the goals you want and what someone will pay. Don’t assume asking for more is hurting somebody. It’s not. Truthfully, you’re simply achieving a perfect balance of requesting and receiving a yes, which benefits both parties.

If you’re holding back asking for what you want because you’re worried about seeming greedy, you can let that idea go. Reaching for your goals is a normal and acceptable action to take.

Inquiry: Do I feel like what I want is greedy, or will be perceived as greedy? Am I truly being greedy, or just achievement-oriented?

If discovering the true power of asking would benefit your organization, you can book a half-day workshop or keynote with me at your next event.  Find out how.

Have expectations, but don’t manage them

Do you have a tendency to shrink your desires so they feel “reasonable”?

Going for the easy win seems like the right thing to do. But is it really?

I got this question from a group coaching call last week:

“How do I manage my expectations?”

My answer?

Don’t!

Here’s why:

When you manage your expectations, you tend to lower them. You carve it down to a gentler version and lowball yourself.

Don’t talk yourself out of what you really want. You can and should have expectations. And be willing to fight for them and make them a priority.

But that means you’ll have to be willing to be disappointed. Sorry, but that is a part of the process.

I can offer you three tips to help take the sting out when you do get a no:

1. Your market is bigger than the room.

You may be having a negotiation with someone or an organization and, in that moment, it feels like that’s all there is. Trust me, there’s more. The market for your talent and what you are bringing to the world is WAY bigger than one conversation. In auctioneering, when I can’t sell something for the desired amount, it’s taken off the floor and sold later. A new audience has a new context. You can do the same with your Ask.

2. Your worth is not what’s being rejected. 

When you get a no, it’s a measure of VALUE for your offer. It’s not an absolute measure of your worth. If you interpret every no or tough situation as a signal of low worth, you’d never leave the house. YOU ARE WORTHY! How someone else sees your value doesn’t define your worth.

3. Have a plan. 

If you know what YOU’RE gonna do when or if you get a NO, you won’t feel like you hit a brick wall. You know what to do in the face of this stumbling block. And that lends you power and confidence. You’re still in control and steering the conversation because you prepared ahead of time.

Inquiry: Am I managing my expectations when I really want to be shooting for the stars?

I address these questions and so much more on my weekly Q&A on Instagram and now on YouTube. Follow me and send me your questions — either by commenting here or shooting me an email.

3 things asking is not

Have you ever seen a toddler at the store asking for candy?

It’s pretty amusing to watch.

At first, they boldly ask with no hesitation, which is great, but the toddler gets told “no” and things go downhill fast. They have no bargaining chips. They can only move on to a tantrum.

Sometimes we are impatient, too. I know that’s often true for me. But we can’t go the way of the toddler. In the following paragraphs, I’ll reveal how you can craft an Ask with amazing, potential, power and confidence by explaining 3 things Asking is not. No tantrum required.

1. Asking is not a demand.

Even if you’re asking really big, it’s a request. Respect the Ask and treat it as a request. The energy and intention behind the Ask, while solid, direct and clear, is a solicitation put forth with curiosity about the response.

In the world of auctioneering, when I’m on stage auctioning an item or getting a donation, I’m asking and waiting to see how the audience responds. Then I reply with my next Ask. An Ask is a dance, NOT a demand.

2. Asking is not one-sided.

For your Ask to be a request, which we just said it should be, there needs to be “shared purpose.” The setup for your Ask should be rooted in your desire as well as theirs.

In order to craft a mutually beneficial Ask, homework must be done. The purpose of your Ask should have a reason, not just for you, but also for the person to whom you are making the request.

Line up your Asks with your audience’s values, desires and goals. You’ll need to employ empathy to analyze this from their perspective, rather than just yours.

In fundraising auctioneering the people in attendance know why they are there. They’ve already identified as someone interested in the cause. They can live their values through buying a ticket, making a donation or bidding on auction items. The audience at a fundraising event has already been nurtured and curated beforehand — you should do that, too.

This means you do the work to line up values or mission with the person or organization you’re Asking so your request is not a huge mental jump for them. Your Ask should be in alignment with where they are already headed in their mind.

This doesn’t mean you Ask for less, but you don’t want to come at someone from left field with an Ask that only makes sense from your perspective and not theirs. In this way, if you get a “no,” it’s not an end to the conversation, but simply a matter of assessing amounts and details.

3. Asking is not a request without rapport. 

In auctioneering, the audience has already aligned with the charity, but they still need to connect with me, even though I’m representing the charity. I have to do a little work to build rapport so they feel at least somewhat in a relationship with me.

You want to do the same before you make an important Ask. It may require weeks of nurturing and building a relationship, or it may be a much smaller investment of time. Whatever the case may be, rapport is essential to making a request.

Inquiry: How can I create an Ask using a request, rapport and shared values?

If you haven’t already, get my 5 must answer questions that will help you prepare for you next Ask.

Three signs you’re ready

There are times in our careers when Asking big matters most. But how do you know it’s time to focus on it as a success strategy and a skill to develop?

Women come to Ask LIke an Auctioneer when they have three things going on — all signs they’re ready to remove the gloves, take the risks and reap the rewards of the courageous kind of Asking I teach.

These might give you a clue it’s time to put Asking in your toolkit and use it to action your plans and accelerate your goals.

Here are the three signs you’re ready to get good at Asking big:

1. You’re getting both clear AND honest about your goals.

We aren't always crystal clear about our goals and getting there often requires some real honesty with ourselves. If you’re noticing that your next set of goals are starting to shape up and that you are, in fact, being honest with yourself about what you REALLY want, it may be time to get good at Asking.

2. You’re feeling the itch to level up in you career or business.

Sometimes we work along in our careers, executing against goals, doing the work, cruising along at a rhythm and a pace that feels… normal. And then something changes and we want more. We want to stretch more, take on more and level up across the board in our career and professional or financial pursuits. And we need help. It can start as a whisper and then grow into a roar so loud we’re willing to challenge the status quo to get to our next level. If you’re hearing that whisper, it might be time to get good at Asking.

3. You’re holding back.

Are you noticing you hold back when you go to negotiate for yourself, whether for money or opportunities? Even just a little? Or maybe your version of holding back is just not asking at all, even though you want to. Yes, this is a sign — in combination with the others I’ve mentioned already — that it’s time to face the music and get good at Asking.

Finding the courage to Ask for what you really want puts you in control of your career and helps you confidently accelerate getting to your goals. And isn’t that what we all want?

If you want that, too, maybe it’s time to get good at Asking. And it can start today.

Are you ready to get started?

You can jumpstart your courage by grabbing my 5 Tips to Ignite the Power of Asking right now.

Or you can take my short, fun and affordable 4-module online course, Welcome to the ZOFO — it’s 57 minutes that will change the way you Ask forever.