By Paula Davis-Laack • August 10, 2010•Mentoring and Networking
When I was in Philadelphia in May, I had dinner at a restaurant called 10 Arts. The Chef de Cuisine at this restaurant is Jen Carroll, a finalist on a past season of Top Chef, which is one of my favorite TV shows. As we were eating dinner, I wondered out loud to my guests about whether I could meet Jen in person. Immediately, though, I had some doubts, like “she’s too famous;” “she’s probably too busy;” and “I bet she doesn’t do that kind of thing.” But, I thought, what the heck. So, I asked our waiter, and sure enough, I was allowed to meet Ms. Carroll. Yes, she was busy and yes, I had to wait a little bit, but she was very gracious and was happy to let me walk through the kitchen.
How many times have you really wanted to ask for something, but stopped short? Maybe it’s an opportunity to meet someone you admire. Maybe it’s a chance to work on a project with a new client. Maybe you’d like a particular person to be your mentor. Maybe you want to ask a colleague for a favor.
It’s easy to let the self-doubt convince you to stay quiet. In addition, it’s hard to take a risk and nobody wants to hear the word NO. A wise person once reminded me, though, that the answer is always NO if you don’t ask. Happily, I can tell you from personal experience that the answer is almost always YES, so go for it!
THE CHALLENGE: Take some time this week and ask for something you want.