How to Get What You Want – Part 2

"The best way to predict the future is to invent it."

Alan Kay



I posted How to Get What You Want – Part 1 way back in 2009.  Here's an excerpt…

Possibly the most challenging obstacle on the path to fulfillment and contentment is the requirement to figure out what the heck fulfillment and contentment look like.  Achievement is do-able, but the other two are elusive.  You can test my bold assertion quite easily.  Define those two terms for yourself.

When you boil it down, the secret to getting what you want is to figure out what that is, to have a clear vision of what success looks like.  Lacking clear visions of a better future, most of the people I meet seem to spend far more energy reacting to changing circumstances than in deliberately creating opportunities to transform their dreams into reality.

How to Get What You Want – Part 2 is even simpler.


I picked up a simple, challenging phrase from one of the world's great salespeople about 30 years ago.  He was referring to the magical process of changing a prospect into a client; but the logic applies to most any aspirational situation.  He said this…

"If you don't want it, don't ask."

If you really want the order, ask for the order.  Don't wish for it.  Don't dream about it.  Just ask.  Prepare the listener for the question, by providing the information required to make a decision that will favor you.  Ask politely, of course.  But for goodness sake, ASK.

If the answer is no, then you can change course.  If the answer is yes, you can move ahead.

An important corollary to this simple rule is…

Never negotiate with yourself.

What does that mean?  If, for example, you decide that the big client will never consider you because you are a small player and new to the market, then you have said the word NO in their place.  Golly gee, give them a chance to say YES.

Oh, and the same goes for pricing. The notion that your new business must under-price the established market leaders turns out to be baloney in many cases. I can name several entrepreneurs who grabbed serious market share very quickly by positioning themselves as the highest price alternative. They provided superior products and priced them accordingly.

So – figure out what you really, really want. (Tougher than you think.) Position yourself to deserve it. (Good looks usually aren't enough.) Then ask for it, with confidence and no apologies.


This post is an excerpt from How to Get What You Want – Part 2 by Jim Flowers, Executive Director of business acceleration center VT KnowledgeWorks, and author of the blog for entrepreneurs, So you want to launch a business…  It begins with How to Get What You Want – Part 1.

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