The Art of Asking

Posted: Sat, 09 August 2014 by Amanda

Singer, songwriter, artist, performer, Amanda Palmer's TED Talk has been viewed more than 3 million times. Even if you've seen it before, her message goes to the heart of crowdfunding... the art of asking.

I find it puzzling that people can be so reluctant, sometimes embarassed, to ask for support, whether that's cash, knowledge or skills. And yet, if you turn to the person immediately next to you and ask for help, with clarity and honesty, I'm prepared to bet the answer 90% of the time will be yes.

"Through the very act of asking people, I connected with them. And when you connect with them, people want to help you. It’s kind of counterintuitive for a lot of artists — they don’t want to ask for things. It’s not easy to ask. … Asking makes you vulnerable.

I don’t see these things as risks — I see them as trust. … But the perfect tools can’t help us if we can’t face each other, and give and receive fearlessly — but, more importantly, to ask without shame. … When we really see each other, we want to help each other. I think people have been obsessed with the wrong question, which is, ‘How do we make people pay for music?’ What if we started asking, ‘How do we let people pay for music?"

What I take from Amanda Palmer's message is that most of us allow ourselves to be scared away by the 10% possibility of rejection.  Let's all be more brave. Let's 'give and receive fearlessly'; I can't think of a better slogan for crowdfunding.


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