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The Power of Asking

“Ye Have Not, Because Ye Ask Not.” -Matthew 7:7

For the past few weeks, I’ve been following a series of homework assignments provided by Julien Smith on his In Over Your Head blog.

Every Friday, Julien offers a challenge to his readers in an effort to spur them on towards greater creative thinking and increased productivity.

Here’s an excerpt from the first assignment:

This weekend’s homework is to negotiate for something you are not allowed to negotiate for.You don’t need to win. You only need to try. It can be as simple as ordering a coffee and saying “oops, I only have $2″ instead of the $2.25 that’s needed. But if you’re going for a major purchase, try it there too. Another way to do this is to bargain on side aspects of the purchase instead of the previous one. “Can I get it for $200, tax in?” or “Can you throw in a free USB cable?” are both good templates to use. Try either, or both. Use whatever tactics you think are necessary. The point isn’t to pay less, though– it’s to push through the anxiety of breaking social norms.

Last night, I was presented with the perfect opportunity to try this.

My wife and I were on a date night. We headed to Hollywood to catch some improv comedy at the Second City Theatre. Parking was scarce. Our only option was a $10 lot near the Theatre. As we were pulling in, I told my wife about Justin’s assignment and said I was going to ask for a discount. She started giggling uncontrollably at the idea and I begged her to at least keep a straight face while I asked the parking attendant for a deal. “We’re on our way to Second City. Is there a special parking rate?” The attendant hesitated and then replied “Sure. I’ll give you a special rate. $5 dollars. How does that sound?” I gave him $5 and we parked for half the price. My wife was shocked! All she could say was “unbelievable” as she laughed for a solid two minutes.

Here’s today’s two cents:

Ask for the favor, ask for the shout-out, ask for the deal, ask for the opportunity, ask for the date. Whatever it is, just ask.

Use tact. Be timely. Build rapport. Show kindness. And ASK!

Asking is NOT a substitute for doing your work, BUT asking for what you need CAN help you advance your work to the next level. It’s a way of giving yourself a chance to participate in opportunities that may never otherwise appear.

You wont always get a “yes”, but with each request you’ll become more comfortable with the idea that your options are greater than what you’ve been told.

There is ALWAYS a hidden bargain or an unannounced prospect waiting to be uncovered by an inquiring mind.

Don’t wait for the world to advertise your possibilities. Take the initiative and ask.


T.K. Coleman

You ARE the opportunity: Moving beyond ideas of scarcity & competition

“A man’s gift will make room for him and give him access to great men.” -Proverbs 18:16

We live with the idea that we occupy a prepackaged world where all of the opportunities that will ever exist are already out there and our job is to find our place in that world.

The Jewish Proverb above challenges us to envision an expanding universe where the world literally creates space for the expression of our gifts when we act on them in Faith. It doesn’t say there will BE room for our gifts, but that our gifts will MAKE room. It doesn’t say we will DISCOVER opportunities for greatness, but that our creativity will MANIFEST the opportunities.

In other words, we are not here to compete with others over what already exists. We’re here to bring forth that which is yet to be. There is no room for you in this world and that’s a good thing. If there was, you’d be a waste of space because the whole point of your being here is to contribute to the expansion of the universe by adding your own uniqueness to the mix.

The notion of searching for our place in the world is based on the idea that we need to find some person or environment that gives us permission to be who we want to be. Many times we say we’re looking to find our niche when in reality we already know what our niche is and we’re just looking for evidence that things will work out if we act on what we already know.

In tomorrow’s post, I’ll give you my two cents on why I think this approach is problematic. I’ll tell you why I think the world of consensus opinion, market research, familial support, & historical precedent is an unreliable place to look when trying to figure out who you are and what you should do with your life.

I hope you’ll join me as I make yet another attempt at arguing for your possibilities.

Until then, create a great day!


T.K. Coleman

To read “You ARE the opportunity: Moving beyond ideas of scarcity & competition Pt 2,” click here.
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