Tips on how to Ask Individuals for Favors, When You are Uncomfortable Doing It


I like serving to individuals.

I’m horrible at asking individuals to assist me.

I’ve many causes for this. I do not need to be a burden. I do not need anybody to really feel obligated. I got here up a rule in my head, which is that I’ve one ask of everybody I do know. Like, one ask ever. So I higher use it properly.


Then I wrote a guide. I knew I would must rely on my community — asking individuals to assist advertise, or simply to purchase a replica.

So I made a decision: I might lastly begin asking for favors.

It is gone very properly. This is what I discovered.

1. While you ask for a favor, you are doing somebody a favor

I’ve carried out a number of favors for individuals. I’ve made connections, given suggestions, promoted their work — no matter.

This is what I did not notice: Because of this, these individuals felt responsible. They actually, actually needed a means pay me again, however I would by no means given them a technique to.

This jogged my memory of fascinating analysis I would come throughout, concerning the hidden advantages of birthday events. The primary events in started within the late 1700s, however most individuals thought-about them a ghastly overindulgence. They refused to rejoice their children’ birthdays, pondering that they’d create self-absorbed kids that may spurn the neighborhood at massive. (I did a podcast episode on this.)

However now, as historians have a look at that shift, they see how birthday events truly strengthened communities. Why? As a result of they created what York College shopper researcher Russel Belk calls a “lingering .”

It is a self-reinforcing system: You are invited to somebody’s get together, which implies you will need to invite them to your get together. And since birthdays are distributed all year long, this implies the debt lasts for a very long time. “That retains the group spirit alive,” he mentioned.

I discovered this to be true after I requested for favors too. I allowed my associates to really feel higher about their debt, however it’s not like we’re even now. This is not a monetary transaction. As an alternative, I now really feel nice about what they did for me, which implies I need to assist them much more, and our stunning lingering debt cycle will proceed.

2. Asking for favors is an effective purpose to remain in contact with individuals

If you happen to’re repeatedly in contact with somebody, they’re going to really feel invested in your success. They will be blissful that can assist you.

If you happen to solely contact somebody once you need assist, they’re going to be irritated. Possibly they’re going to assist as soon as, however by no means once more.

Podcast host Jordan Harbinger made that time to me a couple of years in the past, after I interviewed him in Entrepreneur. You can’t take your community with no consideration, he mentioned.

It is why he actively retains his community heat — and even makes use of a CRM to do it. (CRMs, or , is a software salespeople use to maintain their leads organized.) “The CRM jogs my memory after I have not related with somebody in a sure period of time — I set it for 3 or six months — after which I merely examine in by way of textual content or e-mail,” Jordan advised me. “I am going to ask how they’re doing, share just a little about me, and that is it. It would not take a lot time.”

I took that recommendation myself, although with rather less rigor. I created a spreadsheet known as “Good Contacts” a couple of years in the past, and now enter anybody I need to keep in contact with. Periodically, I’m going by way of it and attain out to people I have never talked to shortly.

That is good! Sure, effective, there is a egocentric aspect to this — I hoped they’d assist me with the guide. Nevertheless it additionally allowed me to maintain up with fascinating individuals, assist them with their very own initiatives, and construct lasting relationships.

Oh, and Jordan and I saved up and have become associates. I requested if I could possibly be on his massive and glorious podcast, and he mentioned sure. Right here it’s!

3. Rejection will get drowned out by love

This is one thing I as soon as could not admit to myself: I did not ask individuals for favors as a result of I used to be afraid of rejection.

I wasn’t truly afraid of the phrase “no.” I’ve heard that always sufficient. As an alternative, I used to be afraid of adjusting the character of my relationships with individuals.

In any case, rejection alters issues! It is like attempting to kiss somebody who’s not into you. There’s virtually no going again from that second. And I saved pondering — do I need to put this connection on the road, by asking the favor?

However then I did. So let me inform you what occurred.

Individuals have been overwhelmingly blissful to assist. My greatest relationships have been strengthened.

A number of individuals mentioned no, or simply ghosted. These weren’t associates I knew properly, however extra like heat work acquaintances. For instance, I’ve helped out a really massive podcaster through the years, and we’ve got exchanged many good emails. However after I requested to be on this individual’s present, they advised my publicist no and by no means replied to me straight. I suppose that is the top of that relationship.

However what? That is OK. We’ve lots of people in our lives — we need not embody the egocentric ones.

So, now’s after I ask you for one thing:

If you have not already, please purchase a replica of my guide Construct for Tomorrow proper now! It will enable you to construct a extra fulfilling life and profession…

And let’s be trustworthy — it will make me really feel good too.

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