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Sometimes You Just Have to Ask

by J. Money on Thursday, June 2, 2011

love drop gives away a car
If there’s one thing that’s REALLY hit home for me lately, it’s the power of asking for what you want. I can’t even BEGIN to tell you how awesome it is when you get into the right mindset like that! If all you get out of this post today is to ask for stuff more often, I will consider my work done here :) It really does work – I promise. As long as you continue to WORK hard and really kill it too – it’s not just gonna “happen” a la Secret, that’s for sure.

I know I talk about it all the time cuz it’s dear to my heart, but let me give you a quick example about how it’s made such an impact w/ Love Drop.  For all that don’t know, L.D. is our pay it forward project where we choose a family to help every month and then surprise them with a ton of gifts & money & just overall support from our online communities.  Sometimes we give out whatever we end up bringing in at the end of the month, and others we shoot for something pretty high in hopes of pulling it off and REALLY making an impact in their lives.  And that’s where this power of asking comes in.

Last month, we asked for a car for our family. A freakin’ CAR :) They were struggling to get around their daily lives without owning one, and though we knew it was a HUGE task we decided to just go for it.  After all, if you don’t tell people what you want (or need?) how are they supposed to know, right?? Sometimes you just have to put it out there and hope for the best.  And that we did. On May 1st we put it up on our site, and on May 16th – just 2 weeks later – we got a note from an incredible family ready to give us their car :)  And not just any ordinary car, but a Ford Mustang convertible!!! I don’t know how the stars aligned like they did, but I know we’d have never received it had we never thrown it out there in the first place. It turned out perfectly for the donators who were packing up and heading across the country for a year in their RV, and it was even better for the family who really needed it and who died with happiness when we gave it to them :)

Now, I’m not saying all this to pat ourselves on the back or to show how easy it is to get stuff just by asking for it – no way, you have to WORK TOWARD it at the same time for things to really come together properly, BUT… and this is a very important *but* here, you DO have to say exactly what you’re striving for sometimes in order for it to happen!  Whether that’s out loud, on a blog, on a status update, wherever.  If you don’t ASK for the things you truly want (or need), there’s a good chance you may never get it. And this applies to ALLLL aspects of your life as well, not just charity projects and the like.

Here are 3 4 areas off the top of my head where this could really prove successful:

  1. Asking for a raise! You think your boss is just gonna come up to you and give you one out of the blue?  Hah! It’s been known to happen, but better odds with setting the stage and then ASKING for it when the timing’s right.  Or hell, even when it’s not.  If you’re one of those people who wait foreverrrrr just for that *perfect* time, I’ve got bad news for you I’m afraid – it usually never comes.
  2. Asking for personal help. Do you know how easy it is to shoot an email or IM or tweet/etc to your friends if there’s something you really need?  Or are curious about? It’s amazing the people out there who would gladly take the time to help you out and point you in the right direction.  They care for you, let them help you if you’re in need!  (And if you have questions about money/blogging/whatever you want, ping me as well!  Some things I can answer in literally 2.3 seconds and would love to help you out :) Or forward you to the right person if I’m not your man.  Not a problem at all.)
  3. Asking that person out on a date!!! My favorite “ask” – haha… but man, if only people DID THIS when opportunities arose!  I swear, it’s amazing the number of times you’ll surprise yourself with that one. From the start you already have 50/50 odds! :)
  4. Thought of another one –> Ask to lower your interest rate!! – It can literally take 5 mins and save you HUNDREDS of dollars over time! Or even *every* month depending on how much debt you have and how high your % is. I’ve seen people drop from 17% down to 10% on thousands of dollars of credit card debt. That is HUGE for a 5 min phone call! And if they say No at first, ask to speak to a manager and your odds will get even better!

I can go on and on and on here, but it all comes down to the same principal: Ask for what you want.  The more times you put yourself out there, the more chances you’ll have at achieving your goals – whatever they might be.  You’ll still have to work for it, and you’ll still get turned down every now and again, but at least you’re putting things into motion and actually going for it. And that’s more than I can say for a lot of people. So don’t be afraid to reach for the stars! Good stuff does happen! :)

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PS: Special shout out to the Liberated Life Project who blogged about Love Drop which prompted Britt and family to LEARN about our project in the first place! Our online world here is truly amazing.

(Photo by Catherine Guidry)


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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 joscelyn June 2, 2011 at 8:25 am

First thing I’ve read this morning and it totally hits home! I’m a firm believed in putting things out there, into the universe. Ultimately the answer is always no until you ask!

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2 CityFlips June 2, 2011 at 8:30 am

That’s awesome! There are times when asking for what you want can be so intimidating, but I’ve found that the answer usually surprises me! Do you want to add, “Ask for directions!” to that list of does that fall under asking for personal help? ;)

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3 cashflowmantra June 2, 2011 at 9:00 am

How true. The worst that can happen is someone says, “No.” Then you are no worse off than you were if you didn’t ask. The same goes for asking mentors. Many people love to share their knowledge and experience. All you have to do is ask.

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4 Brandi June 2, 2011 at 9:25 am

10 months ago I asked Ray (guitar guy) to go to the movies with me on a non-date…

Even though I encouraged him NOT to, he kept asking me for REAL dates after that…

This whole asking thing apparently does work ;)

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5 F June 2, 2011 at 9:44 am

True sometimes you just have to ask. If I had not taken the chance on this wonderful woman I knew from highschool asking her out 19 years after. We wouldn’t be getting married. It is funny how life works sometimes.

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6 Kevin @ Thousandaire.com June 2, 2011 at 10:01 am

Is it sad that when I see the family got a free red Mustang, my first thought was “the insurance on that thing is gonna be ridiculous!”

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7 No Debt MBA June 2, 2011 at 10:24 am

I love it when things work out to everyone’s benefit and you’re right – that’s most likely to happen when people know about opportunities to help you.

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8 Meg June 2, 2011 at 11:16 am

Kevin — From the looks of it it’s a V6, which is really nothing…. Depending on the year those were horribly anemic, even in V8 form. (We aren’t talking brand new 5.0 here…) Or maybe it’s nothing to me. I’m insuring essentially four sports cars.

Hate to say it, but that *is* a very ordinary car…. Those were dark years for the Mustang, aside from the Cobra and Rousche versions.

But I try to remind myself to ask for things. I asked the Porsche Club if I could hang out and go on drives, expecting to hear no until I bring my own Porsche home. Much to my surprise, I hang out with them regularly now and am going on a trip at the end of this month with them…. That wouldn’t have been possible either if I didn’t ask for the weekend off. :)

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9 Sarah June 2, 2011 at 11:27 am

You know, I’m in that place now with having gotten laid off… and then when it came to naming a price for contract rates – I could have easily undersold myself and lowballed my price just for the certainty of a “yes” — it’s tempting, because it’s a confidence thing. Instead, I asked for a rate more than double what I was getting paid before — I know the system better than anyone, I know the work, there’s no learning curve for me to jump in and do the work for them — Why SHOULDN’T they pay more for my experience? For me, the trick with asking has been to learn to switch from “Why me” to “Why NOT ME” – and that’s made all the difference.

Sometimes with asking for things, it’s best to just realize that you never know until you try and if the answer is “no”, then aside from a little emotional scarring ;) you’re no worse off than you were in the first place.

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10 J. Money June 2, 2011 at 11:54 am

Thought of another one: Ask to lower your interest rate!! – It can literally take 5 mins and save you HUNDREDS of dollars over time! Or even *every* month depending on how much debt you have and how high your % is. I’ve seen people drop from 17% down to 10% on thousands of dollars of credit card debt. That is HUGE for a 5 min phone call! And if they say No at first, ask to speak to a manager and your odds will get even better!

@joscelyn – Exactly!!! We gotta do something about it to make those Nos a yes! :)
@CityFlips – Haha, yes – but MAN that’s hard!!! hahaha… I don’t know why that is, it’s such a simple thing too ;)
@cashflowmantra – Yup, exactly. Mentors are really really important too – esp if you can find one who genuinely wants to help and guide you. Good mention, my man.
@Brandi – Hahaha… Mrs Budgetsaresexy actually turned me down at first! She asked where the bathroom was, and I asked her to dance instead ;) 2 hours later she magically appeared on the dance floor! haha…
@Kevin @ Thousandaire.com – No, I thought the same thing ;) But then I thought it would first be better to HAVE a car! Haha… and that she can always sell it and get a different one. She ended up falling in love with it though, so it’s all smiles and tears over here.
@F – Congrats!!! That is wonderful to hear!
@No Debt MBA – Yep! Ask and ye shall receive :)
@Meg – Awesome!! That is incredible – good job sneaking in there!! It makes it so much more interesting when *people* are involved cuz your whole life can be affected like that. Woohoo!
@Sarah – And we’re so proud of you Sarah!!! That took major cajones for sure, and you rocked it. Really really good stuff :) I only upped my rates by like 20% and even THAT was scary! haha… I’d say next time I’d do things differently, but hopefully there isn’t another “next time!”

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11 bleu June 2, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Sooo true and that is fantastic about the car! I always ask for what I want, I have never had a problem. I got a brand new pair of boots marked down 25% when they weren’t even on sale just by asking the salesperson for a discount. I got another discount on a dress by just asking. I called up my cable company and asked for a discount and they said they didn’t give it, but she said, why not, she gave me an extra 10% off each month. I always ask for a raise, if I don’t see it coming and if it’s a low percent, I ask to increase it. You never know, just ask!

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12 Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager June 2, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Amen! What an awesome story!

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13 StackingCash June 2, 2011 at 2:31 pm

This is such a great post. It is so true that sometimes you just need to be assertive and ask for what you need. Great job Love Drop!

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14 Samantha June 2, 2011 at 3:09 pm

First of all, congrats on getting the car! That is awesome. Asking is something that I wish I learned a little earlier in my career–most people want to help, I have discovered lately. Especially if you are a young person asking for advice from those older and wiser–they have so much good stuff to share and a lot of times–no one to share it with. Even with shopping, especially at department type stores–if you ask the clerk if there is a coupon (there often is) you can save $$$ just by asking.

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15 Ashley @ Money Talks June 2, 2011 at 3:54 pm

There is an awesome book about the power of asking called the Aladdin Factor.

http://www.amazon.com/Aladdin-Factor-Jack-Canfield/dp/0425150755/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1307044209&sr=1-1

I’ve read this book several times and love it.

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16 Paula @ AffordAnything.org June 2, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Wow, what a great story!! Congrats to you and to the family! I think I’m gonna raise the rent on the house I own … my current renters are getting too good of a deal. It’s important to be fair — including fair to yourself!

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17 Jennifer June 2, 2011 at 6:03 pm

About that car…I have a similar one and a good-but-not-spotless driving record, and my insurance isn’t too bad.

Of course, it’s the only car I’ve had in my adult life, so it could be a case of “ignorance is bliss!”

That’s great for the family. I’m glad you asked, and I’m glad they received!

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18 Jenna June 2, 2011 at 6:32 pm

When I was deciding on a grad school, I preferred the more expensive one. To help soften the financial blow, I asked them if they’d consider me for an academic scholarship, since the other school was much less expensive. And before I knew it they’d given me a grant! I certainly wouldn’t have gotten that without asking.

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19 LB June 2, 2011 at 7:51 pm

A raise ha! I don’t mean to be a downer, but not happy at the moment. I have been a temp, a contractor or a part-time person for way too long. I want a job that is permanent, pays a decent wage and will allow me to go back to school and eventually somewhere, where I can actually ask for a raise. I do like my current job, but it isn’t permanent.

Ok now that I vented, I do have to say what you are doing with Love Drop is awesome and it always make me happy to see all the good you do!

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20 katie June 2, 2011 at 8:16 pm

How true that is… on my last interview, I told the interviewing manager what my salary requirements were.

She called me yesterday, offering me the position at *Exactly* the rate I asked for. (Which makes me think maybe I could have gotten higher? :) ) However, had I not made that known, I would have been offered about $8,000 less a year. I shudder at the thought.

Now I just have to decide if I want the job. Well, not true. I want the job – they just won’t pay to move me to where the job is. So, although they gave me half of what I asked for (pay) they didn’t give the other half (moving expenses).

So, I may just have to call their bluff on this one. If they want me bad enough, they will pay to move my happy butt out there. :)

Congrats on getting the car for the Lovedrop! That is awesome!

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21 Shannyn June 2, 2011 at 9:47 pm

I know I’ve been asking those in my life (and my blog life) for help in raising funds to establish a scholarship fund in honor of my friend Kassie who passed away a week after we graduated college from a pulmonary embolism (without warning or symptoms). We both would be celebrating our birthdays together this July and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the life she lead and those she inspired than to present her parents with a check for $500 or more in a birthday card. We have 3k together thus far, but would need a bit more to get the scholarship together..so I’m doing the best I can- and you know what? It just takes asking! :)

I asked on Facebook, Twitter and email (and I’m going to keep asking until I meet the goal) it’s amazing what kinds of generous responses you’ll get… I feel so grateful and your post totally resonates with me and what I’ve experienced.

BTW, seeing that car when I heard about the Drop just gave me goosebumps..even now…I’m just so happy to be a part of this, even if just by tweeting/blogging/paypal-ing my small part of it. But expect an email from me, I’d like to see if I can do more. :)

Thanks for all you do- and thanks for the post!

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22 Jen June 2, 2011 at 10:49 pm

I just watched the latest Love Drop video, Awesome! That’s is so cool of that family to give them their car and it wouldn’t have happened if y’all wouldn’t have asked. It was so heart-breaking when Joy started crying—I love seeing good things happen to good people. Love Drop Rocks! :-)

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23 Ginger June 2, 2011 at 11:39 pm

This is amazing, what a wonderful idea.

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24 J. Money June 4, 2011 at 12:02 am

@bleu – Wow, really?? I’ve never even heard of that before! haha… you just ask to see what happens? No flirting or batting of the eyes? ;) Good for you, girl – that is awesome.
@Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager – Great! I know people are always wondering how to go about doing that properly.
@StackingCash – Thanks! We were blown away :)
@Samantha – GOOD IDEA!! I guess that kinda goes along w/ Bleu’s method up there (Just ask for a discount when there isn’t one)… maybe there *IS* one at times, and they just hook ya up with it for asking? I’m gonna have to start doing that and see for myself. Worst they can say is no :)
@Ashley @ Money Talks – Cool – thanks for the tip :) Will click over as soon as I post these up.
@Paula @ AffordAnything.org – Amen to that! I hope they accept and know they’ve been getting a bargain this entire time :) If it’s not too much higher I’m sure they’ll understand.
@Jennifer – They’re getting insurance on it this week, so fingers crossed! :)
@Jenna – Woah, really? Just by asking??? Crazy!!! I love it!
@LB – Haha, thanks :) Feel free to vent anytime – it feels good to get it out! Esp out into the webs so everyone can read and relate to you ;)
@katie – Congrats!! Even if it doesn’t work out, it shows you know what you’re “worth” :) I hope they pay to get you out there, that would be great. If it’s a job I REALLY want myself, I’d probably still go for it anyways. I like being happy during my 9-5 :)

@Shannyn – COOOOOL!!! And so sad about your friend – damn. I’ve never had anyone close to me pass like that – especially without any warning? How does that happen? Freakin’ scary :( Feel so bad for her family, man… good for you on getting that scholarship going, that is so beautiful :) Glad to have you on the team too – let’s keep the love going!
@Jen – Yay!!! Yeah, no way we woulda got that car if we didn’t ask… and there was still a HUGE chance we weren’t going to get it anyways, but ya have to throw it out there and find out :) Thanks for all the support!
@Ginger – Thanks Ginger :) Have a great weekend.

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25 J. Money June 4, 2011 at 12:05 am

Ashley – that book looks great!! Just ordered it – thanks for the recommendation:)

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26 Maia Duerr / The Liberated Life Project June 6, 2011 at 7:21 pm

J (what do we call you?! J? J money?) — this is great. I love being so connected to the Love Drop project now and witnessing the magic that happened when you put that call out so clearly last month and Britt and the red mustang showed up for the Stalnakers.

I can really relate to this post in so many ways. Several years ago I finally got myself out of $32k credit card debt, and it happened in part because I took a lot of action on your last suggestion… I repeatedly asked to get my interest rates lowered, and most of the time I got what I requested.

More recently, just yesterday in fact, I got the nerve up to finally ask readers of one of my blogs, The Jizo Chronicles, if they would like to donate to support the work I do on that blog, and also to help me pay down an ancient student loan debt. I have been so moved by the responses…. people are actually giving me money for blogging!

We live in a web of generosity, but so often we forget that truth… it’s wonderful to be reminded of it.

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27 J. Money June 6, 2011 at 9:41 pm

YES!!! I love it!! And you are proof that it works too since YOUR SITE was the one who prompted Britt to Love Drop! :) Haha… I freakin’ love this online world too, my friend. Great great people here – no matter what the haters say.

And I’d love to help send some money your way as well to help w/ that debt. Tell me where to go and I’ll pay a little down for you :) That is beyond amazing you knocked out $32k already, I am thoroughly impressed by you Maia. Keep doing your thing!!

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28 Maia Duerr / The Liberated Life Project June 7, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Hey J,

Spreading good juju on the web… that’s us!

Yep, one of these days soon I’m going to write more about the story of getting out of the $32k credit card debt. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, here’s my letter to my Jizo Chronicle readers… you are welcome to give, if it makes your heart happy! http://jizochronicles.com/2011/06/05/letter-to-jizo-chronicle-readers/

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29 J. Money June 12, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Would love to read it! :) Going over now to check it out – happy weekend!

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30 Jaime June 27, 2011 at 12:46 am

Okay this q is a little personal but why did you need to ask for money when your net worth is 200k? I’d think you’d be able to afford a car easy peasy.

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31 J. Money June 27, 2011 at 2:16 am

Nothing’s too personal, ask me stuff anytime :)

We asked for the car through our “giving back” project, Love Drop to show the power of micro-giving online. Sure I could have bought a car and gave it away, but that’s not what we set out to accomplish. Every month we help one family through hundreds of us coming together online and chipping in just a few dollars (or gifts/services/etc) making a bigger impact than just we could do alone :) It’s kinda fun, and we actually just did another one yesterday! If you’re interested in that kinda stuff, stop on by and check us out: http://LoveDrop.us

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