When you work for several years (or a few decades) in a business, things can get a little…boring. Doing the same thing with the same type of people in the same way over and over again just gets stale after a while. That’s what happened for me.
Don’t get me wrong, I still LOVE what I do. Brand is still absolutely my passion. I just feel a need to do it differently these days.
A few months ago, my wheels began turning and I spent some time reflecting on where I’ve been and where I want to go in life’s next chapter with my career. As I considered what direction I wanted to point my business in, I realized that my perspective had shifted significantly. And so, I began working that new perspective into my business from the bottom up.
My new Brand School is the product of this change. It speaks directly to my desire to help more people navigate the muddy waters surrounding branding than I ever could through my previous one-on-one platform. It’s filled with loads of amazing content on building a brand and walks you through step-by-step how the big names do it.
I didn’t stop there though. I wanted to give my students more. I wanted them to have access to some of the most brilliant minds I know (and some I don’t!) to learn what it’s really like to build and maintain a successful brand. So, I began an interview series with my “brand crushes”, those brands that excite me and cause me to share my love for them all over social media.
Having worked with a wide range of industries, I have a broad network of successful and distinguished brand ambassadors. Giddy with the concept of my “brand crush” series, the reality of asking these individuals to set aside time to chat with me was daunting. Yet in my 50 years on this earth, one of the most important things I have learned is that you just have to ask!
Getting a “Yes” isn’t always easy. 9 times out of 10 you must be persistent or creative and often you have to work really hard to get it. But, if you don’t ask, you’re pretty much guaranteeing yourself a “no”. You have to take that plunge, be brave enough to ask, and be prepared to accept the answer graciously, regardless of the answer.
Asking for help can be tough because it is about opening up and sharing. However, the rewards can be priceless. Showing your vulnerability can deepen the relationships you have with other people, building trust and forming stronger bonds.
While asking isn’t always a piece of cake, there are some things you can do to simplify it and increase your chances of getting a “Yes”. For example, if you make it easy for others by being clear on what you need help with, the likelihood of getting that help is increased exponentially.
Often you will get a much more positive response if you ask for something concrete. Asking, “could we meet up for an hour and discuss how I could improve my marketing?” is more specific and much easier to say “Yes” to than, “I don’t know how to make my business successful. Can you help?”
I reached out to my list of brand crushes with a dedicated “ask” in mind, an hour of their time with predetermined questions and details around what the interview was being used for. I also made sure to explain why I was in need of their help. People are more apt to say “Yes” if they feel your passion or relate to your story. If you are compelling and honest, you will be amazed at how often individuals will say “Yes, sure I can help you out (offer my time, share my thoughts…)”
Once you get the “Yes”, be sure to offer to reciprocate and agree to assist them in some manner whether it be by networking, brainstorming, or giving of your time or expertise. Giving and receiving are companions that take turns throughout our lives, and we all get a chance to be on both sides of the exchange from time to time.
It is when I have taken the opportunity to “ask” for help around a business dilemma or pursuit that I have found new supporters on my side, fighting for my cause, who genuinely look forward to seeing me succeed. This is the case with the “brand crush” interviews that can now be found inside my Brand School course.
What will you “ask” for this week to help move your business forward?