The art of asking…

I very distinctly remember, at the age of 13, my Dad telling me that “if you don’t ask, you don’t get”, and I have lived by this saying ever since.

I consider myself very lucky to have been provided with the opportunities that I have, and I wouldn’t be where I am now – sat at my lovely desk at Magenta Towers writing this blog – if I hadn’t followed that saying. Although often nerve-wracking and unsettling, putting yourself out there and pushing yourself to ask for what you want can, more times than not, come back with rewarding results.


By following this approach, and my Dad’s mantra, at age 20 I can say that I’ve worked on a BBC production set, at London Fashion Week, with J.P. Morgan and am now completing a career-changing placement at the fabulous Magenta Associates. Reminding myself of this phrase and living by its words has given me the confidence to put myself out there and achieve my goals. Five simple steps have helped me along the way and I truly believe they can make a significant difference to one’s confidence and ambition…


  1. ‘Don’t ask, don’t get’ – The simple saying I live by. No matter if it’s to do with friends, family, work, university, you name it – I’ve probably applied it. You will never know what you can or can’t achieve in life if you don’t at least try! Take for example, my current role at Magenta. If I had thought “oh, I probably won’t get that job… I’m not even studying PR…! I won’t even try…” Then I wouldn’t be sat here writing this right now.
  2. ‘Yes or no’ – No matter what your situation, the people involved can only say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to your question. Sure, a ‘no’ might make you feel a little uncomfortable or downtrodden, however it’s all experience at the end of the day… surely? And if they say yes – then fab! You got what you wanted.
  3. Be brave! – At risk of sounding incredibly cliché – it has to be said. If you don’t push yourself, you’ll never achieve what you want! I could have missed some incredible opportunities throughout my life already, if I hadn’t been courageous enough to show my brave side. So believe in yourself and give it a shot!
  4. Don’t be afraid of ‘no’ – you may not always get the answer you were expecting. I’ve had it a few times where I’ve known I’ve been pushing my luck, and been turned down. But the important way around that is to never let it hold you back. Take it on board, try to get the reasoning of the person’s decision, and try again!
  5. Finally, stay proactive! – Always keep on the lookout for new opportunities and ways of further exploring your learning, development and experience. Don’t become complacent in what you know and what you’ve achieved, if you keep pushing yourself in new and interesting ways you’ll be surprised what you can achieve.
Ben Keeley