Derek Sivers

Don’t be afraid to ask for favors

Have you ever asked for directions in a city? People get an ego boost when they know the answer to something you’re asking. They’ll gladly answer to show off their knowledge.

So don’t be afraid to ask for favors. People like doing favors!

When I lived in New York City, one bold musician I know called me and said, “I’m coming to New York in 2 months. Can you give me a list of all the important contacts you think I should meet?” What guts! But I laughed and searched my database, then emailed him a list of 40 people he should call, telling him to mention my name.

Sometimes you need to find something specific: a video director, a JavaScript programmer, a free rehearsal studio. Contact everyone you know and ask. Your network of friends will know how to get everything you want in life.

Some people you know have time on their hands, and would rather help you do something useful, instead of sitting at home watching TV. Need help doing promotion? Need help getting equipment to a show? Just ask them!

By making them feel important, connected, and needed, you’ll be doing them a favor, too.