The GGA Project -- Day #98 "Never Hurts to Ask"

Eight or nine years ago I was working at Barnes and Noble when I recognized the customer I was ringing up as a columnist from the local newspaper (a rendered drawing of his portrait always accompanied the byline--not a bad rendition, either, if I could recognize him in person).  To be sure, I asked him near the end of the transaction:  "Are you Joe Rodriguez?"

"Yes," he said.

"I love your column," I said, "you're always right."

Wow.  I think I didn't even realize at the time what a big compliment that is to a writer.  Not only was he recognized, he was told that he was always right.

At the time I was already interested in writing, and I'd begun to think about pursuing some kind of writing as a career.  When I was visiting my parents a few weeks later, I mentioned having run into this columnist, and my parents suggested I contact him and ask him to mentor me.

'What?!' I thought.  'Who does that?!  Who would just do that...just randomly contact a stranger--a busy, columnist stranger at that--and just ask him for his time?'

They convinced me though.  And I did.  I e-mailed him and asked if he remembered an employee at Barnes and Noble telling him he was always right.  Hmm, turns out people don't really forget that kind of thing.  He agreed to meet me at the offices of the San Jose Mercury News and he asked me to send him some of my writing in advance of our meeting (I was already blogging back then, so I sent him a sampling of those posts).

When I got there that afternoon, he gave me a tour, introduced me to a bunch of the paper's employees, then discussed my writing with me over lunch at a nearby taqueria.

I wish I'd known then how valuable that opportunity was.  I wish I'd appreciated his time in the way I should have and been conscientious enough to keep in touch with him and embark on a bona fide mentoring.  But although I kind of squandered that opportunity, I did learn something important from the experience, which was that it never hurts to ask.  It doesn't hurt a bit to ask for something, even something you don't think you have a chance of receiving.  Seriously, what a waste of time this life would be if we didn't set out to snag every single opportunity out there!  And you just never know when somebody will be able and willing to help you, or in what way.

I forgot that truth until recently.

Today's New Activity: Asking for Corporate Sponsorship

There's a project I've recently become interested in.  And the project would go a whole lot smoother if I had some help--some financial help--in executing it.  Today I logged onto the website of a major corporation, one that I thought just might take an interest in the project, and just asked them for their money.  Just like that.  I said, "You have a lot of money.  You should share some of it with me."  Except I said it slightly more eloquently than that.

I have no idea what my chances are in getting this donation/sponsorship.  There was actually a specific section on the company's website just for donation solicitations, so I imagine they must receive a great many such requests.  But anyway I asked.

And I think I should keep asking for all the things I want in my life.

And I think you should, too.

Thank you in advance, for all the good things yet to come...

1 comment:

  1. so true! it never hurts to ask because one day, the answer will be YES! and the more you ask, the more YESES you'll get! ;) and it's never too late to pick up where you left off. i see plenty more opportunities like this coming your way. especially now that you really believe it!