Day Ten of 365 Acts of Courage and Kindness
Today my act of courage was to ask for the business. So often I witness women (and sometimes men) who have a fantastic product or service business and yet they are too afraid to ask for business and therefore they end up struggling. It takes courage to ask for something and especially when it is your business because, especially in the beginning, we tend to attach ourselves to our business and let it define who we are.
I had recognised earlier in the week that I had been holding back when it came to the promotion of the website business I am involved in. So, while we were I Phuket we decided to see if we could create some special deals with the accommodation and restaurants that we frequent while we travel. We are always staying somewhere new, usually at resorts but sometimes we will spend a night or two at some little tucked away place off the beaten track and we love eating in different cafe’s and tend to prefer local family owned restaurants in comparison to the chain restaurants.
More times than not, these places are behind in having a good (let alone great) online presence and we keep saying how it would be great to help out the ones we fall in love with. Well, this time we decided to stop talking about it and actually do something about it! So, my courage challenge was to straight up ask for it and I felt that old familiar feeling of anxiousness with the thought of just going up to someone and offering our proposal.
“What if they don’t want it?” thoughts went through my head momentarily. If they said no, I could choose to attach meaning to that and take their rejection personally or I could choose to see it as it is and not a rejection of me but just that either the timing isn’t right, or I haven’t answered or provided exactly what they want. But that is a choice so I choose not to do that!
“What if we insult them with our boldness?” was another negative thought. We are after all in Thailand and not overly familiar with their culture and especially business culture but as long as we keep smiling and speaking with kindness I was pretty sure we would be ok.
“What if they don’t think they need an online presence?” was another one. Some people don’t think they do and if that’s the way they feel, we can’t change their minds as that is their choice so we would just have to accept it. After I had overcome all of these thoughts with either a strategy to counteract the possibility or simply the reality of not attaching myself to the outcome, I decided it was time to give it a go.
Today I decided was the day to give it a go and I chose our local café as a start. Although I had overcome my thoughts of uncertainty I still decided it was advantageous to do some research and prepare. Firstly I researched what their online presence was, then checked the pricing of websites in Thailand to ensure what we were offering was appealing, then I researched culture tips in doing business in Thailand, then approached one of the staff and asked if they had a website and if she thought they needed one.
And that’s the secret to overcoming the majority of fears when it comes to asking for business, be as prepared as you can be. I also prepared a specific design to show them that was relevant to their business. So, I had done everything I could think of to answer any questions or concerns they might have. That’s the best you can do. From then on, it’s all just going to be a lesson. If you win the business, you will learn. If you don’t win the business, you will learn. Either way, it’s all good.
I am yet to find out if we have won the business so we will wait and see.
My act of kindness today was to give someone my time and listen to them. We had just arrived at our new home, a resort in the mountains of Chiang Mai. Although it hadn’t been a long flight I was tired and had deadlines that needed to be met so I was conscious of getting back online as soon as possible.
We were met at the entrance by the manager of the resort and his son who he is grooming to take over the management of several of the resorts under the same banner in Thailand. He ushered us inside and to sit down and although I resisted initially and began to tell him how busy we were that day and how we needed to get to our room. I stopped myself and decided to give him my time. The most precious gift of all.
We sat down and proceeded to chat to them both for well over an hour about so many different topics ranging from our lifestyle and the other resorts we visit all the way through to the Thai culture, grandchildren and keeping your wife happy. We had initially thought he wanted to sell us something but really all he wanted to do was to meet us because we were guests in his resort. How nice is that!
Again, this may not sound like a very big act of kindness in some people’s eyes but how we choose to spend our time and who we choose to spend it with is so important because time is the only thing we can’t get back once it’s gone. And sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own lives and goings on that we forget to stop and have conversations with strangers. In my experience, it’s through these conversations I have learnt the most.
UPDATE: During our conversation with the resort manager he had mentioned that if we walked ten minutes up the road we might get to see some elephants. This little tip proved to be the best of all as it gave us one of our most memorable moments so far this year. We got to have a totally unique experience with the most beautiful herd of elephants who were so happy and healthy (no chains, whips, sticks or prongs!) it was magical. All because we had taken the time to talk with him that day!