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!

Asking like a toddler for amazing impact

I love a toddlers. More than just their little Buddha bellies make them a study in the art of zen. Their curiosity and craving for knowledge is an inspiration. They don’t worry or shy away from confrontation. How so? They honor their own desires wholeheartedly. If it feels important to them, it really is important to them. They do not contemplate. They straight up ask.

As adults, however, the way we often talk about asking is directly opposed to the way we feel about asking. The language you use is powerful, whether it’s uplifting or depressing.

“It doesn’t hurt to ask!” How many times have you heard that?

Really, it doesn’t hurt to ask? That’s a big load of crap! A toddler will pitch a fit if they don’t get what they are asking for because, in a way, yes, it totally does hurt. As adults, we generally don’t feel throwing a tantrum would be an acceptable response, but it may feel warranted. A no is still a big disappointment, even if it’s just asking for candy.

As adults, asking is hard. It’s loaded with potential embarrassment. Getting a no feels like shame or being devalued or, at a minimum, it’s super awkward. So, yes, of course, it can hurt to ask.

Women don’t usually request coaching from me to figure out what they want to ask. Most of the time there’s distinct clarity around what they want. If you’re honest, aren’t you pretty clear on what you want? I thought so. My coaching comes into play to help with figuring out:

“How do I actually ask?”

“How should I phrase it?”

“How do I find the courage to do it?”

The truth is, you really have all the tools you need to make a big ask. Yes, sometimes it’s helpful to have someone in your corner, cheering you on and maybe giving you a gentle jab in the right direction. But you can do it. Like, today you could do it. Here are the steps:

  1. Know what you want

  2. Ask for it

Yes, maybe that’s oversimplified. I’m making it sound too easy, when it’s not. Truthfully, though, that is all you require.

But there is one way in which trying to downplay the process is detrimental. This is another one of those language issues. When you begin the process of asking, do you feel an urge to minimize it, like it’s “oh whatever, doesn’t matter, ho-hum”? You don’t have to do that. In fact, you can own the fact that it matters. Owning it only lends you more control and strength, by being exactly who you are and going 100% for what you want.

I encourage you to strongly consider these three words:

DIGNIFY YOUR DESIRES — just like a toddler. Because that’s what may be missing for you. When you have wants you try to bury, they don’t go away. Those desires are worming their way around your brain, waiting for you to finally acknowledge what you want and deserve. Don’t leave your happiness hanging. You deserve what you want.

Action Item: Journal or contemplate the question, “What is my past experience of asking?”

Now, if you are the type of person who can’t quite seem to make yourself take the toddler-style jump…

…maybe you’d like to feel more prepared,

…or figure out how to be more confident first,

…or make sure your ask is really the right one before making it,

I’d love to help you with all that.

In 53 minutes from now, you can:

  • Get a firm grasp on how to get more of what you want,

  • Know HOW to make your ask, and

  • Understand what’s holding you back so you can move forward.

Jump into the Break Free, Ask Big online course here.

And remember this:

“I always go back to my grandmother’s advice to me…
the first time I fell and hurt myself. She said,
‘Honey, at least falling on your face is a forward movement.’”
—Pat Mitchell, media executive, producer, curator of TEDWomen

The #1 secret to doing big things

On a really hot summer day, a nice dip in the pool can feel incredibly refreshing. But what about that first step?

Where you dip your toe in the water, and it feels UGH, TOO COLD.

You hesitate.

Maybe you sit on the edge for a bit, dipping your feet in, watching the kids act crazy. There’s an elderly woman doing her underwater jog thing, annoyed at the children getting in her way. You can distract yourself for a bit, but you’re still hot, aren’t ya?

You realize you have to take the plunge.

And so you do. And it’s OH SO COLD for a minute.

But then it’s great, isn’t it? Feels invigorating to cool off.

So what did you do to get yourself to take the plunge?

You mustered up a bit of COURAGE. You knew you wouldn’t die. It would only be uncomfortable for a minute, and then you’d be refreshed.

Ladies, the EXACT SAME procedure works for your goals. You will feel hesitant and there will be discomfort. Maybe in the pit of your stomach. But when you make the decision to go for it, you will connect to your inner core of courage that will power you through. You don’t have that, you say? I’m here to tell you that you really do. Courage may be lurking in the background, but it’s ready to step up for you when you require it.

“Being brave is not being unafraid but
feeling the fear and doing it anyway…
When you feel fear, try using it
as a signal that something
really important is about to happen.”
—Gloria Steinem, Co-founder of the Women’s Media Center

Action step: If you need a boost of courage, write out a list of 10 things you’ve accomplished in your life so far. I’m sure you have some truly triumphant moments to reminisce about. Take a bit of time to bask in how that felt. Connect to that energy. And start to feel the “I’ve got this” energy again.

Big Asks require big courage. But big courage does not need to be elusive. Don’t mistake nervousness for a lack of courage.

The simple way to build up your courage is to let the anxious feelings be there, and go ahead with it. If you wait to feel ready, you will be waiting too long.

You don’t have to hold back, be less you or feel shame for wanting more. I think the more we all can learn to ask for what we want, the more we can help pull others up, too.

I hope this was helpful for you today, but this is just a SMALL part of my overall coaching process to help women ask for what they want. You can experience even more connection to your courage in my Break Free, Ask Big course. You can learn:

  • How to quit lowballing yourself

  • How to figure out what stops you

  • Exactly how to break free, even if you feel freaked

Check it out.

I can’t wait to hear what goals you get for yourself!

Peace,

Dia

P.S. Don’t forget to do the action step included in the post today. It’s simple, but effective.

Empower yourself with a big ask

Do you feel like a big Ask makes you want to shrink inside yourself?

Maybe the thought of asking for that raise makes you cringe… even though you know you deserve it.

Do you need to renew a lease? Do you need a supplier to come down on price? Or do you need your kid to clean their room? (Just kidding. The kid’s room is hopeless. Don’t waste time on that one.)

But seriously, these issues will arise in your career more and more as you flourish professionally. A common occurrence is to ignore or delay endlessly, waiting for the “right” time or to feel “ready”. And it ends up being a weight on your shoulders, even when you put it into the back of your mind. It’s still there and you know it. Avoiding it just wears you down.

Newsflash: The time is NOW and YOU ARE READY.

The truth is making a big Ask can be exhilarating. Truly, I wouldn’t lie. Going for what you know you want, even if you get a “no,” will connect you with a powerful confidence.

In my coaching, when I inquire, “Is Asking big energy-producing or energy-depleting?” 100% of the time the answer is energy-producing.

Even in the case of things falling apart! When it becomes obvious that your priorities clash with your audience’s priorities, the experience of courageously Asking for more and standing up for what mattered to you results in confidence, momentum, and more courage.

You, too, can find abundant energy in Asking. With that energy, you can go into your next negotiations more confidently, squarely centered on yourself, so you can stay in control as you negotiate your big Asks. Then, when the time comes for the Ask that’s big enough to put you right in the Zone Of Freaking Out (ZOFO), you have enough energy and momentum to carry you through.

What you’ll find is that making your big ZOFO Ask is not:

  • a death-defying act

  • impossible

  • crazy, even if it feels like it is

Once you embrace the freak-out feeling, the big Ask can be more thrilling than finding your dream shoes for 70% off.  Except it’s a thrill that brings you closer to your goals, ensures you leave nothing on the table, and makes very clear where your best partners, clients, and employers are. It’s the path to truly knowing the potential of every Ask and going for it with no regrets.

After all, how can you know what you can get if you don’t ask?

Peace and Power,

Dia

P.S. Maybe this all sounds great “in theory” and for “those other brave ladies, but not me.” If that’s the case, I’d love for you to dive a little deeper into the details of how to prepare yourself to make a big Ask. You’ll be amazed by what YOU can do. Check it out.

How to be as bold and brave as you want to be

There’s something you want in your business or career right now, isn’t there?

But you’re not asking for it.

Why?

In my coaching conversations, I nudge my clients to ask for what they really want and need to achieve their goals. Usually, it goes something like this:

My client tells me what they want, an Ask. It might feel a bit big and heavy.

I prod them to admit what they actually want, which is even bigger.

They say, “I can’t ask for that!”

”I don’t wanna seem pushy or demanding!”

”I don’t want to:

”…be seen as overly ambitious.”
”…give the impression I’m greedy.”
”…look like I’m full of myself.”
”…make them mad.”

Have any of those — or similar — thoughts crossed your mind? When our mind is feeling fearful or anxious thinking about a big Ask, it can come up with all sorts of excuses and avoidance mechanisms.

But you’ve been twisting yourself into a pretzel to conform to what you think is “expected” or “accepted” for so long, it feels really uncomfortable to entertain your big Asks. No wonder you’re frustrated and stuck!

When you shape your requests to accommodate some imagined reaction or what not to be, you are on the defensive, squeezing into a small, uncomfortable position. Then your Asks come from a very unstable place and the results are less than satisfying.

When you’re honest with yourself about what you truly desire and need to accomplish your goals, you can shape Asks appropriately, unapologetically and with an acceptance that not everyone will say yes or “approve.” You suddenly feel in control and aligned with who you are. From there you start to find the courageous voice you need to make the right Asks: the powerful, brave, and true-to-you Asks that will positively impact your life.

If the idea of asking scares the living daylights out of you, I invite you to let me guide you to gain confidence to make the ask. You can discover your boldness and courage today!