The Rule of 3
12 February 2019
Sat comfortably in Café de la Troisième in #VerdunLuv, I’m busy doing one of my favourite things: writing. Listening to the glorious sound of coffee steadily flowing into the barista’s cup, I’m trying to put down — in just 400 words — the thing that has taken me 10 years to apply: My Rule of 3 — Ask, Give, Say.
I’ve not asked for a lot in the past, at least, I’ve not asked for enough. Why? Misplaced pride, mainly. Because I didn’t want to bother anyone. Because I thought that by asking, I was showing myself to be weak.
Over the years, I’ve noticed that women don’t ask for a lot in general, leading to many missed opportunities. When I started to apply my golden rule, wonderful things started happening. One morning, I decided that it was time to take matters into my own hands, I made a phone call: “Good morning, Manon, I’m calling because I’ve just launched a communications agency. I’m not on your list of suppliers, but I’d like to work with you this year on the Activia account.” There was a short pause, then she replied, “You’ve called at just the right time, we’re actually just rolling out a call for tenders on a project that your team would be perfect for.” A few days later I hear from Manon again, this time telling me that we got the job! Danone was a client of my agency, Sixdegrés, for seven years.
There’s a lot of research out there showing that when you ask for help, 90% of the time you get it*. So, what are you waiting for? Start asking, once you do you won’t want to stop!
This week, dare to ask for a meeting to present your products or services, ask your boss for a pay rise, or ask for help at home with the kids or errands.
Giving has served me well throughout my whole career. I know, I know, giving takes a lot of time and energy, but I’ve certainly reaped the benefits!
Giving also means helping. Helping your network, your friends, your partners, your community. I give for both personal and professional causes. For example, I once met a young businesswoman who was just starting out and didn’t have an office. Our offices were plenty big enough, so I offered to let her use our space and conference rooms at no cost while she was in her initial start-up period. I also put her in touch with some potential customers. It’s the little things that count. The people in our networks can become future clients. When the time comes, they think of us.
This week, dare to give your time. Take five minutes out of your day to introduce two people you think could help each other, help a friend to find a job by referring them to a customer who has a vacancy open, support a Quebec company by recommending their products.
Daring to say what I do in life and what my aspirations are. This rule has changed my life, period. Without this rule, I NEVER would have sold my business. Before I bought it, I was running around town telling anyone who’d listen just how much I wanted to buy one. But it paid off, because my accountant then put me in touch with several owners looking to sell their companies. So, when I decided to tell, the opposite happened. Someone bought my agency because I was talking about it to everyone and anyone!
I was in a business meeting a while ago, and the person I was with started talking to me with such enthusiasm about a book that he was working on. It was as if he unlocked some inner part of me, because, before I knew it, I was telling him something I’d never told anyone else before — that I wanted to write a novel. He said, “This is what you should do…” Six months later, I have a publisher and the beginnings of a book!
This week, dare to tell someone you trust about that project you’d love to do, but that seems so impossible to achieve. Who knows? Maybe the person you’re talking to will give you the push you need to start it! Because talking about your project, is helping to make it a reality.
Have a great week!
(As far as those 400 words go, let’s just say I gave you a little extra as a “gift”!)
*Source: Valérie Lorentz-Poinsot, Wonder Woman, dite Oui à vos pouvoirs, Éditions du Cherche Midi, 2015.