Business Tips: The Art of Asking
Today is #throwbackthursday and I decided to take a moment to look back and reflect on how I got to this point and how COVEDOZA was born. There are so many lessons I can share with you but for today, I'll focus on THE ART OF ASKING.
Out of all the things I've been learning from this business journey, one thing is for sure: if I never had the courage to ask, COVEDOZA would not exist. You see, I first came across Dominican illustrator, Maria-Jose Garcia Butler, founder of @emejotadesigns, thanks to a photo @maracas shared on Instagram three years ago showing a customized phone case MJ made for her. It was like love at first sight. I immediately went to visit her profile, and fell in love with her work.
Now, there was only one tiny issue I had to fix: she only delivered in the Dominican Republic (D.R.) and I was in the U.S. The good news: I had family in the D.R. so I was able to get creative to solve this problem.
My first design? An EME working out with a pizza in her blouse - the irony.
Then, I had the idea of proposing to Maria-Jose to partner with me so I can bring her work to the U.S. and I had a target market in mind. But I had my doubts; Why would she partner with a stranger?" "Why would she partner with someone that doesn't have an established business?" and so on. I had many doubts but what made a difference was that fact that I was so excited and confident that this was going to work, that I decided to ask anyways. I had a vision and I needed to turn that into a shared vision.
I reached out to her via WhatsApp to schedule a call and she agreed. I called her, we talked, and after I proposed my idea and explained to her how it would work, she asked a few questions and said at the end said YES. I couldn't believe it and got even more excited after we finished talking. I couldn't focus because the rest of the day I spent it day dreaming about all the possibilities. But I want you to take a moment and think about what would have happened if I didn't ask or if I was afraid of being said NO.
To help you get ready to ask for more money, a new project lead, more help, or whatever it is that you have been wanting to do but are letting yourself miss an opportunity because of your self-doubts, here are a few things you can do to prepare:
1. Have a clear understanding of what you want to ask.
2. Write down your idea or "the what".
3. Come up with a few reasons for why you are making the ask.
4. Come up with a response in case if you receive a NO.
5. Thank the person/people regardless of what the outcome is because you never know what can happen in the future.
Comment below and tell me if asking is something that you are struggling with or that are good at. I'd like to learn your story.