And the Answer Is …

No.

Never.

I don’t think so.

Fear of rejection. According to Jack Canfield, it’s what prevents most people from asking questions.

Do you remember being full of questions as a child? Or, watch the small children of your family or friends. They are bubbling over with questions. They have no inhibitions about asking why, why, why, and WHY?

As we grow up, many of us are taught to hold our questions (raise that hand please!). Or well-meaning, but overstressed parents discourage too many questions.

Whatever the reason, fear or conditioning, as adults we often find the simple act of asking difficult.

If you haven’t guessed yet, today’s principle is:

Ask! Ask! Ask!

And as simple as it is, it can be difficult to implement. But thankfully, Jack Canfield offers some tips to get us started in his book The Success Principles.

  1. “Ask as if you expect to get it.” — Expect a yes.
  2. “Assume you can.” — If you assume you can’t, you’ll never even ask.
  3. “Ask someone who can give it to you.” — Make sure you’re asking the right person.
  4. “Be clear and specific.” — Want more money? Here’s a penny. Wait, did you want a million?
  5. “Ask repeatedly.” — Moods and situations change. A “no” one day might be a “yes” the next.

I started practicing this principle at my first Web Writing Intensive. I was terrified to put myself out there, and my inner introvert fought all the way. But what I learned over the course of the three and a half days is you won’t find a safer place to ask questions. Everyone is willing to listen and talk with you.

And now, almost two years later, I still have a community of people I met at that Intensive that provide a safe place to ask questions. It’s been a learning experience as I’ve practiced asking. Today I’m far from a master, but I’ve come to understand the power of asking.

So how can all this asking help you reach your goals in 2013? Make sure it is on your list of new habits to learn and then start asking:

  • A client for a recommendation or referral
  • Your peer group for help on creating that large proposal
  • Family, friends, and fellow writers for feedback on your new website
  • Your dream client for that project you’ve wanted for so long
  • A successful copywriter to be your mentor

A single question could change the course of your career.

But it will never happen if you don’t ask.

So start asking, and share your stories with us here.

Check your inbox tomorrow for another key fundamental principle of success, one that most of us are too good at.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


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Published: January 16, 2013

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