You want it. IT keeps you up at night, rings in your heart 24/7. IT is your dream. Have you asked for IT? You heard that right… Have. You. Asked. For. IT? You want something so badly and … you want it to fall in your lap. Things do not happen. They are MADE to happen. – John F Kennedy.
When I first started putting together the first issue of Southern Weddings, I had one rule: it never hurts to ASK. So, I did. Preston Bailey, you don’t know me from Adam, but can I interview you? Mindy Weiss, Jung Lee, Gary Chapman, I just started a small magazine out of my apartment… can I interview you? And have copies of your books – signed – to give away to my 100 readers? Well, that’s not exactly how the conversations went, but pretty close. Mark’s Garden, Corridan and Company, Colin Cowie, etc., here’s the value I can add to your companies. Can I work for you? Again, it wasn’t that easy. But, ultimately what it took was that passion burning inside of me to surface, harnessing it and Making. It. Happen. Have you asked for what you want most in life?
I mentored a UNC junior who wanted to write for National Geographic. He taught me a huge lesson. When interviewing for summer internships, he really wanted to write for a company in Singapore. There are only two student spots every summer and they usually go to seniors. They told him no. Well, he didn’t stop at “no”. He wrote them a strong case as to why he would be a powerful asset to them – able to spread the word to current students upon returning about the program – and that they should consider taking a third student. They said YES. While these are not hard and fast rules for life and business (use good judgement), if you want something, ask for it. You never know what doors will open! Be prepared for anything, but do not always stop at “no”.
The ladies I work with wouldn’t have jobs that they loved if they hadn’t gone after what they wanted most. (Every single one of them ASKED for their job rather than waiting for one to open!) Emily wouldn’t have a thriving shop. I wouldn’t have a national magazine if I had believed the odds that, as a new title in a bad economy with zero experience in publishing, I wouldn’t get a great circulation deal. I got it. My mom wouldn’t be writing the food column she’s always dreamed of writing if she hadn’t gone out on a limb (at age 60!) and written the paper to make her case as to why she would be invaluable to them. I love this quote: Your dream job does not exist. You must create it.
A word of caution: use good judgment. Asking for something you believe you deserve doesn’t always mean you’ll get it. But, going after it with your whole heart will lead you down the path to get there eventually. It just may not be the path you thought it would be. Mine certainly hasn’t been. At all. I believe that to get what we want, we have to ask for the right thing aligned with God’s will and ultimately He says yes or no, but He wants us to take that leap of faith to make it happen. He gave you the power to choose and to act. Asking for our dreams – realizing our full potential – takes guts. It takes clarity. It takes accepting the fact that you are not in control… but that does not give you license to rest on your laurels and wait for things to happen to you. It takes a leap of faith.
So, I’m going to take a leap of faith and tell you about some things I want that I have asked for this month (and some I haven’t yet). You know my goals for the year. I’ve been working through them using this tending list I created below. (These will be available in my new shop soon!)
I challenged our webinar attendees (there are less than 24 hours left to register and get the recordings for the last two webinars by tomorrow!) a couple weeks ago to DO something that they have been putting off and my list was big. First, I finally wrote to the owner of southernweddings.com (I have already been rejected for my request once before) to ask to purchase the domain again. No reply yet, but I was glad to get that done and step into my fear. I also submitted an application to use Bible verses in some commercial products. (Yes, it’s not legal to use Bible verses in products you sell without permission. I see a LOT of people selling things without a license. Read more here.) And there were a lot of other things I’ve been afraid of asking for, but I just bit the bullet and started asking! I’ve sent a dozen scary emails since and so many of them have already resulted in monumental changes for our company and for my life. Ask. Seek. Knock. Put your dreams out there. No one is going to osmose what you want. Ask for it and make it happen!
One last thing I haven’t acted on yet that I have been praying a LOT about it starting an online Bible study right here on my blog. So…. I’m going to ask YOU. Would you be interested in this? If so, let me know in the comments : ) I have been praying about starting a Bible Basics study for creative entrepreneurs (and anyone who wants to join!). I’ve never lead a study before, but this idea won’t leave my heart. I really want to do it.
The last week has been such a testament to this for me. Things I asked God for long ago, happened. It struck me that, in some things in my life, I have stopped asking. Instead, I’ve been assuming. Don’t assume. Ask. Do. Send it. Say it. Give it all. And do not accept anything less than the love, greatness and joy that you deserve. I’m not. Life is too short. IT is yours for the asking. Remember though – no matter what happens – a yes or a no – YOU are the only person who can give yourself permission to realize your full potential. Go get it!
I’ll be giving away prints from my shop when it opens and a one-on-one session with me to a commenter on this series to one lucky commenter, so tell me what are YOU going to ASK for? I can’t wait to hear from you. I’ll be choosing a random winner on Valentine’s Day, so get on it!
PREVIOUSLY: And, friends, it’s never too late to start this process. There is NOTHING MAGICAL ABOUT JANUARY 1ST!
GOAL SETTING FOR 2013, Part 1
GOAL SETTING FOR 2013, Part 2
GOAL SETTING FOR 2013, Part 3
GOAL SETTING FOR 2013, Part 4
GOAL SETTING FOR 2013, Part 5
MAKING THINGS HAPPEN IN 2013: CLEAR THE CLUTTER
MAKING THINGS HAPPEN IN 2013: PREPARE FOR GREATNESS
MAKING THINGS HAPPEN IN 2013: TAKE A BREAK!
MAKING THINGS HAPPEN IN 2013: NAME YOUR FEAR
MAKING THINGS HAPPEN IN 2013: CREATE BOUNDARIES
MAKING THINGS HAPPEN IN 2013: ENCOURAGE OTHERS
MAKING THINGS HAPPEN IN 2013: THE BIG LIST
P.S. Join Emily Ley and me for the Making Brands Happen 2013 Webinar Series. It has been SO much fun the last couple weeks and Part 3 is TOMORROW! If you missed the last two live webinars, you can still register for the series and get the video replay so you can get caught up for Part 3 next week! Video recordings and homework will be sent out to all registered attendees so you won’t miss a thing. See y’all tomorrow!