By all accounts, I was not one of those natural-born charmers who at age 8 could approach anyone with an audacious request and magically entice them to say yes despite their better judgment.
I was so shy it hurt. Couldn’t speak to more than one person without hearing drumbeats. My parents were delighted when I made it through high school without incident.
I didn’t know it then, but my leadership style was Ms. Idealist. Natural caretaker and true believer who never stops hoping? Yes, that’s me. Asking felt contrary to my instincts. I’ve always been more comfortable making sure everyone else is comfortable. Why rock the boat?
The year was 1987 and I was the 18-year-old fundraising coordinator for a nonprofit called The Hunger Project. It didn’t take long before a light switched on. In my quest to reduce world hunger, I realized that my ability to ask for things was the single biggest success factor in my relationships, in my earnings, and in building an effective organization.
So, I got good at making requests fast. I worked with several mentors, received a communication-public speaking course scholarship, practiced and practiced until I could speak from my heart rather than from my mind.
Not only did this lead to The Hunger Project raising $85,000 in one year, but the ability to make irresistible requests has since allowed me to:
The belief that opened doors for me? Discovering I could serve others through making the right requests. The request itself became a vehicle for personal transformation. I became more courageous and more confident.
It turns out these qualities of nurturing and love and intuition not only made me an effective idealist, but they could make me an effective leader, too.
Of course, being an irresistible requester means you’re always ready to hear “no.” But there’s something magical about making the request anyway. That expansive feeling stays with you. This feeling has changed my life. I can’t wait to share it with you.
It’s so exciting to watch women realize that when they make a promise, a real commitment to themselves and others, something happens that causes a fundamental shift — a massive change of direction. So that they can BE someone they’ve never — and I do mean never — been before. Ultimately this leads to doing things and saying things that they’ve never done before. Sometimes it’s scary. Sometimes it’s exhilarating. Sometimes it causes them to stretch as they have never stretched before. Their words have such power.
“This woman is the QUEEN of communication, and knows the immense power your conversations have, especially the conversations you have with yourself. I loved witnessing the shift in each one of us as we each left the room a more empowered person, more ready than EVER to make things happen. Annette has the rare ability to ask the right questions, so that you can get the perspective you need to see yourself in an entirely new light. It is magical, and if you ever get the opportunity to work with her, I absolutely would.”
-Alex Beadon, Branding + Marketing Expert