Several months ago a group of top business executives, in a large corporation, met behind closed doors to discuss the possibilities of attracting new customers. As many ideas were discussed and tossed around, one of those attendees, Frank, as he listened, was having an internal debate with himself. About what you may ask? As Frank was listening, the thought occurred to him, ‘why no call Jim, one of their competitors, and ask him to send them so extra business?’ However, Frank was concerned that his suggestion without question would be negatively received, never put forth the suggestion or idea, he merely stayed silent. A couple weeks following that brainstorming meeting, Frank ran into Jim at a tradeshow. After greeting each other, exchanging small talk, Frank putting caution to the wind, ask Jim if he had any extra business that he couldn’t handle at the present time, because our excess capacity at our plant, he was in a position to help him out. Jim smiled at Frank and said, “I wished you had called me last week, because of a couple recently acquired large accounts we are working over capacity, but at the same time we didn’t want to lose some our long-standing smaller accounts. I actually thought about calling your company to see if there were any interest. I got side tracked and forgot to call. Then few days ago Bob of the ABC company called to ask if there were contracts they could help us out with, and the rest is history. Sorry Frank we couldn’t connect earlier.” As Jim walked away, Frank mumbled to himself, ‘Wished I had Asked’
Jim isn’t alone in his fear of asking. Many of us have this fear of asking. Ironically, when we need it most, so often we hesitate, withdraw, anything but ask. As humans, we are trained to view asking as being demeaning, a sign of weakness, etc…. What we fail to realize that in many, many cases asking can be the difference between failure or success. Not only in business but even more so in life. What is important is knowing who we ask? And how we ask? An elder once shared with me this thought, “Go to God or the Divine first, then to man as you are directed!” That statement is saying the first place to turn is the Invisible Infinite Force that pervades the Universe. The name or label you may choose to call that force is unimportant. What is important is making this the starting place. The how starts in the quiet of your heart. Through this quiet heart, and truly ‘listening with our quiet heart’ we are led to the right person. Having the now a confident heart that fully appreciate and believe in the support the Universe provides, we experience results, that often amazes us, yet we know that we are led to the answer. We should not be afraid to ask for help, but we must do so with a soul that is silent. Additionally, with the understanding that the requested help may be provided from any source, family, strangers, books etc… Whatever the source, know the Universe has led you to that fulfilling source. Developing a deep understanding that changes is one of the universal laws, and the solutions to those changes are always available, never ending. Knowing, and truly appreciating this strengthen our resolve to overcome fear on any level, including overcoming the fear of asking.