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The Power of Asking

Percy Ross once said “You’ve got to ask. Asking, in my opinion, is the world’s most powerful and neglected secret to success and happiness.” People are afraid to ask because they don’t want to look needy, foolish or stupid. They are afraid of experiencing rejection. There are afraid of hearing the word no. The sad thing is that they’ve actually rejecting themselves in advance. They are saying no to themselves before anyone else even has a chance to. Never assume people will not help you until they personally say so. Don’t underestimate the power of asking.

Don’t assume that you are going to get a no. Take the risk to ask for whatever you need and want. If they say no, you are no worse off than when you started. If they say yes, you are a lot better off. The universe is filled with endless options for you. Whatever you would like to have is yours for the asking. It can be about relationships, finance, career, freedom or anything. The most important thing is that you take the time to be very clear about what you really want in your life before you ask the universe for anything.

Many people ask and they don’t get what they ask for because they don’t ask with the right expectation. Ask as if you expect to get it. Ask with a positive expectation. Don’t live in pretense. Be humble enough to understand that there are things you will never have until you ask for them. Don’t let your ego trick your brain, men can sometimes be egotistical. They overvalued who they are not and undervalue who they truly are.  Asking for help does not reduce your value neither does it reduce your worth. In fact, asking for help shows a sign of maturity and humility.

Try as much as possible not to be vague in your request. Vague request produces vague results.  Be clear and specific about what you are asking for. Even when all odds are against you go ahead and ask with a positive expectation. If you cannot beat the deadline, ask if you can be specially considered. Successful people ask for help, average people ask for help. It doesn’t make any difference. Ask with confidence and boldness, the worst you can get is no.

Don’t be afraid to ask. Ask for details, ask for help, ask for information, ask about the terms and condition, ask for samples, ask for alternatives, ask for term of reference, ask for previous record, ask when, ask how, ask where and ask why? You have nothing to lose by asking. In a study on problem solving, it was discovered that one of the best ways in solving any problem is by asking ‘Why’ in five times. Why, why, why, why and why! Consider this case study.

Problem: I am obese – Obesity.

1st Why: Why am I obese?

Answer: Because I eat junks and don’t exercise.

2nd Why: Why do I eat junks and don’t exercise?

Answer: Because am too busy at work and hardly have time to eat healthy

3rd Why: Why am I too busy that I don’t have time to eat healthy?

Answer: Because I don’t delegate and others can’t do it as perfect as I can.

4th Why: Why do I think others can’t do it as perfect as I can?

Answer: Because they have not been trained to, and they don’t have the wealth of experience I have.

5th Why: Why were they not trained and employed when they lack the necessary experience for the job?

Answer: ???

The ‘why’ can be more than five but it is preferable to stop at the 5th why to avoid the analysis being clustered. Every answer provided is a solution on its own to the problem. That is the power of asking why. Ask for answers even when you think you know it. What you think as the answer might have become obsolete and outdated.

Every invention was invented by a curiosity in the mind of the inventors. Tim Bernard Lee invented the World Wide Web by asking the question of ‘Connectivity’, Mark Zuckerberg co-invented Facebook by asking the question of ‘Social Interaction’, Charles Darwin propounded the evolution theory by asking the question of ‘Human Existence’, Isaac Newton propounded the law of gravity and suspension by asking the question about the possibility of ‘an object staying on air and why they fall’. Curiosity is the mother of invention. However, every curiosity starts by the willingness to ask.


A study in marketing shows that most sales are made after the fifth call to the prospective buyer. Having capacity is good but having tenacity is better. To be successful you have to ask, ask, ask, ask and ask.

Ask why the team is not meeting their target. Ask why the children are so wayward, ask why you are not financially independent, ask why you live in that environment, and ask why you took that job. Asking some few questions about your life bring more clarity to your journey to success. Don’t stop asking. Information is the key to transformation. You have nothing to lose you only have more to gain. Ask about government allocation for SME in your country, ask about government grants, ask about college fund/loan, ask if your interest rate can be negotiated and ask if you can get the property without a down payment. No question should be tagged foolish, silly or stupid.

Creative mind gives birth to creative questions. Ask, ask and ask. Ask your boss or manager how you can be more productive and add more value to the organization. Ask about your competence level and work evaluation. Ask your spouse how you can love each other the more. Ask about his/her needs; ask how you can create a balance between work and home and how you can create a more harmonious environment.

Ask if you can negotiate the price even when the price tag is boldly written on it. Remember, you’ve got nothing to lose. In his book, Think like a Billionaire, Donald Trump wrote “You should also feel comfortable bargaining for goods and services. I do it all the time, and I’m one of the richest men on earth. Even in the high-end shops, I bargain. After all, the more you are paying for something, the more the seller should be able to shove off the price. I hate paying retail, and it makes me cringe when I see other people doing it. I’ve walked into stores and offered $2,000 for a $10,000 item. It can be embarrassing for me (especially since everyone knows that I’m Trump and that I’m wealthy), but you’d be amazed at the discounts you can get if you simply ask. You do have to be willing to walk away, but after you’ve walked away few times, the price will come down. It’s moronic to be too proud to save money.”

Ask, ask and ask. Ask your friends and close associates about your strength and weaknesses, gift and talents. What do they think you are good at or what you are worst at doing? Remember, you’ve got nothing to lose. Dare to ask, ask with boldness and positive expectation.

This post was originally published on Business Gists

Adèle McLay
Adèle McLay is a high performance coach and business growth coach. She helps people to achieve the success they desire in their businesses, work and lives. Adèle is also an entrepreneur, inspiring professional speaker and teacher, as well as an author.


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