Are you afraid of hearing the word NO?
Do you avoid asking for help — or asking for anything that could lead to hearing a NO from another human being?
If yes, first and foremost, YOU’RE NOT ALONE.
Most of my biz coaching clients come to me so avoidant of the word ‘no’ that they never ask questions or make offers that could lead to hearing that word.
This coaching quickie episode of That’s What She Said will help you a.) stop fearing the word ‘no,’ and b.) actively celebrate every last rejection you receive.
Start a No Collection.
Your goal is to make SO MANY asks of your fellow humans in the coming week that you collect 3 to 5 no’s along the way.
Starting a No Collection is an easy way of turning a word we tend to fear — ‘no’ — into a celebration of having asked in the first place. (Either you get a yes — WHICH IS FANTASTIC — or a no — which gets added to your collection! See how you win either way, with this one trick?)
Creating a No Collection allows you to assess your needs, ask for support with your most pressing concerns, and collect some help along the way.
By tracking and celebrating each one of the no’s you receive, you become less afraid of hearing no, less afraid of asking for help in general, and less afraid of making offers in your business. (Not everyone will want everything you offer! That’s par for owning and operating an enterprise.)
BUT WHAT WILL I ASK FOR, KRISTEN?
First and foremost: ask for help with invisible labor.
Any and everywhere that you complete tasks no one sees or acknowledges, take time to write those tasks down. Particularly tasks that make you seethe with resentment, that make you feel like you’re wasting your time or send you into despair, or that are in your business but do not require your particular gifts to complete. (For example: an acupuncturist client of mine recently hired an assistant to sterilize instruments, clean session rooms, and launder blankets and towels between appointments. Necessary work? Yes. Necessary work for the person who owns the business to complete? Not at all.)
If you’re seething with resentment about any tasks on your list, start there with asking for help! It can be paid help, bartered help, free help, family help, or friend help! The point is to ASK FOR HELP.
WHAT ELSE CAN I ASK FOR HELP WITH, KRISTEN?
Anything at all. Might I recommend support of some kind?
You can ask your friend to look over your new business product/service sales page and provide feedback about it.
Ask a colleague to hire you.
Ask to hire a colleague!
Ask for help with an area of business you find sticky or tricky: accounting, bookkeeping, graphic design, social media management, and/or consistent communication with your audience are places I’ve found that most business owners need support.
Ask for accountability around completing ________ [a task you’ve been avoiding for weeks/months/years/since Obama was in office].
As a business owner, I can 100% guarantee that you need help with something (or many somethings) at this moment.
I can also guarantee that specific requests for the support you need are the only way to get what you need, ’cause a money fairy or accounting fairy or structured time fairy is not going to drop out of the sky and makeover your life this afternoon.
👉🏻Should you need ALL THE HELP — hop on my KK on Tap biz coaching waitlist! When biz coaching spots open, you’ll be the first to know, and you’ll have me in your court for one full year. All the magic goes down online, so you can work with me from anywhere in the world!
Pro tip: specificity in your ask makes it easier for peeps to say yes or no.
Asking for an hour-long exploratory conversation is better than asking someone to ‘collaborate’ on an unspecified project that hasn’t yet been created.
Asking a colleague to text you on Tuesday mornings and ask whether you’ve completed the week’s bookkeeping duty beats asking someone to simply ‘be an accountability buddy.’ (For what? And how long? On which platform? Regarding which activities?)
Asking your partner to cook dinner on Wednesday and Friday beats asking for them to cook dinner ‘more.’ (I mean, they cooked that one time last week, which is technically ‘more’ than the weeks prior…)
Specific asks give a person an idea of what is expected, and when, and how much time it will take to complete the task. Because the other person understands the level of time, money, and/or energy needed to complete the task, they’re better equipped to give an honest answer and to be genuinely helpful when the time comes.
And if they say no, remember: you’re building a No Collection! Add it to the collection and keep on trucking!
YAH BUT HOW DO I ASK, EXACTLY?
There are an infinite number of ways to ask and I’ll roll through a few of ’em, but first: make peace with the asking itself.
Asking for help doesn’t make you weak, bad, wrong, or any other words your asshole brain throws around to keep you from completing this activity.
Asking for help makes you A HUMAN. We aren’t meant to meet 100% of our needs all by ourselves, but somehow the world makes it seem like being ‘self-made’ is the goal. We’re trained to need no one, ever, for any reason.
When you start a No Collection, you make it more likely that you’ll get the help you need to thrive at this moment.
If phrasing trips you up, here are 10 ways to frame the way you ask for help. The more specificity you can weave into these questions, the better:
Would you be willing to ____________?
Can you teach me how to ____________?
I have ____________ and you have ___________, can we trade?
Can you take a look at this [project/email/sales page/product] and let me know what you think about X?
Is it okay to call you/text you this afternoon about ___________?
I could use some help with _______________ this week. I estimate it will take X minutes.
Remember how [last week/month/year] you offered to _____________? I’d like to take you up on that offer.
I’ll give you ten bucks and a high five if you know the answer to this question. _____?
You asked if you could help and this is how. Here’s what I need: __________________.
WHAT ABOUT ASKING FOR MONEY?
Which clients or potential clients do you need to ask about hiring you, rehiring you, making a deposit, or pressing the buy button?
Because you can do that shit like BOOM. Make a list of about five people who have been circling your business and make a time-sensitive offer to each one. (More about making an offer that gets money in your bank account here.)
Maybe you include a 72-hour promo code with a ‘hire me!’ email. Maybe you offer a dozen roses or a massive discount or a huge bonus for buying within 24 hours. Maybe you extend an offer that hasn’t been doing all that well by making another pitch or two for your peeps to hire you.
So long as you’re asking your peeps to give you money in business, you’re doing the hard work of selling AND building your No Collection along the way.
Again, your goal is to gather 3-5 no’s for your No Collection in the coming week. Lemme know how it goes by shooting an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!
P.S. Need help selling when you’re sick of saying the same thing over and over (and fucking OVER)…? I FEEL YOU! And also… Stay on it.