Einstein Put to the Test

Here’s a common mistake that I see a lot of business owners struggling with.

It has to do with asking.

As a business owner and marketer (and yes, you ARE a marketer), your goal is to invite people to take some type of action.

Now, that action could take the form of calling your office, downloading a report, or even clicking a link.

Or…like in my last email, you could ask them for help supporting a local cause.

But in the end, you are consistently encouraging and persuading people to DO something.

As Einstein put it, “Nothing happens until something moves.”

The phone don’t ring until someone actually punches in the numbers.

That’s just how life works.

It’s the invitation to do something or be someone that gets you off your butt and taking action.

My friend Cody is a great example of this. He’s the type that hears about a brutal triathlon race and hunts you down until you submit and sign up.

Except this wasn’t just any triathlon. It was the Ironman.

Here’s the story…

I was outside in the garden one summer day, pretending I knew what I was doing, when my phone rang. It was Cody.

Somewhat out of the blue, I was curious to see what this was all about. And in true Cody fashion, he got right to the point.

“Hey, I just signed up for the Ironman. Want to do this with me?”

In truth, I had thought about doing this beastly race before. Not all that seriously, mind you…more in a ‘that would be cool’ sort of way. But it had crossed my mind.

However, this was not a casual question. This was a direct challenge from someone to whom even a casual nod is considered an iron-clad approval.

My pride almost got the best of me and I very nearly blurted out, “You’re on.”

But the overwhelming thought of swimming 2.4 miles in open water, biking 112 miles, and THEN run 26.2 miles reared its ugly head.

Although naturally athletic, this was not the sort of thing where I could just show up and get by on talent.

Buying some time I said, “Give me the weekend to think about it. I’ll let you know by Monday.”

Long story short, I consulted with my wife (who was pregnant at the time with baby girl #2), and she gave her blessing. (Don’t know what she was thinking)

I called Cody back the following week telling him the news. And 9 months later, I became an Ironman.

All from a 3-minute phone call and a simple invitation.

That’s the power of asking.

That sunburn line literally took 18 months to go away

Think about that…

From that short conversation, I committed an average of 15 hours a week (20+ at the peak) for NINE MONTHS.


But nothing would have ever happened, if my friend never flat-out asked me the question.

The same holds true for your business.

You could be the greatest life coach, dentist, or personal trainer the world has ever seen. But if you are not consistently ASKING your audience to take action…then it’s all for naught.

An invitation forces someone to actually stop and think about their options, and then make a decision. This is a great thing because regardless of the outcome, it provides clarity for both you and the other person.

Bottom line: don’t be afraid to ask your audience to take action.

Even if they decline your offer (spoiler: most of them will), it doesn’t mean that they will never become a client or customer.

Each invitation plants a seed and you never know when that seed will take root and sprout up. (one of the few things I learned from my gardening)

Your asking could be the catalyst that propels that person forward.

Mark “not-so-green-thumb” Thackeray

P.S. To be clear, I did apply sunscreen several times during the Ironman…but clearly not enough. Burnt to a crisp. Still hurts thinking about it.