When life gives you lemons… ask for oranges.

It’s a pattern I’ve seen repeated endlessly around me, a pattern I’m guilty for falling into entirely too often myself.

You want something, but you don’t ask for it. Maybe you think you’ll get a “no”, maybe you’re too worried about what the other person will think, maybe you don’t want to annoy or offend someone. Maybe there’s some other reason.

Ultimately, it all goes the same way. You don’t get what you want. Maybe someone else does, though, and probably some brown-noser that’s not a “nice guy” got what you deserved.

Happily, I have a solution. It’s easy, and it’s free, and I’m sharing it with you now: Ask for what you want. Don’t be shy, just ask.

You hear me? Want something, ASK FOR IT. This applies to basically all areas of your life.

Want a raise? Have you asked for one? Want to go to a technical conference, or do some training? Ask. Want to work from home for a day? Maybe you want your partner to let you have a weekend entirely to yourself without the kids, or want to skip a family birthday, or want to buy something expensive for yourself, or whatever. Just. Ask.

Often enough, you’ll get a “no”. Fine – accept the “no”. “No” is an acceptable answer to a question!

If you think there might be a tradeoff to be had – suggest one. If it’s still a “no”, then accept it and move on. You’ll get a lot of “no”s, but you will also get the occasional “yes” – and you’ll probably get a few “yes” responses that surprise you, too.

Don’t be silly about it; don’t ask for a pay rise every other week, don’t ask for the world on a silver platter, don’t ask incessently, be respectful of the other person’s time and their responsibilities.

But do ask. And maybe ask for just a little more than you think you deserve.