For most speaking engagements, articles I’ve authored, podcasts on which I’ve appeared and leadership opportunities in my field – I’ve raised my hand to participate – especially in the beginning. I have advocated for myself. I have put myself forward for them.

Of course, opportunities have come to me but if I just stood back and waited for them, I would be waiting for a long time. I needed to be proactive and put myself out there.

We need to be more comfortable with being uncomfortable and asking for things we want – and raising our hands for opportunities!

So often we are afraid of the word “no” and of rejection, so we don’t put ourselves out there to even ask for what we want or to pursue a great idea. This is a huge mistake and missed opportunity.

My advice is to stop being afraid. Do things that make you uncomfortable. Say yes to taking chances.

Not everything in life is going to easily come to you and sometimes you need to get out of your comfort zone and ask for what you want.

While you won’t always get it, you will at least be on their radar and build relationships.

Here are a few tips on how to ask for and get what you want:

  1. Be sincere – there is nothing more compelling than a passionate request on why someone should help you, choose you or do something. Pour your professional heart into any request you send.
  2. Don’t over ask – be realistic in what you are asking for and practical.
  3. Explain what’s in it for them –clearly outline how the person who is on the receiving end of your ask will benefit from what you want.
  4. Take control yourself – you can easily build your personal brand on social media – and that’s a great way to start getting noticed for speaking and writing opportunities – so start posting TODAY.
  5. If at first you don’t succeed, try again! There could be a million reasons why someone declines a particular opportunity or says no to you at that moment in time. No is not forever and it is not personal.

Remember to seize the moments and opportunities before us more frequently to get what you want.

No is not necessarily a bad word to hear – it just means that it wasn’t the right choice for us and that situation at that moment in time.

I wrote this because sometimes I feel like so many of us just never bother to ask for what we want or try for things because we think they are out of our grasp.

If you believe that you can do it, it will be. So shift your mindset and watch how things change right before you.

Join me on my summer personal marketing challenge and identify something YOU want and GO after it. And if it doesn’t result in something – so what? It still may and you tried. Also, if you want to write – DM me, you can write for my blog.

Here are some things you can do today:

  1. Speaking engagements – Research upcoming conferences and create a list of the speaker criteria. Find a co-speaker to bolster the submission. Create two speaking draft programs and SUBMIT.
  2. Article writing opportunities – Look at trade publications, Law360,, industry blogs). Create a short succinct proposal and send it to the editor.
  3. Volunteer roles – Get involved in committees and leadership roles in the volunteer or trade associations in your field or in a cause that inspires you.
  4. Start writing on social media – If you want to write, speak, etc., a great way to do it is to build your personal brand on social media. So start writing posts on social. You can easily and quickly build your subject matter authority on social.