I was recently on a podcast geared towards reinvention in midlife. As a pro-aging fitness enthusiast and lifestyle influencer, this kind of brand was right up my alley. One particular thing stuck with me after the interview was over, though.
We got to a part when I was talking about an upcoming magazine partnership I'm involved with. My plan is to take my brands along with me; I’m pretty loyal to the things I like to wear, drink, etc. I’ve always showcased these brands without a sponsorship, as I think it's the right thing to do and part of my obligation as a leader. To me, this role is just as much about other people's success as it is my own, and being loyal to my favorite brands and showcasing them properly is part of that. As the futurist and author Joel Barker said, "A leader is someone who takes you to a place you would not have gone without them."
Nevertheless, as I head into the next stage of my career, I think it makes sense for these brands to come along with me, in a more official capacity. The podcast host heard me describe the situation, then asked if I was comfortable making such a bold move with these big companies.
I am. Because in life, you simply can't be afraid to ask for the things you want.
What's the Worst That Can Happen?
I've been in the automotive industry for over three decades. In many ways, my work experience has prepared me for this type of thing. Being around a sales floor and training salespeople makes you understand that you can't be afraid of rejection. It's going to happen often, no matter how good you are. Because people in my industry are used to being turned down, it makes it easier to approach situations like this. What's the worst that can happen? They say no?
Yes. In fact, that is the worst that can happen. Whatever you want out of this life, odds are you will need some help along the way, which will probably involve asking others for things. If you don't ask, you won't be receiving help. Without the help, you might not get to the top of whatever mountain you're trying to climb.
Granted, the fear of rejection is very real. People think they're being deemed inadequate when they are told no, even though that is not the case. The best way to get over this trepidation is to take a leap. Take a shot. If you come up short, don't let yourself get down. Take another shot. Eventually, someone will give you a yes, and you'll be thankful that all those no's led to this moment. Ask, and you shall receive.
As "The Great One" Wayne Gretzky famously said, "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
Be Ready to Do the Work
Many people wish for things without stopping to consider the possibility of them actually getting them. There’s great power in having the ability to ask for what you want. There’s an equally great power in being able to fulfill your new role once you get it.
Work hard. Work smart. There’s really no way around it. Sadly, I don’t have any tricks or hacks to get around putting in the work once you’ve been given an opportunity. Asking the universe for what you want is often just the first step towards achieving a goal. After that, you have to make it happen and always evolve, as I’ve done since I got into this influencer life.
I urge you to not rest on your laurels if the universe decides to fulfill your request. Be ready to do the work. Be ready to maximize your good fortune. There’s no time like the present, because as Dr. Seuss said:
"Today is your day, your mountain is waiting. So get on your way!"