I hate asking others for help. It makes me feel weak, it makes me feel vulnerable…. And maybe, just maybe that’s the point.
I remember having to move once and I refused to ask for help. I loaded most of the boxes, the beds, the TV, the refrigerator but it was the washing machine that got me. Maybe I had grown tired from moving all day, maybe it was a sign, whatever it was I ended up hurting my back. It sucked. It took weeks to recover. Why didn’t I just ask someone to help?
I hate asking.
I’m starting to learn, however, that people tend to be more generous and giving and some people actually like to help - imagine that.
I will never forget stumbling upon Amanda Palmer’s Ted Talk “The Art Of Asking” and it blew me away. Please watch it, I'll be here when you're done - She was so vulnerable, so giving, so patient and trusting.
As an indie musician I have to learn how to ask. If I don’t, I’ll fail. But I hate it! Everyone is asking someone for something, especially on social media. Almost every Twitter follower asks something in an auto generated message as soon as I follow them back. “Check out my Youtube…” “Go to my site…” “Lose weight by clicking here…” “Half off now…”
I refuse to treat people like that. But I do have to ask.
I have to ask my friends and family to come to my local shows, If I don’t, I won't pack the house and the venue won't book me again. I have to ask people to buy a song or an album, if I don’t my sales stats will not be very good and I won’t book the next show or attract the next blogger or radio station. I have to ask venues to book me - I really hate this part - if I don’t I won’t book more shows (if a musician is busy playing they are more likely to keep playing). At the show, I have to ask the audience to buy merch, post pics online, follow me on Twitter.
It’s all exhausting to me, but then I picture Amanda on her box with the flower and I do it anyway.
Part of the reason for this blog post is to reach out to other musicians and help them with “The Art Of The Asking.” My advise is to find creative ways to ask, always give more than you ask and trust in the process.
The other part of this is that - if you’ve read this far, I figure I can go ahead and ask…
I need your help. I need you to listen online and write a quick review, to buy an album, to come to a show, just one thing or all three. I need your help.
‘Coming Through In Waves’ is doing great but I have to keep it that way and I need you to help me keep the momentum going.
I’ll even stand on a box and give you a flower.
Come to my next show please
And the most important part of “The Ask”...... Thank you so much! I mean it from the bottom of my heart. Thank you.