Go Big or Go Home!

bigwaveFor nine years as a child, I lived in Hawaii, and I loved to surf. I had one friend who would often invite me to go surfing, but I usually declined his invitations because he was a much better surfer than I was. Then one day, he announced that he was going to surf Waimea Bay and invited me again.

At that time, Waimea was famous for having the biggest surfing waves in the world, and it was the home of a major international surfing competition. I desperately wanted to be the kind of guy that surfed Waimea, but I was just a skinny 12 year old with pretty modest surfing skills. The invitation was terrifying to me but my friend said it was surf-able for us that day, and that he could show me how. So, when he asked me to join him, I was really scared, but I also heard an opportunity for greatness and a lifetime of bragging rights. I said “yes!”

This is what I mean by “go big or go home.” Big goals inspire, excite, and motivate people. If you want to be someone who gets people to say “YES!” you are much better off asking for big things. My friend had invited me to go surfing countless times, but I agreed only when the destination was inspiring and the opportunity grand. Unfortunately, most of us ask only for what we think we can get.

Examples of asking for big things from history are well known. Gandhi asked the British to leave India. Martin Luther King Jr. asked people to change the country by marching on Washington DC. JFK called on a nation to put a man on the moon. Daniel Burnham, who created master plans for Chicago and Washington DC, and built many famous grand buildings said, “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized.” He knew the power of making huge requests.

People want to say “yes” to greatness, even if they might get a little scared. But it’s a good kind of fear. It’s the kind of fear you get when you really really want something important, like a big round of funding for business expansion, a huge promotion, or even engagement to the person of your dreams.

I was very afraid of those waves, but I was also captivated by the accomplishment I could now imagine. The fear just confirmed how badly I wanted it.

So why don’t we always ask people for big things? Why don’t you make big requests? It’s because we are all afraid of being rejected, looking foolish, and being laughed at. We don’t ask because it’s uncomfortable for us. The best way to overcome the discomfort and develop your skill, is to practice.

Here are four simple steps you can take this week to get started:

  1. Make a list of 10-20 things you could ask for that would explode your business. The list should scare you and your heart should beat faster as you put them on paper.
  2. Practice by role-playing with a friend, asking for the hardest thing on your list, until you get comfortable making the request. Keep in mind as you practice, what makes your business great, and that the other person, like you, wants to be extraordinary.
  3. Now pick one thing from your list, and go ask for it.
  4. Keep on asking for at least one big thing each day over the next week.

If you do this, it will rock your world.

Here’s my first big ask of you: Please share this article now with your friends and social networks. Together we can create breakthrough results this year. (easy share buttons right below, under the “p.s.” line)

Thanks for playing big with me!

Bill Gallagher

P.S. Please share some of your breakthrough results on our blog as they happen, or by email with me. Stay tuned for my next post on how to roll with the punches when people say “no.”

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Sanjay Kumar - December 17, 2013 Reply

I agree with the kind of asking that Gandhi, Martin Luther, J.F.Kennedy and others of the kind of these leaders did but I am not interested in anything less than that.

    Bill - December 17, 2013 Reply

    All right then! If that’s the level you agree with, what kind of challenge will you take on? We all have to see how big we are willing to play. Usually our ability to go big expands with practice. Even those historical figures started a little smaller.

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[…] Go Big or Go Home by Bill Gallagher ”Big goals inspire, excite, and motivate people. If you want to be someone who gets people to say “YES!” you are much better off asking for big things. My friend had invited me to go surfing countless times, but I agreed only when the destination was inspiring and the opportunity grand. Unfortunately, most of us ask only for what we think we can get.” […]

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[…] time, I’m going to tell you why you should go big or go home. In the meantime, please drop me a note below and tell us how its going in getting […]

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