Category Archives: Communication

Want to stand out?

In a recent conversation with Daniel Epstein (founder of the Unreasonable Institute and more recently Unreasonable Media), we started talking about what people do to stand out. And we agreed–it’s not that complicated:

  • Ask for what you want.
  • Follow up on that ask.
  • And then follow through.

In the following example, all of my numbers are made up. But let’s play with a couple of assumptions.

Let’s say only 10% of people actually put themselves out there and ask for what they want. And of the people that ask for something, again only 10% of them follow up on that ask. And of the people who successfully ask for something, and then follow up, many of them in turn don’t actually follow through with what they’ve asked for or said that they are going to do.

10% of 10% is 1% — you're one in a hundred if you ask and follow up.

And 10% of 10% of 10% (0.001) is one in a thousand if you ask, follow up, and follow through. 

ASK.

Why don’t people ask? You know that it happens. You want something, but you don’t put it out there. Your psychological blocks and assumptions preclude you from putting your desire out there. You don't have clarity on what you want—so you need to do some internal work. You let fear get the best of you.

Here are a few things you can ask for: “I want you to give me more money.” In a conversation with a colleague or boss, “I think we need to renegotiate our terms,” or in the universe itself, “I want to learn how to play the Piano–who has a piano I can have?”

FOLLOW UP.

And then, after you ask, you forget to follow up. That email that you were going to send, to say “thank you” that you put off. To write and say, “Hey, we talked about the fundraising that I’m doing and I’d love for you to be a part of it. Can you contribute before the end of the month?”

When you asked someone to interview them and you circle back and say, "Thanks for agreeing to this; let's put something on the calendar. I just had a new baby, so is it alright if I pencil us in for next summer and I'll circle back them?"

When you ask someone to do you a favor and they take the time and energy to do it for you, so you write them a short note or card—telling them you appreciate it. This is how you stand out—and unfortunately, most people don't do it. 

FOLLOW THROUGH.

And then, when the donation comes in, or your partnership is aligned, following through with what you’ve promised: reaching out and saying Thank You. Showing up when you said you’ll show up. Sending them the fiscal reports when you’re successful. Reaching out even if it's half a year later to say, "It took longer than I expected, but here's the book I was telling you about."

It’s simple, although in execution requires an incredible amount of discipline on your part to achieve. But the recipe isn’t that hard.

Want to stand out?

If you want to stand out, follow this three-step formula:  Ask for what you want. Follow up. Follow through.

For an epic post on asking for what you want, check out the art of asking, the second highest read post on this blog to date. Thanks to Daniel Epstein, Amber Rae, and Allie Siarto for conversations on this topic.

How do you combat loneliness? A brand new talk at ALIVE in Berlin + an epic scholarship opportunity worth $400.

How do you deal with loneliness? The problem with my first job wasn’t the job itself—it was how few people I knew at the company. In most structures throughout my life—family, school, college, sports—we bonded as teammates and community members because of shared goals, ideas, and dreams. Yet at work, I barely had friends. PerhapsContinue Reading

The Write Life’s bundle: massive sale for writers!

Writing is powerful stuff. I teach several writing courses as a tool to gain insight into your inner wisdom, access your inner soul, and pen your own stories. If you’ve been itching to write, yesterday I shared several of my favorite resources in the March edition of my behind-the-scenes newsletter. Today, I’m excited to share aContinue Reading

How do you talk about who you are?

Cue the scene. I’m standing in a big house party, feeling eerily like I’m in an episode of Animal House, red solo cups in hand, loud music,  glittery females and dapper gentlemen draped over surfaces. My toes point inwards and my hips clench together a bit. My insides are crawling. Apparently my inner Extrovert refused to comeContinue Reading

Only 9 more spaces left in the ‘Content Strategy’ workshop!

Curious about the next workshop coming up, the Content Strategy for Thought Leaders course? We’ve only got a few spaces left and early bird pricing ends tomorrow, February 1, at the end of the day.  Why is writing such a challenge? Writing clearly can be a challenge. In particular, people struggle with writing about themselves, creatingContinue Reading

10 reasons you don’t want to miss this class. (It’s the LAST DAY to sign up).

Heads up: today is the LAST DAY to register for the Writing Workshop. It is also the LAST DAY to save $200 by registering for both the Writing Workshop AND the Content Strategy course. Join us now. Still need a reason? Here are a few:  10 reasons to sign up for the Winter Writer’s Workshop: 1: You’reContinue Reading

Finding your creative flow: 17 writer’s tricks to get un-stuck and start creating

I wrung my hands, trying to figure out what to write next. It was a typical afternoon at the computer: Somehow I had amassed more browser tabs than laundry quarters, each of which was threatening to pull me into an endless loop of reading more things on the internet — all conspiring to collect asContinue Reading

Are you making these email mistakes? Here’s how to fix them.

A few weeks ago I met up with a good friend of mine over wine and dinner and we got to talking about email–the number one form of communication we all use, and the fact that so many of us could do it a lot better. If you use email or any other digital medium,Continue Reading

“You can have everything you want.” But also: “You will never be enough.” Two cultural themes that need to be reconfigured.

Are we being taught to want everything and never be happy with anything that we get? Why these two cultural mindsets don’t serve us–and how pervasive they are in our everyday lives.Continue Reading

The art of asking: 21 ways to ask for what you want and get it (with sample questions, email templates, and word-for-word scripts).

“If you don’t ask, the answer is already no.” What does it take to ask for what you want—and then get it? There seems to be a magical art behind creating a great ask, and we all know stories of people who seem to get exactly what they want whenever they ask. Magicians who bendContinue Reading

x