Asking for What You Want

Week in Review - November 15, 2020

This week was a great reminder about asking for what you want. When we think about something we want, whether it’s something big like a pay raise or something small like the last slice of pizza, our brains are very good at kicking into overdrive in an attempt to stop us from getting hurt.

The problem is that our brains excel at creating scenarios with an insanely low chance of occurring and making them feel like they are a guaranteed outcome.

“What if I ask for it and they say no, and then I get fired because they think I don’t even deserve my real job? Why am I even working here, I don’t deserve it? There’s no way that asking for a raise is ever going to work!”

It’s a frustrating problem; always competing with your brain for what’s in our best interest. Our brains remember that time we got hurt or that time we heard a story about something wildly unlikely happening and in the brain’s cruelest trick, it quickly and easily brings these thoughts to the forefront. They act like the most intense helicopter parent, working overtime to protect us whenever we are on the cusp of putting ourselves out there.

Full disclosure. When I first learned the term helicopter parent I thought it was about parents that barely paid attention and just flew in on their helicopter to randomly be involved in their children's life. So, like, literally the exact opposite.

There are hundreds of thousands (approximately 640,000,000 according to a google search) of blogs, self-help books, psychology papers that exist to tell you it’s important to ask for what you want. That you don’t need to be afraid to ask. But when the idea of putting yourself out there first enters your mind, all of those tips and tricks go out the window. It feels really scary to ask for what you want, but rarely, almost never, does asking for what you want ever end in a scenario cooked up by your self-sabotaging brain.

Because these tips and tricks already exist, I’m not going to tell you anything you haven’t already read before. The only real option when it comes to outsmarting yourself is to just ask. You need to know what you want and you need to ask for it. So instead of espousing things you’ve heard a million times, I’m going to share a couple of things that I asked for recently and how that turned out.


Purchasing Bulk Licenses for Pico8

If you’ve been following my Twitter or reading this newsletter, you’ll have noticed I ran a competition on Twitter to giveaway some pico8 licenses.

Unfortunately, if you are just reading this today, the competition is over and the winners have been announced.

I love pico8 and the game dev community I’ve found because of it. I love it so much, I wanted to share it with the world. I decided, no matter what happened, I was going to purchase five licenses and give them away. So, I asked Zep (the creator of Pico8) if where to buy bulk licenses.

Now, I could have just purchased them individually and avoided any human interaction (which is my go-to state) but decided to just ask. Not only did Zep respond, but he also gave me additional licenses for free! So I was able to give out ten licenses instead of five and it made for a much more enjoyable giveaway.

Ask Result = Successful

Free Trials of Software for a New Blog

A piece that will be coming down this pipeline in a few months is about starting your own side business for $1,000. Instead of just listing a bunch of random services and telling people to go try it, I wanted to give the experiment a try myself. But, spending $1,000 on it, isn’t something I was super keen on doing.

So, I put together my plan, the outline for the article, and the services I think will make my experiment succeed. Then I emailed all of them.

In total, I messaged eight companies and seven responded. Every company that responded was willing to donate free services to the article!

Ask Result = Successful

COVID Birthday Party with Robots

My wife has a milestone birthday coming up. Her absolute favorite thing to do is have get-togethers with family and friends. Which has made COVID particularly difficult for her. TELEPRESENCE ROBOTS TO THE RESCUE.

I thought it would be a great idea to throw a surprise party with telepresence robots. All of our closest friends and family could be waiting remotely and we could surprise her and hang out for a fun birthday evening.

However, these things are expensive. So I decided I’d reach out to the company that makes them and see if they’d be willing to loan some out. To make it a little more worth their while, we could set up some go pros, film the whole thing, write a blog about it and they could use it for marketing.

Unfortunately, the response I got was they didn’t have any to loan out. So it’s back to the drawing board for birthday gifts. Any suggestions?

Ask Result = Fail


Two of three isn’t too bad in my books. And although these things I wanted to ask for were low stakes, I was surprised by how far off my idea of what would happen was with reality. It was an important reminder to just ask for the things you want in life. You never know what the answer will be.

What are you waiting to ask for? Make a plan to do it this week and let me know how it goes. I’ve opened up comments for this post to all levels of subscribers.

Have a great week!