Tagged with life

Just Ask For It

The other day at brunch (because I live in the city now, and that’s how girls bond), we were discussing how to get what you want. The simple answer my friend put forward is to “just ask”. I’ve been testing that theory now, and am shocked at how far I can get by just having the nerve to ask for what I want. Here is my small list of things that work to ask for:

1. No bank fees. This one I’ve mentioned before as a suggestion from Ramit Sethi I got awhile back for my annual credit card fee. I just called, stated how long I’ve been a client, and that I didn’t want to be forced to go to a different bank. I’ve also saved tons of money in over-draft fees by just going into the bank, playing dumb and asking the fees to be taken off. I’m shocked at the amount of people who wont do this because they’re too shy to stand up for themselves.

2. Extras at restaurants. Most servers also think that having to pay $0.50 for ranch dressing is lame. I assure you there’s no person back there making sure all the condiments are being accounted for. Make sure you ask for this right away though, not after they may have already put it in the computer. Similarly, be weary of places that ask “or” questions. You usually can get both for free. A good example of this is at Chipotle where they like to convince you that you can only have black beans or pinto beans, or only one salsa. If you only get one, I will laugh at you.

3. Travel boosts. Because I have a silver medallion membership with Delta I often check a bag because it’s free. The problem being that I don’t like waiting for my bag after a long flight. Whenever I travel I ask the person who is checking my bag if they can put the priority tag on my bag, usually with some story about running late for something. This also works for other things while traveling. I find that because of my age, people will assume I’m OK with whatever I get, but will be more than willing to accommodate if I ask outright. I’ve been bumped to a cooler car at car rental places, given an ocean view at hotels where I was originally supposed to look out over parking lots, and allowed to “check out” Sky Club lounges while waiting for flights.

4. Free samples/coupons. Send an email to your favorite companies saying you love their stuff and if you can get coupons or their latest product for free. I started doing  this when I went gluten-free because everything was so expensive and I didn’t even know if I would like their stuff. Usually if you play on a company’s sense of pride in their product, they’ll want to prove to you why you should choose their product, or retain you if you’re already a client.

5. Medicine. The next time your doctor goes to write you a prescription, as if they have any trials so you can see how you react before buying a whole bunch of it. Also, ask your pharmacy if they’re giving your antibiotics out for free. They’ll often have extra samples of stuff. Of course, you have to actually have the prescription. This post is to encourage you to ask for things you need, not get you addicted to drugs.

6. Work stuff. Please, please, please also apply this mind set to your work. If you’ve been working at a company for awhile and doing well, put together a solid argument and ask for what you want. I used to be jealous of my friend who asked his work for things like, higher pay, mac (instead of windows), new office chair… even tracing paper – and got it! Then when I went to quit my job to move back to Minnesota, I asked for my most ideal situation – work the same job from wherever I wanted. Surprising result: my hard work stood up for itself and they obliged.

The most important thing to do is ask nicely but forcefully. Going into the proposal you should already have reasons why you should get what you want, and the mind-set that whatever you’re asking for is completely reasonable to get. If you don’t get what you want, no worries. At least you asked.

Tagged , , , ,

If you were 20 years old again

What would you do if you were 20 years old again? Would you point your fingers on a map and travel the globe? Fall in love?

“Que je sois tout simplement heureuse, dans tous les sens” – I’d just be happy, in every sense.

This is my hope for you this week.


Tagged , ,

The Best Advice I Ever Got

Today I realized I live by some invisible scripts in my head left there by good advice givers. Thought I’d share in case you need some wisdom.

1. You’re not eating enough vegetables/drinking enough water. This is kind of a 2 parter. My friend Graham believes every fad diet was designed to trick you into eating more veggies. As far as water goes, my friend Stephen got me on a habit I would never want to break – drinking 2 glasses of water before bed. He also drinks a gallon of water a day, which I think is the best possible thing you can do to feel better.

2. Nothing good happens after midnight. This is something my uncle taught me long before I dictated my own bedtime. Sure, there’s nights where you stay up all night chatting with friends, or when you finally complete that huge project you’ve been working on; but usually after midnight is when there’s a crying girl in the corner, and you’ve decided to start a conga line. If I’m up at midnight, I always try to at least analyze the situation.

3. Step away. Yes, this applies to a fight, but more often I use it for projects. My ability to get work done increases significantly when (counter-intuitively) I make myself go outside for 10 minutes of fresh air.

4. Everything worth having is hard to get. You wont lose weight by buying a pill; randomly blanketing the city with uniform resumes wont get you a job; going to yoga once a week isn’t going to get you a flat stomach; and if you want a nice/funny/smart partner, you have to be nice/funny/smart. And don’t let screwing up one day ruin your entire plan. Get back to it the next day.

5. The Briefcase Technique. Really most of what Ramit Sethi says that I’ve tried has worked. The Briefcase Technique though actually made a client high-five me not once, but twice.

6. Surround yourself with passionate people. This is what I like to call the whiteboard effect. You know in those cool think tank companies when they have those huge whiteboards full of scribbled ideas? If when I’m talking to you my brain turns into one of those boards, I’m better off with you around me.

7. Don’t give up because you think you’re bad. For more information on what I mean see this.

8. Say “I feel” in a fight.The natural reaction is to point fingers in a fight , but that always escalates it. Someone once gave me this bit of advice and it stuck. The other fight-right advice I’ve received is to stick to the topic at hand (“Well last year…” arguments never play out), and to never (EVER) say or do anything that would ruin the relationship forever. I knew a guy once whose girlfriend got so mad at him for something or other and threw his dead mother’s old bible into the pool. Although it’s an extreme, I always think about that moment when I’m in a fight. It reminds me to stay classy.

9. Even when you have pains, you don’t have to be one. This is from my favorite poet, Maya Angelou.

10. Don’t eat the roast beef from Arby’s. Just. Don’t. Do. It.

Do you have any advice that’s stuck with you?

Tagged ,