Building confidence from the very first ask - #IMadeTheAsk with Stacey Harris
Welcome to the #IMadeTheAsk entrepreneur spotlight series, where we share the stories of entrepreneurs and small business owners who have made the ask...and lived to tell the tale.
Read on to learn about Stacey's business journey, how making an ask started her life as an entrepreneur, and why learning to ask for what you want will help even non-entrepreneurs.
Tell us a bit about yourself, and your journey as an entrepreneur.
I'm a social media strategist and trainer working with entrepreneurs to cut through the noise and get real results online. I have a passion for building and being active in communities and teaching folks to use networking to build relationships that grow businesses. Which lead to the launch of my community, Hit the Mic Backstage.
What's an Ask that you chickened out of making...and regret?
My ask regrets mostly live before I was an entrepreneur and revolve around doing MORE in my jobs. I wish I'd asked for more responsibility, and more ownership of the work I was doing. Part of what I hated about my other jobs was I felt like a cog in the machine with no real impact on the big picture.
What's the Ask that you're most proud of making - whether or not it worked out.
When I launched my first business I'd been working as a freelancer on a site called oDesk. I had a couple of really great consistent clients who occasionally paid me to sit around and wait for tasks so that I could be available to them but make what I needed to make to keep doing what I was doing. I realized there was a better way and launched my Virtual Assistant business. In that process though I had to ask my clients to shift to paying me more and in a new way with these new packages. It was so scary because I had no idea what I was doing, but they all said yes and my life as an entrepreneur was born.
Which Ask has been the biggest win for you - professionally or personally?
That first move from freelancer to entrepreneur. It started A LOT of big asks as I evolved my business and increased my prices and changed what I did and who I worked with and I'm proud of all of those, even the ones that didn't go as planned. The reality is though they all were built on that first ask.
What's your #1 piece of advice for other entrepreneurs or business owners who are gearing up to #maketheask?
Check your mindset - I'm usually my enemy in negotiations or asks because I'll sabotage myself if I don't have my mind right. That doesn't mean you'll suddenly have bulletproof confidence, but you'll at least be working towards your best outcome.