A Raise - Ask and You Shall Receive

I worked in technical sales in the oil and gas industry as a contract consultant after a steady career as an employee in the power industry.  I loved the flexibility of my contractor schedule - part time to full time each week depending on what I had going on at the time.  It allowed me to take care of my growing boys, support my traveling husband, grow my training business and teach fitness classes.  

One of the salesmen I worked with advised me to raise my contract rate every year.  I had always been an employee before, receiving annual reviews and raises on a regular basis and never had to ask for a raise - or should I say - never thought of asking for a raise outside of those constricts (now that I think of it - why hadn't I?). So asking for a raise was something I knew I should do but I wasn't familiar with the process.  I immediately started to write out all of the reasons I deserved a raise as back-up to the amount I was planning on asking for.  My salesman friend said, "you don't need a list of why you deserve a raise, you just go in there and ask for it!".  He made it sound so simple and logical.  I kept vacillating between justifying and just doing it - and finally wrote a brief letter stating my new rate effective January 1.  

I walked into the executive's office and presented my letter to him after briefly stating my reason for being there, to present my new rates. He opened and read the letter, his mouth gaped open with shock, he then looked up at me and causally said "ok".  And that was it.

Wow! How many times do we hold ourselves back from the things we deserve or new things we want to try by doubting ourselves.  It does always help to have a backup plan (some justification, analysis or research), but don't paralyze yourself with the process.  

Ask and you shall receive.