How to Earn More Money: By Asking

April 30, 2013 - Get free updates of new posts here

In 2013 I was graciously invited to speak in Australia.

They offered to cover flights and hotels.

I generally don’t ask for speakers fees cause I love sharing my stories and working with people. And I have and know how to organize conferences so I know there are always more costs than expected.

…But traveling costs me time, money and I like being at home with my tacos.

Because of the coffee challenge, it encouraged me at the end of the conversation, to ask, “What kind of speaker’s fee can you include?”

She mentioned, “Uh….I’ll have to ask my team about that.”

Noah: “That’s cool. It’d would mean a lot if you can ask.”

That whole extra sentence took me an extra 20 seconds.

(Pro-tip: Whenever you ask for something, don’t say shit afterwards.)

She came back the next morning with this:


If you don’t know AUD to USD is like 100:1. #kidding

Cool. That’ll cover my costs in Australia (Aug 1st).

If you look at just the 30 seconds of me asking for the speakers fee, that’s about:

$7,200,000 / hourly rate I’d be paid!!!!

In our How to Make Your First Dollar course the #1 break-through students have is when they go through Failure Olympics and have to ask for things.

When you’re starting a business or doing marketing you are asking people to use your service or product.

After creating the course myself I’ve noticed I’m way more open minded to asking for things I want.

Think about this in your day-to-day life….

1- Can you ask for a free side-salad (ha!) at the restaurant?

2- Can you ask a customer why they aren’t working with you? Then solve that.

3- What about asking that girl out who you always see in the cafe?

YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU CAN GET unless you ASK. This is true for a lot of things including how to get more subscribers.

What’s the worst you can get?

NOTHING. Exactly.

So the upside is super fucking high, the downside is only 0.

You do the math.

People are always looking for ways to make money fast, but they rarely ASK for more money in the current situation.

Just try to explore what you really want and ask for it. You’ll be surprised what you get…


A few weeks ago I asked Satchel-Paige ( for a free bag (worth $250+) to give to one of you.

Guess what? They said cool. Giggity.

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215 responses to “How to Earn More Money: By Asking

  1. Derek F Reply

    Great read, thanks for sharing this example. Today I asked if Noah really reads and responds personally to his emails (especially from a random follower like myself)… the answer YES he does! Thanks for the second clever response!

  2. Aaron Saray Reply

    I can completely and totally understand your point with this entry. One of the things I encourage my team of programmers to do is to “ask” for things. A lot of times I say no. Sometimes I say yes – if the budget allows. Isn’t that great?

    But in all seriousness, your entry brings up a really interesting conversation I’ve had with one of my guys. I told him that I can’t give him a large raise, just a cost of living raise this year. Or actually a tad bit more. 3%. However, if he really worked at it, he has the ability to ask for more than that. I would have to go back to my boss and ask.

    But he hasn’t. And I told him – why don’t you ask? And of course he said “well, how about it then?” which of course I said no.

    But the point is – what I have been teaching him is – why don’t you work on your asking skills? In this specific instance, I’m going to help him practice asking me for a larger raise every few months. I’m going to give him honest feedback on how he’s doing at asking. And then I said, wait a few months, and then ask for real. Hopefully by then I’ll have forgotten some of the specifics of our ‘practice’ – what do you have to lose?

    Anyway – great entry – love to hear it – and need a traveling partner? I could also use a speaker fee/airfare 😉 But if you don’t feel so inclined to beg, at least maybe a nice bag? 😀


  3. Ira Reply

    Noah, I have just asked – and the response made my day (if not week!).

    I wanted to go to a full-day mastermind with Pat Flynn in July so badly, but at the time the tickets were out I just couldn’t pay for one. I needed few days to transfer funds from different accounts, or to wait for a paycheck.

    There were only 25 tickets. At first they weren’t selling very fast, but then in a single day the remaining tickets count went from 19 down to 2, and I was torn! I didn’t know what to do, so I decided to write to Pat to ask if there’s any way for me to pay a smaller deposit to reserve a ticket till Monday.

    I was hesitating whether to send the letter, and came up with a bunch of reasons why not to. For starters, Pat doesn’t know me (why do I, a long-time reader of the blog, never comment??); the tickets are selling like crazy; no small deposit is going to justify the hassle of reserving a ticket; and finally – it just wasn’t a good chance Pat was going to read my letter before the remaining tickets were gone.

    Then I realized that I was saying “no” to myself on behalf of Pat, and I should instead give him possibility to do so 🙂 I hit send, and within minutes I got a very warm letter from Pat saying that he reserved a ticket for me; no deposit was necessary, and that I should just write to him on Monday. I was speechless and so happy. Within minutes the last ticket was gone.

    In this story the kudos should not even go to me for asking, but to Pat for being so kind, as always.

    P.S. Noah, here’s a taco/nacho video for you 🙂

  4. Craig Reply

    Hey Noah,

    Can I have that bag?

    I’ll be at the Digital Summit (live in Brisbane) to hear you speak, so you won’t have to pay postage etc.


  5. liuyl Reply

    There are two things I want to ask:

    1) Would you like give a speak in Tsinghua University(the best university in China) ? I think it would be great.

    2) I want to cooperate with appsumo on some Chinese business. I think it will be profitable because China have almost the biggest market in the world. I will write you an email about the details.


    1. Latifa Reply

      Hi there ! I am interested in study in China , my question is , do I have to learn the language first or English is sufficient?

  6. Dan Clark Reply

    First, Brisbane is amazing! You will love it.

    Today, I’m going to ask my client for a raise. I’ve been putting much hours in for him and I am worth more. The worse he can say is no!

    Thanks for the email 🙂


  7. Lain Reply

    Love love love this. I’m going to ask a company to sponsor my next next event. Thanks for the nudge!

  8. Hoo Kang Reply

    I asked another school if I can help do some consulting.

    They said yes are hopefully will be paying me more than triple my current hourly rate.

  9. Andreas Reply

    Hey so cool. I also recently asked a bag company for some free bags for my video competition. They also gave me three awesome bags. They are my favourite Bag company making bags out of Truck covers

    I will now ask another company to sponsor three more bags.

  10. Abe Challah Reply

    My best friend who currentlt lives in Tanzania asked me to visit him to check out the Vanilla Extract factory he is building there. I would love to I told him. But I have already planned all my vacation days for the year and don’t have any extra days I could take. A trip like this would require at least one week. I felt really bad because I wanted to go but did not want to disappoint my family. I played the scenario with my manager a hundred different ways and how she would reject my request for the additional time off (especially we are in the middle of a very demanding project and are low on resources to do the work).

    After going through the failure Olympics in your course I said to my self: What the heck! Let me ask anyway. So I did. To my amazement, she said yes right away. That’s 12 extra days off on top of what I usually get. Mind you it will be unpaid but I don’t care about that. Just the fact that I was able to get it and that I’m going to be on a plane this Sunday to Tanzania to see my best friend is exhilarating enough. Cheers bro. And enjoy your trip to OZ.

  11. Laure Merlin Reply

    Coucou Noah!

    Thanx for the validation it gives me, I’ve always been asking a lot, even money, but never in the begging/making the other guilty kind of style. And I always felt grateful and close to a friend who would say no, because I saw it as a mark of respect and trust in our friendship. So it is!
    Most every people I know get pissed off at such a no, feel offended, belittled, rejected… Not I, thankfully, so I could keep asking in peace, even if i love to help and yes is my default answer, I don’t assume it should be everyone’s.

    I’m gonna ask you for a free seat in your
    So you could take some credit for my success in the making, and in any case get some help with a few typos?

    Ps : I noticed this was not witty, just plain honest me. Looking forward to see you there!

  12. Keaton Reply

    Couldn’t agree more with the content of this article. I recently asked a graduate program if they could change my scholarship from 2/3 to a full scholarship – after I had already paid the deposit. They said yes and my costs just went down at least $32k over the next two years. It’s always worth asking.

  13. Noah K Reply

    Great article, and congratulations on the speaker fee! I was actually thinking about this last week, and realized really how much you can get by just asking – it’s shocking sometimes.

    I’d actually like to ask you to ask something… next time you go to a hotel, simply ask, “And by the way, is there anything that you can do to make the room a little bit nicer?”

  14. Brad Reply

    Well, I might as well ask for something I really want:


    Would it be possible to get free access (even if only for a short period) to your awesome looking “How To Make Your First Dollar” course at App Sumo?

    If not, I will take the bag as a consolation to catch the tears as they stream from my eyes.

    Keep Being Great,

  15. Johannes Reply

    Hi Noah, Cool, post.
    I’m even more excited to hear that you are coming to Australia in August.

    Wanna grab a coffee when you’re here?

  16. James Reply

    I already emailed it to my boss today, but I’m going to ask that we charge people attending our camp (I coach college soccer) as opposed to letting them attend for free. My initial request was that we use the money to raise funds for next year, but if he says no then I’m going to ask if I can collect money and just keep it if collecting money for school use is going to be a hassle.

  17. Ronda V Reply

    I went to see an awesome speaker at a free event yesterday. When he was done he had a drawing and gave away a few of his books. When it came time to draw, I said outloud, “pick me” and he did. So I got a $25 book for free!

    Thanks Noah, next time I am going to say “pick me” when I purchase my powerball ticket. I really miss Austin, have taco for me!


  18. Derek Reply

    I’ve gotten back to my Failure Olympic roots.

    I’ve been holding off on asking the Food Pantry coordinator to put a link to my cookbook on their site. So, I’m going to ask for that today.

    I’m going to combine another Noah tip and create the html for him, so all he has to do is drop it in WordPress.


  19. Celia Francis Reply

    Hi Noah-

    I will ask our local MP (a bit like a Congressman in the US) Sir Rifkind to attend my nine year old son’s lecture at school about “How to Learn to Code.”

    I think he needs to understand why schools schould start to teach kids coding at a young age.

    Plus I would like to meet his excellency. Why not?


  20. Webaficionado Reply

    I’m a student from India, can I avail ” How to Make Your First Dollar ” course for free 😉 ?

  21. Ashley Reply

    I cycle in and out of being a machine at asking for stuff. I wouldn’t call it apathy, but simply forget to embrace my genealogical chutzpah. Thanks for the timely reminder to do so.

    Anyway, I got your email at night, so tomorrow I’m gonna ask the sexiest girl I see in town for an instant coffee date. Last time I did so we slept with each other same day and it was pretty rad.

    Also, I happen to be Australian, so just hand me the bag in Brisbane. Boom, free shipping.

  22. David Shores Reply

    I’m starting a contract gig next week, and I will soon be asking them to place me permanently. Worst they can say is “no”.

    1. Noah Kagan Reply

      Nice. I’ve done this many times. Be good to set the expectation for what it would take for you to get full-time in the beginning. Then you can’t fail if you hit their expectations.

  23. James Piper Reply

    Some quick background – a full-time marketing consultant and I’ve just landed my second client for side income. Payment is by monthly retainer, but I’d love to upsell certain campaigns that I know can deliver.

    So that’s what I’ll be doing today. I’ll ask/tell my client that there are a couple of tactics we can effectively use to help speed our customer acquisition and grow the amount of brand awareness. The plan being that after we discuss the value it would add to her business, we move forward to discussing actual deliverables and being beyond budget.

    I’m asking for the opportunity to upsell.

  24. SeaSea Reply

    Dazzlng! I like your pro-tip to not say shit aftetwards–so you don’t sell yourself short. So even if they say, “What’s your ball park?” You can say something like, “Let me know what you can do, and we’ll go from there.” In other words, don’t say 1k when they might offer 2k.

    In aaron’s case in above comment w the ability to ask for more than 3%, though, it sounds like his guy needs to be more specific. So I’ll ask, “Aaron… What’s the progress for your guy learing how to ask?”

  25. Matt Cassarino Reply

    My car’s tabs expired in April, I’ll be driving to the emissions testing center this morning. When I (inevitably) get pulled over by a police officer for having expired tabs, not only will I ask him to let me off this once, but I will also ask for a police escort to the emissions testing center 🙂

  26. Rick Henry Reply

    Hey Noah,

    Great lesson once again. Before I read this post I was watching the Jia Jiang video where he asks people to pump their gas. I was feeling my heart rate increase and anxiety build as he was going up to ask strangers to pump their gas.

    After noticing this I kind of checked myself and remembered that when I asked for the coffee discount it wasn’t traumatic and that you don’t need to get so stressed over the little stuff.

    Like you said, the worst thing that will happen is you will get told no and you are no worse off than if you didn’t ask.

    I just started helping a friend work on websites and I gave him a quote and price but I didn’t have a clue how difficult it would be to troubleshoot a problem on the website that was left created by someone before we took over the site so my hourly rate is taking a beating. I will ask him if he can afford to compensate me a little for the extra time I took troubleshooting and resolving the problem.

    The worst he can say is no but I will still get paid for the job based on my quote.

    One other thing…can I have the Satchel-Page bag? The new 15″ Macbook w/Retina Display I’m getting next month will look good being transported in this bag.

  27. Sheiler Reply

    In about an hour I am going to mail an illustrated kids book on clean water to Martina Navratilova and ask for 3 tweets from her to her minions to help us promote our nerd campaign. I would not be doing this without this email from Noah, because, duh, I was just wishing for celebrity endorsement but was not doing a dang thing … until now.

  28. Amber Reply

    Hey Noah,

    1) Can I go to Australia with you as your guest?

    If that doesnt work,

    2) Ask my clients for referrals. I’ve stopped doing this and my patient load has dropped off.


  29. BigJim Reply

    I’m visiting a really cool used bookstore in my area, because I’m a book-dirk, and I’m going to ask if I can build their web site for them. They don’t have one and I want to help promote their business.

  30. Maria Reply

    I was about to post this question in the Wantrepreneur group for you:

    Noah, if you needed $28,000 in a month and a half, WHAT would you do? How would you ethically get it?

    I want to go to umrah for the whole month of Ramadan (July) and for 2 adults (hubs and I) and 3 little kids plus airfare it comes out to 28K. I REALLY wanna go though. Like here take my kidney so I can go type of thing. My husband does have restrictions for me, for example I can’t accept donations or charity so it would have to be gifts from people or something I could sell.

    HELP ME OUT man! This is my challenge for May but I’m drawing a blank.

  31. Josh Reply

    Noah – Your post was just what I needed this morning. I was feeling a bit crappy about this sale I just closed for $125k. Yes I know $125k sounds like a big number. And I just closed a sale – that should be a good thing, so why do I feel crappy?

    But this is a Fortune 100 company with a huge budget. $125k is not NEARLY big enough. Our original proposal was for $400k. They offered to “test” us at $125k.

    F that. Today I’m asking them for the full $400k. In this case, my downside is not zero – it’s $125k! WTF do I have to lose?

    Thanks Noah!

    1. Noah Kagan Reply

      Why not start the relationship and then ask for more later?

      I always prefer to wedge in the door and then go bigger once I show that my solution kicks ass.

  32. Keith Reply

    Excellent point Noah. I thought I learned that when I was at the Naval Academy. I was assigned a summer cruise out of Norfolk. A friend got placed on a ship out of Scotland. I was bummed, but I went and asked- and they put me on the same cruise. It gave me a great experience (and a kilt!) that I wouldn’t otherwise have.

    It’s good to be reminded. As a matter of fact, there’s something I’m going to ask for today…

  33. Brandon Reply

    I am sure every clever person out there will say “can I have the bag?…this is where and when I’ll be blah blah blah”. (Not clever)

    I am asking for $250 because I don’t like the bag and then you can keep it and ultimately break even.



  34. Kenny Reply

    You inspire me every single day. I’m going to ask for a paid internship at an elite training facility in my area. They have no idea who I am.

  35. jamie Reply

    forget the bag, how about live stream access to the conference you are speaking at. I figure I will learn so much I can buy 10 bags!

  36. Carrie Reply

    Asking for something that hasn’t been offered seems so easy but can be so hard. We don’t want to appear pushy, rude or arrogant. Yet by simply asking, we open up potential. For many of us the angst this causes is deep-seated, but it shouldn’t be. As children, we could ask Santa for anything; as adults, why not ask someone else for what we want? It seems so simple, yet can be so hard!

  37. Ray Don Tilley Reply

    A client went down a list of projects in progress with me yesterday, agreeing to various fees and partial fees, but skipped over one that has become a quagmire, due to shifting goals and deliverables. I’m going to follow up today and ask for a partial fee (on par with that speaker’s fee of yours), in part to focus the conversation on reaching a marketable end to the project and recognizing that my work so far can no longer be considered initial “scope” or “concept development.” Adding a price tag makes it real. And locks down a timeline.

  38. Peter Reply

    Hi Noah,

    Thanks for the blog post and video remind people to ask for things, it’s something I’ve struggled with myself. I feel like I’m imposing and I worry about looking greedy, but when I ask it usually works and there’s never been a downside.

    Would you send me the Satchel-Paige bag, please?

  39. Varun Reply

    Plan to ask a Japanese customer of mine for a specification compromise on a product we are designing for them and offer them a workaround that will cost them nothing. If they accept, this will result in us saving $100K+ in releasing another silicon wafer and the associated resource cost to productize it. While I know that Japanese customers typically never relinquish on specification changes and may still force me to fix to the original specification, I think there is no harm in asking, politely.

  40. Peter Cooper Reply

    I think the wording is so important in situations like this and you really nailed it with:

    “What kind of speaker’s fee can you include?”

    It’s not a demand and it’s not even a forceful inquiry but a really gentle “suss-them-out” approach which seems to have worked. It’s quite easy for them to be apologetic and say “Sorry, we haven’t got a budget for this” if they genuinely can’t afford to pay.

    But they must really want you because they could have come back with “What sort of fee would you expect?” and put the shoe on the other foot 😉

  41. Hubert Sawyers III Reply

    Today, I’m going to ask some random companies to sponsor an event. The issue I have to pierce is I have limited information to offer about it. Most likely, I know it will be “no” from everyone, but I will hopefully learn what they require to provide sponsorship funds.

  42. Jessica Reply

    Hey Noah,

    Looks like things are working out well for you! I definitely agree with you… unless you ask, you will never know and you have nothing to lose!

    Today, I’m going to ask my local dry cleaner if they will give me a discount on bringing in 6 jackets/coats I need cleaned. People love giving discounts to bulk items right? A smile along with the question in person usually helps out too.

    Take care!


  43. Kiter girl Reply

    Just sent you a more detailed message to you in FB.
    I can teach you to kiteboarding in exchange for….just come hang out with me in the wind and water! 🙂

  44. Cesar Reply

    I was asked to facilitate a training in a city that is several hours from where I live. They already have a speaker fee but I am going to ask for travel expenses since I would probably have to be there a day early.

    And I am also going to ask for the bag. 🙂

  45. Rob Actis Reply

    Thanks for sharing this, asking for what you want is so important. You can even look at it this way. Most people really want to serve and they want to give you what you want.

    Asking for what you want is very empowering, my family and friends are amazed that I always ask, and are just blown away that the majority of time the answer is yes.

    It has really become a game that I play, I always ask, well not always, but about 95% of the time.

    It was my daughters 14th birthday yesterday, and we decided to go on a birthday adventure. We just started to drive and see what kind of birthday treats she could receive. We pulled up to every drive-thru we saw and I said. “Hi, It’s my daughters 14th birthday today and we wanted to know what great birthday treat you had for her” Many were just confused, at first, some said that there was nothing for her, I said, thank you anyways, then the response was, pull up we have something for her. My daughter and I had a blast.

    I have have asked and received discounts and more from Target, Borders, Hotels ( Suite Upgrades ), Discount Tire, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Airlines,Clubs, and just about anywhere else that you may think of.

    It is never about the money, It is always about the experience of putting yourself out there, giving yourself that extra push and just asking, all they can do is say no, and you will find that most of the time the answer is YES.

    Of course, I need to ask for the bag, my daughter would love it.

    Another great post Noah.



  46. Brian Church Reply

    I’ve substituted company or service names with X and Y below; not because they’re unknown variables but because I don’t want to ruffle any feathers or give away possible surprises by including their names.

    Today I will be asking company X to provide discounted services for 10 members of group Y during group Ys visit to Seattle, WA. This would be a big win for the group and I would be incredibly excited to have facilitated the arrangement.

    Here goes…

    Brian Church

  47. nathan dotz Reply

    I’m going to ask: “What kind of readers’s fee can you include?”

    Payment acceptable in the form of waxed canvas satchels.

  48. Rob Actis Reply

    I forgot to say what I was going to ask for today, well, I just asked and I got it. I have been trying to sit down with a potential client for a while, but I just would not ask for the appointment. I just did, I caught him on his cell phone and just asked, he said yes..

    As Noah says, ask, then say NOTHING, until they respond, there was a good couple of minutes of silence, HE SAID YES!



  49. Zack Reply

    Damn, nice to hear that the Failure Olympics are working out for everyone, you included. What exactly was the talk in Australia about?

    I’m going to ask to get others involved in a major project.

  50. Cheryl Reply

    I’m asking for the cool bag! But yes totally, my philosophy has always been, “don’t ask- don’t get”. I feel that women in particular have a hard time asking for things especially in the workplace eg raises. A friend was clearly being underpaid at her job which she was great at and it seemed like everyone there liked her yet she had a hard time asking for more money. I grew up in Asia which can encourage conformity and not rocking the boat, and truly know it can feel awkward, selfish, rude, etc etc asking for things but especially in the USA where sometimes the loudest voice wins (not something I agree with, but have seen it happen) if you have a good case and can make a credible threat and are being decent and reasonable about it – go for it, ask for more!

  51. Lucas Walker Reply

    Advice. I’m going to ask for advice.

    People like to share it, they’re willing to talk, and it can help. It also leads to other things like jobs, money, and clients.

  52. George L Reply

    I’m headed to Harbor Freight to buy a particular item for a project that will cost $60. I know they always have deal coupons, so without one, I’m going to ask for 10% off. Like you said, can’t hurt to ask…

    BTW, I failed the coffee discount while doing the first dollar course.

  53. Alan Kong Reply

    Can you hop on an interview via Skype to help upcoming product developers your methods?

    Oh yeah, and chatting while wearing the straps of the bag across your face? I’ll do the same if you want to make it even more interesting 😉

  54. Yvon Reply

    What I really like about you and this post is that you immediately do what you talk about. You asked Satchel Page for $250 bag and actually use it in your story as a way to demonstrate it works and get your audience to interact with you to get valuable feedback. You help us push boundaries in our everyday lives that we take for granted with our morning coffee rituals and you call out people’s true reason of FEAR if they were to give that lame excuse of “Oh that’s below me.”

  55. Roger Reply

    I am canceling some credit cards today. I will ask them for a retention bonus. And if there is an offer, I will ask if they can do better than that.

  56. Maria Reply

    wait, so the Daniel from Satchel & Page is choosing?
    In that case,

    Dear awesome Daniel,
    I’m going to be flying while Muslim in the near future which means I get a lot of special attention and extra searches at the airport. I’m a head turner as they say and I like to consider myself a VIP. I think it would be totally awesome if you would please (dear LORD please) give me your Austin Messenger in Slate (Oak and Tan are pretty cute but Slate is HOT), because this is how it’ll go down,

    TSA guy: Please put your bag on the table.
    Me: You mean this Satchel & Page messenger bag with waxed canvas and oil-tanned leather that ages uniquely with my travels? This beautifully American crafted bag of beauty with water proof canvas that can withstand my toddlers? You mean *proceed to get louder while describing and demoing my new baby so as to enlighten my fellow travelers*

    I’ll do to Satchel & Page what Noah does to Taco Deli. I’m just saying I’m a woman who loves bags specially one that looks like your Slate version.

    Anxiously refreshing this page for your response.

  57. Boris K Reply

    I have a simple example of coffee challenge awesomeness:

    I was ordering lunch for 11 people the other day and the soda’s cost $1.50 each. So, inspired by your coffee challenge, I asked the guy if he could knock the soda’s down to $1 since I’m buying so many. He hesitated but then knocked the price down to $1.25 each. Bammo! All I had to do was ask.

  58. Erin Reply

    I’ve been working on a photography project doing portraits of the locals from my strange neighborhood, by just going up to strangers on the street, in shops, in restaurants, etc and explaining my project and asking them if they’ll pose for me.

    Of the 14 people I asked in over a period of 2 days, 7 agreed and have already posed! I’m going to continue the project the same way… just going up to strangers and asking!

    This is the first time I’ve ever done anything like that and I am loving it. I’m getting to know lots of locals, working with them and creating a cool project that supports my community.

  59. Hudson Haines Reply


    I’ve been volunteering my time as a designer/developer for with a charity organization for 3 years now called Band Together NC. We partner with a local charity (different every year) and raise a crap ton of money for them by throwing an awesome concert fundraiser. This year it’s Lyle Lovett and a few other awesome bands like Chatham County Line. It’s an awesome organization who makes a big difference in peoples lives (shameless plug).

    This year, I’m going to ask them if I can sneak backstage and meet Lyle and hang out backstage for part of the show! What’s the worst they can say?

  60. sheiler Reply


    I told her since she is outspoken on environmental issues, education – she’d (be sure to) like our illustrated book. Is that not pitchy enough? If she promoted us, we’ll give her algore-ithms (good kharma, al gore style).

  61. Diana Yepez Reply

    Noah love,

    I’m going to ask you to come to a little tiny town called Fairfield, Iowa.

    Oprah called it the ‘Meditation Town’ as more than 2K of us get together every day to meditate.

    Seriously, this town is pure awesome-ness!

    See you soon!


    PS: oh, when you come please bring the bag with you. I’d very much like it.

  62. Brad Reply

    Man, I am learning more from you everyday, Noah! Here were some mistakes I made when I made my earlier request:

    1. I did not do enough research. I had not yet watched the Behind the Scenes videos for HTMYF$D, where you clearly explain the pricing structure and why it means more to someone if they were to pay for it. Makes perfect sense.

    2. Although I did ask directly, I did not give any inkling as to what could be in it for you. There was little to no incentive for you to say yes.

    So, I will chalk it up as a failure that did not kill me and I will move on. Thanks a lot for the knowledge and making me think.


    PS Is it still a goal to get a book out this year? Update? Looking forward to it!

  63. Robyn Reply

    This is awesome!
    Asking is really just a subtext to giving, anyways.

    Creating the ability to offer and be generous of spirit – whether it be to fuel our own self care/happiness which allows us to show up for ourselves and in our relationships, or to better our products and services so we can give in bigger ways and have more impact for our clients.

    May I please come to Australia with you and Amber? Her and I can share the bag! 😛

    ps. Good luck Amanda!

  64. Rob Reply

    I weenied out during the course and didn’t ask for my 10% discount at Starbucks. I’m going BACK to do that again and get it or not, I’m kicking ass by asking! Just wanted to get that out here, plus it gave me an excuse to say “weenied” on the internet!

  65. Ryan Murphy Reply

    I am always pushed by moments like this. We all want something in life but how often do we actually ask for it. You don’t get something if you don’t ask. Noah, I am Sous Chef and love cooking but I have other ideas/plans for life and I would like your help.

    Can I be an apprentice of sorts? I would be interested in meeting up and even accompanying you on a speaking engagement. This trip would also require a nice bag, just so you know. I got here hoping for a free bag, but I leave this message still hoping for free bag but also hoping for a jump start to another future. I hope to hear from you.

    Thanks Noah

    I love Bourbon and Tacos

  66. Gretl Reply

    I recently released my first iPhone app (first of many, hopefully!), a GPS-enabled, offline-capable Vienna audio guide called “Gretl Goes: Vienna”. I’m immensely proud of my work, the content is far more extensive than any of the other Vienna city apps, and it’s currently the only 5-star rated app in its category. I am desperate to do other cities as well, and think that the only thing really standing in my way at the moment is funding. But since this project will ultimately benefit local tourism in whatever city “Gretl Goes” to next, I want to ask the city of Salzburg to fund my next one. Gretl Goes: Salzburg. It doesn’t hurt to ask!

  67. Carrie Li Reply

    Thanks for sharing! So true. Great reminder as to the simple things we can achieve just by merely asking.

    Can you let me win the free bag? 😛

  68. Laura Ashley Reply

    I am asking:

    1. For my new company agree to allow a one day work from home day and an annual summer movie event for staff to attend!

    2. For people vote for this photo daily on Facebook so I can win the James avery Mother’s day contest:

    3. ASK that anyone Give freely to underprivileged areas to provide clean water to drink because I gave my birthday up for charity here:

    4. Ask my former law firm, Smith&Shipley in Beaumont, Texas to forgive my balance of 1,600 since I’m a single mom and they didn’t even do what I paid them to do which was to file a simple order. So I have asked them that the balance be forgiven. Never hurts to ask!

  69. Harry Reply

    It really is about asking.. nicely. We hired someone for blogger outreach of our new product, StandScan and they didnt turn up with any results in a couple of weeks. To try how hard it was I nicely asked one of the bloggers yesterday to check out the product and they reviewed it on one of the popular tech blogs.

  70. Joanne D Reply

    I have a visual food tracking web app in beta testing. I’d like to ask Noah if he would be willing to track everything he eats for 1 week by taking photos.

  71. rob k Reply

    This is one of the basic rules of sales I learned many moons ago. I landed a multi-million dollar account by asking for the order AND SHUTTING MY MOUTH. The second part is just as important as the first.

    It gives the other side time to soak in and assign value to whatever it is you just discussed, offered or tried to sell.

    Great advice Noah!

  72. Andrew Watson Reply

    I asked somebody I just met for the first time yesterday if they would help me out with the dough to buy Google Glass so I can develop my killer app and become an angel investor. I was shocked when they said yes (but I gotta follow up and close the deal!)

  73. Thomas Whitley Reply

    Great post. I’m a graduate student and I take this approach when trying to get something published. If I don’t submit, there’s a 0% chance it will get accepted for publication, if I do, then that chance just got above 0. I think today I’ll “ask” for publication by submitting something else.

    Also, I’m a huge fan of Satchel & Page.

  74. Robert Jewell Reply

    I was going to ask for that bag….but I was beaten to it.

    For my dinner tonight, I’m going to ask for tacos in my horrible Spanish. I’ll probably blame you for this.

  75. Becca Reply

    I think it’s about time I asked for a puppy. Can’t hurt, right? 🙂

    Question on this subject of asking: some people are more prone to give in and give away something when asked, even if they don’t want to. While that’s great for me (woo hoo, more stuff!) for them it could feel like they’re being manipulated. Any advice on this topic?

  76. Steve Somers Reply

    Great article – like I said over on FB, the Aladdin Factor was a big influence on me – really similar to this article. I’m going to ask you Noah for a bit of a favour – BUT I’m going to make sure there’s something ultra valuable in it for you that will help you too.

    A great deal is where both parties win.

  77. Amber M Reply

    Hey Noah,

    I watched the coffee vid you mentioned in your post and it got me thinking. If I can easily ask for a refill of ice tea from my favorite place (which is normally 0.75) and get it free, than why can’t I ask for other stuff the same way?

    I love it when the light bulb turns on. 😀

  78. Rob Actis Reply

    Reading through this thread, it appears that everyone is up to big stuff. Since this is all about asking, how could I not ask this.

    I would like to ask for your support. I just finished voicing and producing an amazing audio book. It is called the Miracle Morning and is written by Hal Elrod. I really think that it is right in the zone for how you all are living your lives. Please take a look at it on audible, it just came out yesterday. I hope that it will bring you the life that you deserve. If you feel like it is worthy, please share it.

    Here is the direct audible link.

    Thank you,

    Rob Actis

  79. Katie Reply

    Hey Noah,

    Thanks for this post! ‘Just asking’ is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. As a freelance writer it can be a tough gig getting enough work and not becoming the typical ‘starving artist’. I was kind of in the mindset that I had to just advertise, put word out and hope I got more clients that way. Then I met a guy who owns a large outsourcing company and a light-bulb went off; ‘why don’t I just ask if they need help with their content creation?’ So I did and gained a steady client – yesss!

    In saying that, does anyone else out there need help managing and producing online or print content?

    All the best to everyone here! May you have success through ‘just asking’.

    Thanks 🙂

  80. Kyle Reply

    My current apartment lease ends in May, but I won’t be ready to move out until June.

    Going month-to-month on the lease raises the monthly rent by $300.

    I asked for my rent to stay the same for the single month, and my request was granted. It was just that easy.

  81. Lilia Reply

    I ask for things big and small in my personal life all the time, but it didn’t occur to me how very useful this habit (and tolerance for failure) can be for growing my business, thanks Noah!

    Here are my most recent wins:
    – A ticket to a sold out event. I emailed one of the organizers asking for a spot and offerred help at the event. Next available spot was mine!

    My regular “asks”:
    – Asking for a better table at a restaurant
    – Asking for a room upgrade and late checkout when checking into a hotel

    My ask of the day – if you are reading this, go to and sign up for launch notification! If you are an aspiring entrepreneur you will find the site helpful when it launches in a few weeks (it will save you tons of time and maybe some money).

  82. DAVID BEACH Reply

    I’m going to ask Katie…( 3rd entry up ) to send me some of her writing samples because I want her to help me write a one-man show. I will be happy to split our profits.
    Katie, go to my website and see what I do as an actor.
    I would love to have a second writer ( myself as one… ) to help me.
    Oh… and Ill need the bag to carry my new script.. from Katie…


  83. Nate Johnson Reply

    Noah, thank you (and Sachel & Page) for turning me onto these products. It’s undoubtably clear they love what they do – these things are a work of beauty and art! I absolutely want both a bag, and one of their wallets, too.

    Amid all these fantastic people commenting, I would also like to throw my name in the mix to win the giveaway. Here’s what I propose:

    If I am chosen for this bag, I will use it to create a highly professional (jQuery-based), 360-degree gallery showcase widget that Sachel & Page can use on their website. This will feature one of those really nifty “click-and-drag” (touch-drag on mobile) interfaces so their users can easily and intuitively pull the bag around to check it out from all angles. The gallery will feature professionally shot, background isolated (transparency isolated, so they can put them on any color/texture background they like, or white if they prefer), high-resolution images that are dynamically loaded at the lowest necessary resolution, with the ability to zoom in on any frame of the rotation for a high quality view (faster load times and high quality zooming) and I’ll also throw in an “open and close the bag” functionality.

    If they want to throw in a wallet, I’ll also throw in a wallet gallery widget!

    Why?! Simply put, I want to do this because as a heavy mobile user (composing this on my iPhone, in fact!), I found their site to be good, but could be MUCH better, especially in mobile. I specialize in this kind of web-awesome-sauce and I would like to show Sachel and Page what we (my employer, Ashday Interactive – can do in addition to opening a dialog for possible future work.

    Give me a chance to wow you!

    Either way, if I don’t win the bag, I’m definitely buying a wallet, and the offer still stands if they’re interested.

    Keep rocking, my friends and Noah – thank you for all of your constant inspiration, both in and outside the HTMYF$D course.

    Much love,


  84. Mia Reply

    I used your template emails and sent a request to Louisa, the Digital Summit organiser and asked for two tickets to the Brisbane Conference.

    One for me and one for a good friend. Hi Louisa 🙂

  85. Robert Reply

    Very nice post, and a lesson I’ve been working on internalizing for years.

    Back at university I talked my way into an entrepreneurship course at the business school. One session was held by a charming, dynamic professor that taught (to no one’s surprise) negotiation.

    Her first assignment for every class is to walk into a store with fixed prices – the grocery store, the Apple Store, Armani, take your pick – select a purchase, and on the way out ask for a discount.

    She then breaks down all the psychological reasons that people are intimidated to do so, makes them look decidedly foolish, and sends us out into the world.

    She’s regarded as one of the finest teachers of negotiation in the country, but this is the single most valuable lesson I learned from her: just learn to ask.

    Great post. And a great bag. Mind sending it my way?

  86. Amanda Reply

    So…I actually didn’t “ask” for a kiss. Yesterday, I texted him and said, “You do realize we have been on five dates and you have yet to kiss me.” He did not text me back. But, this afternoon there were flowers with a card that said, “Let’s remedy that.” So, high five. haha.

    (in answer to your question, Noah…I’m hoping maybe he’s just shy. :/). 😀 haha.

  87. Eitan Reply

    Went with my wife to buy ceiling fans for our flat (~$400 total for all fans), asked for a discount, the lady said no, asked for a cash discount also got a no.
    Main thing is that I was super comfortable asking, thought to myself why not to, what do I have to lose? Nothing.

    What can I gain? Feeling good with myself and money 🙂

  88. Daniel @ Satchel & Page Reply

    Great responses everyone! We can’t give away too much stuff, but if you’d like a discount, it wouldn’t hurt to ask 🙂 . Hit me up at

    Winners (Bag of your choice)
    1. Nate Johnson – That’s an offer we can’t refuse.
    2. Rob Actis – Nice experience with your daughter, good habit to teach her.

    Winners (Travel Journals of your choice..why not?)
    1. Gretl – I bet Salzburg says ‘yes’ – your app would bring them more tourists.
    2. Erin (freelance photographer) – Sounds like a neat project and way to put yourself out there.

    Winners – Please get in touch with me at the email address above and we’ll get you taken care of.

    Again, great stuff everyone. Keep living boldly.

  89. Lucas Reply

    Taking the course now – really enjoying it.

    And this is awesome. Today, before even reading this, I was in an interview for an internship this summer and, before he said anything about compensation, asked:

    “So what are you willing to pay for my skills?”

    He told me that he’ll get back to me once I have my next interview (which is at his friend’s startup) on Monday.

    We’ll see!

  90. George L Reply

    Follow-up – Harbor Freight visit was a success! I asked for a 10% discount and she smiled at me and said, “I’ll do better, here’s a 20% discount coupon!” as she pulled it from the side of her cash register.

    Score one for asking for a discount and getting more than you asked for!


  91. Samith Reply

    Hi Noah,

    This was a super super post. I think many people have a problem with asking for what they want (including myself). I was brought up to be humble and to wait and to not just ask, because I just might be perceived as rude.

    However, more and more I am seeing that the only way to get anything in life is to ask for it. Because if you don’t ask for what you want… you end up getting what other people want you to want!

    It reminds me of an old quote on my fridge ‘Those who want milk should not wait on grassy hills waiting for a cow to slide up to them with a pail of milk.’

    Anyways – this is what ‘m going to ask for today.

    Could I have the Satchel-Paige bag? It’s not actually for me, it’s for the wife. My gmail doesn’t ordinarily show pictures so I clicked on the bag link and showed my wife the various bags and asked what she liked and she actually chose the bag you had! So I would love the bag, for the wife, because I have never got her a bag 😛

    In return I’m happy to write a blog post and create a video of my wife gushing over this wonderful prize form you 🙂

    warmest regards


  92. Neil C Reply

    Thanks for the inspiration to ask. I am fortunate enough to be tagging along on my wife’s business trip to Brazil. As a life long Brazilian Jiu Jitsu student, I longed for more time in Brazil. I started by asking the wife to stay a few days without her. We agreed on two. Then I asked everyone and anyone, who do you know in Brazil that could _______. I have arranged dinners, rides, accommodations, and training with some of the best instructors in the world. Just for asking.

    So now I am thinking I just need to have a really cool bag to travel with. So I am asking, can I have the Satchel and can you get it to me before I leave for Brazil

    Obrigado (practicing my Portugues)


  93. Francis Reply

    My friend and I travelled miles to go to Ongpin, the Famous Wedding Ring capital in the Philippines, to buy my Girlfriend engagement ring.. We never thought Engagement rings were, in general, more expensive than engagement rings.

    Broke but in love, We found one in budget but It was P2,000 (around $50)… and I only have P1,000 (around $25).

    With outright conviction I asked: Great, here’s my P1,000. and include that cute pink hearty box too (worth around $4), And If she said “yes” to my proposal, I’ll buy our wedding ring at your store.

    She smiled. Said “No problem”, packed it… done deal.

    PS. While she’s writing the receipt I ask her to engrave (valued around $5) my nickname “Yummy”.

    I wish I can upload that Image of the ring here 🙂

    But still My GF doesnt know about the ring LOL 🙂

  94. Rob Actis Reply

    This is such great news! I just saw the post that I was one of the winners. What a great way to go into the weekend. Thank you Noah and of course Daniel from Satchel Page.

    Warm Regards,

    Rob Actis

  95. Anya Reply

    You’re so on point with this. A few weeks ago I asked to be considered for this position at work, totally over my head, huge company (Autodesk), but I REALLY wanted it and specifically due to the product/category it would oversee. The position turned out to be even more high level than I suspected so I didn’t get it. HOWEVER, they’ve moved me to focus solely on that product, drive the category, small raise, increased some responsibilities (a good thing)…. etc. PLUS, I made some heads turn with the bold move, they know my ambitions and drive.
    LESSON: ask, even if you don’t get exactly what you’ve asked for you’ll be closer to it than had you not asked ,)

  96. rafael Reply

    One of my favorite blog posts so far! My partners and I were able to sell a ton of this weekend by taking an extra 10 seconds to ask, “wanna buy some”?

    Pretty much effortless and the answer was a yes each time!

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  97. Gil Herrera Reply

    I love to ask things 🙂

    I asked today for a discount on a $300USD 70.3 Ironman entry… had no for an answer. I wasn´t left with the doubt.


  98. Krish Reply

    I asked for a larger discount with FedEx for my small business, and was rewarded with a 40% discount on Express shipments (was transferred many times, but it worked)

  99. Greg Sanger Reply

    Got a bag around Christmas that was too big. Satchel would not exchange or refund or accept restock fee. Terrible customer service maybe hurting financially? Go with a Timbuktu bag!

  100. Steve Reply

    I asked the guy at Chipotle last night to give me free guacamole..He turned around to see if the manager was there and then just charged for the standard bowl!

  101. Bibiano Wenceslao Reply

    Ask. Ask. Ask. I’ll definitely keep that in mind from now on. I tend to try to solve anything by myself first before asking for assistance. Often times, I end up realizing I could have saved a lot of previous time and headaches if I decided to ask others first.

  102. karen Reply

    I am going to ask for marketing dollars to develop our offerings. I work for a large company and am part of the UX team. Unfortunately the company doesn’t really see how important our team is as they are very much technology focused. I am putting together a strategy and plan to show how we can be successful. Wish me luck. 🙂

  103. Nate Johnson Reply

    Everyone — I wanted to post a follow-up!

    I got my bag from Satchel & Page and WOW it’s amazing. Beautifully designed, heavy duty to the max, I’ve gotten it wet, and taken it on planes, trains and automobiles over half the country and it looks amazing and is great to use every day. It’s deceptively large, too — holds an awesome amount of stuff (I replaced an entire laptop backpack with this bag). Thank you so much, Daniel!!

    They just launched a kickstarter campaign for a new line of bags ( and it’s already funded in like 12 hours! Check it out!

  104. Chris Reply

    It’s amazing how much you can achieve by only saying what you want. I see that people usually don’t say loud and clear about their eagers and wants. They often are confused and don’t know exactly what they really want.
    Conversely, people are surprised when they others who are determined and know exactly what they want. If you really know what you want and you speak loud and clear, if you know where you are going, people will follow because they need direction.

  105. Larry Hawkes Reply


    I have often read your words with interest. You are transparent with your learning experiences and that is a great help for people. However, there is one continuing habit you have that frustrates your ability to be a truly great communicator. I had that habit myself in my earlier days, and Craig Ballantyne over at Early To Rise writes about it here:
    I hope you take this in the spirit it is given and I wish you truly great success.

  106. Nik Zulhazmi Reply

    Good read! I’d like to call it the ‘Art of Asking’.

    Actually this hits me right on. I always find it hard to ask people for things. My wife always said I’m being too kind to people, especially when helping families or friends.

    I’ll definitely will ask more in the future. Next time if my friends came to me for help (geeky things) I’ll definitely ask him/her to at least buy me coffee afterwards, for a start, haha!

  107. kc Reply

    Much of what I see involves a younger crowd. Typically able to take more risks. What about those of us in our 40s, with jobs and families. I want to join the movement as well. Is it too late to get adventurous?

  108. Jason Randell Reply

    Its all about the ask! Its amazing how much more you can get out of life if you just ask. On that same note, would you mind shooting a quick blog post out about what the real value of free is from the business to consumer. (B2C) Aside from this being the thesis of my company, I am always open to hearing what others think!

  109. Rais Zada Reply

    Well I already doing this and its really work, Like few days ago about 49 websites hosting account got terminated due to some wrong settings and HostGator created invoice of $735 and I just asked for 100% free service as a reward of being a loyal client from years. And… I saved $735 in just 3 minutes. Now I’m asking for this bag 😛

  110. Nadia Reply

    Hi Noah and friends. Today I will ask my workplace to foot the bill for the HR course I’m taking. Oi! Noah are you doing some kind of meet up when you come to Oz?

  111. Tim Reply

    Thanks for the emails man.

    A few weeks ago I asked a guy if his company hires copywriters or pays bloggers to be brand ambassadors. He said yes, gave me two projects they are working towards, and set up a meeting for the next week.

    Something came up last minute and he had to cancel.

    So today, I’m going to send him and email and ask him “How can I help you?”

    Then, I’m going to give him a few scenarios to help him answer that question.

    Love the 1K course.

  112. Ash Reply

    Hey Noah, your make your first dollar course is awesome. I have been getting a lot out of it. Will you be stopping by in Sydney? If so can I show you around?

  113. Neil Ferree Reply

    This piece takes me back to the early 80’s when I landed my 1st sales job with a F500 company. Pitney Bowes required all new rookie reps to take the Xerox PSS training.

    My trainer was a primo professional. I still remember his mantra “close early, close often” and his tactic was to ask 3 easy to say yes and on the 4th close (or as you say Noah) ask for something, would be the “trial close”.

    These days, prospects are too savvy to fall for “would you like that in Red or Blue” but the core concept still holds water. What’s the worst that can happen? You’ll never know until you ask?

    Rule #1 when you ask for something remember this “he who speaks first ? loses”

  114. Doug Foley Reply

    The failure Olympics was one of the most fun business challenges I have done to date! I still cannot do 100 push ups, but I did teach me that failure is ok, it is worse not to try.

    Since I started about 3 months ago I have received a number of first class upgrades, free rounds of drinks and all my bank fees waived.

    It’s amazing what happens when you just ask for something!

    1. Patrick Foley Reply

      Noah, if you do ever visit Aggieland, there’s some BUCKET LIST brisket there – Fargo’s. Look it up. I think it’s the best brisket I’ve ever had.

      My sister’s family lives there (her husband is a professor at A&M) – if you ever speak there, please let me know so that I can tell them to go.

  115. Jon Reply

    Good guy discount! I have always used this in my sales and purchases but I was pretty reserved about when and where I used it. However this year heard a story on NPR “Good Guys” that changed that. I now casually ask for extra benefits a lot more and the results have been amazing. People really do want to help and they either gracefully apologize for not being allowed to grant my request, give me something they are allowed to give me, or give me what I ask for. Your advice is good and I hope people take it.

  116. Alex Reply

    This email came one day too late (sort of). Yesterday I went to buy a suit and was going to ask for a 10% discount bc hey, why not? They didn’t seem busy in the mall, and it’s 10% to make a sale… and I just didn’t even bother. They were offering free tailoring and I valued the piece I was getting as on par with what I was paying. But, there really is no harm in asking. Ugh, such a timely email!

  117. Cindy | The Reedster Speaks Reply

    I negotiated fees for a freelance writing project this week. I gave an hourly estimate for the simple document revision they asked for, but also proposed that I revamp the whole thing from scratch for a larger project fee. I researched fees for like two hours and then I felt sick to my stomach that I had asked for too much and then 3 hours later, BAM. One sentence email saying, basically: Great idea. Let’s do that.

  118. Sacha Reply


    I consider myself to be the type of person that spends a pretty large amount of time really thinking about how I move through the world, however this topic seems to always send me spinning & I honestly cannot figure out why. Why (for me) is it so difficult to ask but SOOO easy to give? That one I have down in spades – asking is the chink in my armour. So thank you. This week, I pledge to challenge myself to ask something for seven days straight.

    @Ira – that nacho video was priceless!! 😉

  119. Mary Jo Bergs Reply

    I’m in sales and have learned that when you ask for something it leads to a “yes” or “no”. Today, my daughter was negotiating on wages for her 1st job after completing college. An offer was made to her on the wages, and I said “Come back at X+$, the worst they’ll say is no.” So she did, and they said no, but at least she asked, and was told that once she made it thru probation, a raise could be discussed, along with negotiating other points. Atta Girl! (And if you choose me for the bag, I’ll give it to her!)

  120. Isabelle Baker Reply

    Coffee Challenge!
    I just heard you for the first time on the James Altucher podcast and you are so interesting and encouraging! I learned so much from you. I’m probably not your normal listener, I just turned 53 and I lost everything financially. I am starting over from zero. Yesterday I learned what a coffee challenge was from listening to you. Today I went to work at a job I have felt stuck at and they closed the entire department and I was laid off. No notice. A complete surprise. And so on the way home I thought – “Wow, I have to do the coffee challenge now!” So I went in and asked for a discount. I didn’t say 10% because I wondered if they DID give me a discount and if I didn’t name it, would they give me more than 10%??? So I asked “May I have a discount please?” And the barista was like “Ahhh…haha…what?” “May I have a discount?” and she looked kinda sideways and asked “Why?” “Just because” I replied. When she asked why a second time, I said “Well, I was just laid off a couple of hours ago and it would be really fun if you would give me a discount.” For a $4.41 total she gave me a $1.00 off and she totally had fun doing it too!
    Tomorrow, I’m going to do a plain coffee challenge with no explanation but it was a good start tonight. Thank you for what I’ve already learned from you! I hope all your future business meetings are at ball courts and you get to end them with a quiet walk home!

  121. Jennifer Dopazo Reply

    Oh Noah Noah Noah!
    You’re amazing. One thing that I’ve been challenging myself with is asking for things. I always felt bad about taking time from people with requests or chats or even asking for an opportunity that I know I’d be amazing at but I’m too shy to go for it. Secretly I thought that by doing so I’d be perceived as sneaky or not too professional but if you I do from a place of honesty and give them value, why not?

    The worst is getting a no, and that I’m getting already by not even asking 🙂

  122. Andrew Silcox Reply

    Today I finally decided to ask the owner of a successful business I admire for 30 minutes of their time to tell me what they would do differently if they could start their business all over again. He charges $450 an hour and I got 1 hour of his time and some invaluable insights to help me run my own business.

  123. Millicent Reply

    I have asked for upgraded flights and gotten them. Today, I will ask for a complimentary ticket to a conference I can’t quite fit into my budget right now, but would help my business tremendously. Thanks for the challenge!

  124. Steve Reply

    Thanks Noah, you’re one heavy cat rocking’ the taco’s! I received a reply from a potential client today, turns out he’s currently based state-side but my company is in Europe. He was positive, like the work, but basically said” let’s stay in touch”. I followed up thanking him for getting back to me AND asking if he can recommend who he could introduce me to the person I can offer my services to in the home office where I live. I kept the conversation going and maybe I’ll make in person contact which would be great since its a company I really want to collaborate with. Moral of the story: You have to ask! -SW

  125. Kamila Gornia | for passion-driven solopreneurs Reply

    Yeah, this is awesome. I do love the concept of “If you don’t ask, you won’t get ANYTHING” and it’s so true. Yes, I realize you didn’t specifically say that but it’s true. How can you know what will happen if you don’t ask? You can’t. Same goes for negotiations and other things that have to do with money. It’s quick. And the worst they can do is say no. And then you’re back to where you started. Which is already a good spot to be in.

  126. Dave Vogt Reply

    I read a book a while back called “How Come That Idiots Rich and I’m Not?” by Robert Shemin a real estate guru…of all the books he has written it’s the most tongue and cheek and by far my favourite.
    The general concept is to ask for something if you want it…it’s ok, nothing bad will happen. Just ask!
    I read this book out loud in the car to my girlfriend, my mom, and my dad on a trip down to Richmond Speedway to watch a Nascar race (my treat for my mom and dad). When we arrived at the hotel the room was in need of repair and I was disappointed to say the least. So I went and asked for a huge discount…long story short. We were only at the hotel to sleep and shower and it was suitable to do that. The room was at less then half the price and we got a gift basket sent to our room for being kind enough to stay (it was the only room left).
    I have asked for things ever since and the results have been nothing short of priceless.
    Never and I mean NEVER be afraid to ask for something if you think it’s justified. Heck…even if you just think you might want something. You just never know what will happen.
    Thanks Noah for sharing your story. As always great advice!

  127. Patryk Reply

    I haven’t got a clue Noah Kagan exists just until today and now I feel like I should finally create my facebook account just not to miss more personalities like yourself 🙂
    Great read, I enjoyed it!
    Btw would sumome work with any Polish services provider?
    P.s. yeah I visited more of your websites 😉

  128. Mark Wilson Reply

    Oh yes – you are SO right. Get out of that comfort zone. I can still recall my first commission only sales role. I nearly starved until I worked out you actually have to ask people to sign on the dotted line! Of course, you find slicker ways over time but you still have to ask.

    So what am I going to ask today? Well it’s a really BIG ask…

    Noah, will you take the free trial of our recently launched Reminders program and give us your feedback please. There’s a temporary signup page here…

    Can’t believe I just asked you that!

  129. Frank Reply

    Thank you so much for this article. It gives me some kind of confidence and it got me on line to go and ask my boss for a raise. “The business doesn’t make enough money Frank”, he has said for years. “We don’t make money anymore” Well, it’s been over two years and, it’s time for me to make a move.
    Thanks again

  130. Alex Barker Reply

    Recently asked a larger company to sponsor my email list.
    Used sumome templates (of course)
    The company replied back : yes!
    Now negotiating the next steps 😀

    Also asked my wife to clean the kitty litter. She also said yes… In exchange for taco dinner tonight.

  131. Joe Aro Reply

    I’ve never understood why people do not ask. You can’t get a date for the prom unless you ask. You never get served if you do not ask for what you want. Don’t settle for what is offered. Ask for the extra, “Can you offer anything to make my stay more pleasant?” has made many business and vacation trips much more enjoyable. Many times the person you’re dealing with just doesn’t think to offer the extra because it is not standard. There is always something . . . you just have to learn to ask and ask nicely without a sense of entitlement. People are more likely to do something for likable people.

  132. Lena Reply

    This is something I can add on my #30actsofbravery.
    A personal challenge I set upon myself.

    For starters, I wish your travel journal can find its way here in the Philippines.
    (That’s me and my subtle way of asking. Just so we’re clear.)

    Great read!
    And thank you.

  133. Ivana Filkusova Reply

    I once asked for a discount at Salvatore Ferragamo store. It was brand new collection, so they first said that they cannot. After a big smile and one more try, I got my 10 percent off the bill. Just ask!!!!

  134. Ruth Reply

    I’ve did 2 last week! First I got 15% off some trainers & second I got 20% off an apartment rental I booked for my sister, saved over €115 just by asking for a discount!! I also got a no this morning from the fire extinguisher man, who thought it was really funny that I asked, so we ended up having a laugh instead – so the no turned out to be fun anyway, win/win all round really haha

  135. Brett Reply

    Ok, so I decided to go for the big one, I asked for a raise. What did I get? A NO we aren’t giving anyone raises. Which I happen to know is BS. But what did I really get? A fire lit under me to work smarter and find people that appreciate what I bring to the table and are willing to actually compensate me for that! So, even though I didn’t get a raise, in the long run, I will have gained a lot!

  136. Kevin Rapp Reply

    Awesome article! I recently went to the Farmers Market and applied this lesson of asking to my shopping. And I crushed it! Once I got over the first ask, it started to just come naturally come to me. Throwing in an extra bushel of kale to my order, 50% off my pasture raised, cage free, grass fed, wild caught, massaged regularly Italian sausages (not a euphemism) and free samples galore! I was so comically confident in my ability to make deals. I see what you mean now about little wins adding up. Thanks for the lesson in selling, Noah!

  137. Joel Cherrico Reply

    Today I asked two people from the staff of if they would let me mail them a few copies of a magazine article that published my, “Cosmic Mugs” along with a few of my newest, best cosmic mugs. Both responded yes. The website director even gave me the direct address to Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, who frequents national TV shows, hosts his own StarTalk TV on Nat Geo Channel and has a personal Twitter with 3.4 M followers. If you were in my shoes, what would you ask him next?

  138. Rya Reply

    Do you turn all your emails into blog posts (or viseversa)? Also is these email/blog post part of a sequence? I just received this email today 6/19/2015

  139. Christine Marsh Reply

    I had a fascinating experience with this at our local Public Market.

    I go there to shop for fresh vegetables and fruit
    because it is great quality produce and the prices are low.

    I have to admit that I felt a little guilty about asking
    for discounts because the stuff is already practically free.

    Some people said no.
    They seemed to feel bad about saying no to me,
    while also respecting me more.

    Some said yes.
    Some who said yes had no problem with it
    and one seemed very irritated,
    but, agreed anyway.

    I probably saved about $5.
    It was a fun and easier than I thought.

    I will definitely utilize this more.
    Thank You Noah!

  140. graham Reply

    I emailed a radio station for advertising, got an interview with the station manager and instead of paying cash they accepted $2500 worth of my stock. I was thrilled how open they were to this kind of deal. They didn’t give me late night or early morning slots either. They were during the day when most listeners were tuning in.

  141. Jordan Reply

    It’s funny this post is two years old but it’s so new to me. I just started reading ok dork. I asked if I could do some social media work for a client that needed a frewlance writer for their blog. I haven’t found out the answer yet, but I thought why not social media is something I can do too. Then your post came so I guess I’m on the right road.

  142. Chris Reply

    I was ordering pizza. He told me the price for a 20″ NY style pizza was $21+tax. I asked him if he would give me 3 pizzas for $60 total. He said, “I’d be losing money, but ok.”

    Everything is negotiable…plus it just makes life more exciting.

  143. Amandah Reply

    I emailed two companies about scholarships to attend their conferences.

    I’d like to attend Entreprenuer’s Thought Leaders 2016 [May 24] conference. Yvette [said she met you when you spoke at their annual Growth Conference in December] emailed me and stated that Entrepreneur doesn’t have scholarships. They have free events from time-to-time. Nice!

    I’m still waiting for a response from the second organization.

    Once you get over the initial fear of “asking,” it gets easier.

  144. Dewey Reply

    Noah, really enjoying these emails! I’m starting an olive oil company here in CA, as you know, cash flow in startups is tough. My landlord said to ask him if I needed help during my startup, and I did, because the bank loan took longer than expected, and rent was due = $2,000. So I asked if for this month, I could pay half….he said absoltlye! I could not believe it. The art of asking is so important!


  145. JD Reply

    Hi Noah.

    I just recently became a subscriber of the emails (It’s 05.06.16).

    Great email. It reminds me of Jack Canfield’s “The Aladdin Factor,” which is a book dedicated to making asks.

    Decided to take you up on your challenge:

    Today I was struggling to figure out which wifi/router/combo to buy, due to TWC’s speed upgrade two weeks ago (my equipment became extinct this past weekend, no warning).

    1. On Tuesday, the TWC tech guy told me to get the 2-in-1 wifi/router combo.
    2. Since I could not find the product number of the combo unit, and to avoid struggling with the multitude of options presented on the TWC website, today I actually CALLED TWC to ask a tech for his personal recommendations. He told me to buy a separate modem and router. It made sense, but now I was more confused about which two items I had to buy to fix the problem.
    3. Undaunted, I went to Staples to ask IN PERSON about their equipment solutions and received a great deal of clarity for the right choice for my situation.

    Lesson learned:
    I tend to struggle by doing things on my own. I could research the perfect solution for weeks. Instead, I reduced the time down to one day (Yes, this took hours and although it may look like a waste of time, it’s not. I like to make informed buying decisions).

    So…I’ll keep asking!

    Thank you :).

  146. Sam Reply

    Hey Noah,

    I just got your email and read it in the past, come to think about it was around the time I started to ask more.

    In the past six months, I’ve managed to negotiate my salary up £2.5k, negotiate my rent down by £100 (a month – I pay half so essentially £50) and negotiate £100 off a car (plus a free CD!) that’s a whopping yearly £3,200 extra cash (before tax)!



  147. Max Reply

    Amazing Article, Thanks 😀 To ask is a constant challenge for me … Have you any tipps how to build this habit? A Post about all the different challenges would be awesome! Something like a Business Confidence Bootcamp 😀 Day1 do this, day2 this, ect 😀 Best wishes – Max

  148. Steve Reply

    Just bought a new guitar with/for my college age son including a gig bag and a warranty. Asked for a discount when I was looking at just the guitar – answer was no. Asked again when I was looking at buying the guitar and the gig bag – answer was still no. Asked AGAIN when I was looking at buying the guitar, gig bag, AND the warranty – Answer was “Let me ask my manager.” Result – 15% discount on the guitar which equaled a free two year warranty. 🙂