Just Ask


Just ask, and why it’s good to be rejected


Both Tim Ferriss, author of “The Four Hour Work Week”, and Noah Kagan, creator of Appsumo.com and Sumome.com, have a huge number of online followers. In one of their recent podcasts  Noah talks about the easiest way to start building your email list. Here’s how simple his suggestion is: go through your phone contacts, text the people you already know, ask them to join your subscriber list. How easy is that?


Guess what? It’s really hard, or at least I found it really hard. What if they think it’s a stupid idea? What if they say no? Will it be awkward next time I see them if they didn’t sign up? This got me thinking about why it’s so hard for me to ask people I already have a connection with to read my stuff. I’m interested to know if you folks same feel the same way.


Is the problem a low opinion of what I’ve got to offer or is it simply that I fear rejection? I’m spending a good chunk of my time putting together material that I think people might find helpful, so I don’t think it’s a lack of belief in what I’m offering. Maybe it is just the thought of being rejected.


As a child I was abandoned by my parents and brought up by wolves deep in the forests of New Zealand – it’s possible that’s where my fear of rejection comes from. Actually that’s not true, there are no wolves in New Zealand. In reality I suspect I’m no different from most people, aren’t we all a little bit insecure? You know that feeling that any second now someone is going to bust you? That they’re going to tell you that you’ve got no right to be behaving as though you know what you are talking about.


In an attempt to follow Noah’s advice, I set up a spreadsheet in google and started texting people from my contact list. I got to about five people then became incredibly self conscious. As it turns out the end result wasn’t so bad – three people actually signed up – but unfortunately the other thing that happened was that I couldn’t bring myself to ask any more people. I thought I’d leave it a couple of days before I try again, but I still keep putting it off. It’s been playing on my mind so much that I started writing this post.


I know it should get easier the more I do it. I hope so, as just asking a couple of people ain’t going to cut it. There must be some kind of tipping point where the fear of rejection becomes acceptable, or at least tolerable. You must eventually build up an immunity, an antidote to the virus that is rejection. I just don’t know where that tipping point is. Is it asking five people, ten people, or even fifty people? Please let it be ten!


Tomorrow I’m going to pick up my smart phone, go through my contacts and ask three more people to sign up to Imageneralist.com, then the next day I’m going to ask three more, and the next day…


So if you see me walking the streets looking dejected and downtrodden, don’t worry it’s just me working on my cure for the rejection virus we all carry. If you’re one of the people I contacted but you didn’t sign up, that’s ok, you’re just helping me build up my immunity levels. If you did sign up, thanks I really appreciate it.
Cheers @Generalistalan

3 Responses to Just Ask

  1. Paula September 3, 2015 at 11:42 pm #


    • generalistalan September 4, 2015 at 12:46 am #

      Keen to expand on that?

  2. Brendon September 7, 2015 at 2:41 am #

    What is the worst thing that can happen – they say no, and you miss out on a follower. I know what the outcome will be if you dont ask! guess what Alan, nobody will give it a second thought, they will say yes and then enjoy your posts like we do, or they will say no and that will be the end of it. No judging, no grudges, just no

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