If you don't ask, the answer is always "no".

I sometimes have coffee with the real estate agent that sold me my house almost 9 years ago. I know, shock and horror, right! But I liked him. He most certainly was not acting in my best interest, but he acted so well in the vendor's best interest (which is his job), that I liked him. Hi, Brad!

Brad has inadvertently become my business development mentor - and he is not even aware of it. That is because over coffee one day, I asked him what made him fearless when it came to real estate. And his answer was that he thinks to himself, well, "if you don't ask, the answer is always "no"!

And when I am feeling reluctant to pick up the phone or send that email, ill-at-ease contacting someone that I have no pre-existing relationship with, of two minds as to whether I should ask for an introduction or referral to someone, or second guessing myself as to whether a particular organisation or institution will want what I am "selling", I think of Brad.

I make that call and send that email. I contact that person I have never met. I ask for the introduction or referral. And I make that offer. Because, if you don't ask, the answer will always be "no". And when you do ask, you would be surprised how often the answer is "yes".