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Your Most Powerful Ask, with Dia Bondi

“People are always like, ‘What is the Zone of Freaking Out?’ Yes, it is the ZOFO. It is the opposite of the comfort zone. And it is where all of the potential is. You can also think of it as the zone of potential. When we make asks that are bigger than we know will get a guaranteed yes, those most often live in the Zone of Freaking Out, which is also where the potential for those asks are.” – Dia Bondi

In this episode

Join Dia Bondi in this special Learning Circle edition of the SheEO.World podcast, as she talks about “Your Most Powerful Ask”. Dia is a Communications Catalyst, coach, and auctioneer. In this podcast she is stepping forward to show you how to trust yourself and be compelling when it’s your turn to talk.

She also touches on:

  • Finding and asking the right people whose vision and mission align with yours
  • The zone of freaking out, or “ZOFO”, also known as the “zone of potential”
  • Putting aside the assumptions and limitations of what we think is possible
  • Being an agent for your purpose
  • Her #asklikeanauctioneer program, and how it is focused on helping women ask for more in their financial compensation conversations

We invite you to join us as an Activator at SheEO.World.

Take action and engage with Dia Bondi:

The Dia Bondi Show

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Podcast Transcript:

The podcast is being transcribed by Otter.ai. (there may be errors, run-on sentences and misspellings).

Dia Bondi 0:00
People are always like, what is the zone of freaking out? Yes, it is the zo fo. It is the opposite of the comfort zone. And it is where all of the potential is. You can also think of it as a zone of potential. When we make asks that are bigger than we know we’ll get a guaranteed yes, those most often live in the zone of freaking out, which is also where the where the potential for those asks are.

Vicki Saunders 0:24
Hi, I’m Vicki Saunders. Welcome to SheEO.World, a podcast about women who are working on the World’s To-Do List. On this podcast, you’ll meet women who are transforming systems and committed to creating a more equitable world.

Hannah Cree 0:42
So now I’m going to just hand it over to dia, an amazing facilitator. She was an auctioneer, I just watched a video I was like Mind blown. And I remember my very first conversation with dia and I was like on fire and ready to change the world just from one conversation, so dia over to you.

Dia Bondi 1:02
Okay, and before I get started to things, all of the stuff that you hear all the content that you hear today is content that is going to be like, is going to be blown out in a podcast that I’m launching in 2021, called the Dr. Von D show a big podcast for women with goals. So I’m just going to plug it right now. Because I’m going to get into this content. And I’m going to forget to say it later. So if what I’m throwing down is something you want more of, the best thing for you to do is to if you’re in the US, grab your cell phone and text the word impact 266866. And you’ll be on my mailing list. And when the first 10 episodes drop, we’re going to go live with a group of episodes, you’re going to get that in your inbox, or you can just go to deobandi.com. And I also want to say like, Oh my god, COVID sucks. This last year has been This is nuts. It’s nuts. And you know, so much of our time also, you’re gonna hear the train come through right next to my office, I swear it’s not actually crashing into my office, we’re coming to you live from Berkeley, and my office is right next to like five tracks. So you might hear that a couple of times over the time we’re together. COVID has been brutal. And it’s really easy for us to be sort of on defense and on offense at the same time and trying to like soothe ourselves and self care and not you know, ask too much of ourselves and others. In the meantime, while things are, you know, feel so constrained. And I just want to invite everyone in for the next time we’re going to have together to dislike, we’re going to let ourselves dream a little bit, we’re going to let ourselves be a little aspirational. We’re going to sort of indulge in our own in dreaming about our own goals and how we might resource them. So I just want to invite us all to play in a really aspirational space. And that’s going to be fun for you. And for me, I also want to share with you that the ideas I’m sharing with you today, actually were born in the CEO community. mg Ryan, who’s one of our venture guides was the first person I ever whispered these goofy ideas to I was like, Am j got this weird idea. What do you think? And she gave me a thumbs up. She said, you know, that’s got some heat to it. And actually at our summit or activator summit that happened just a couple of months later, the first time I ever spoke the idea out loud to a group of people. And after that after I had women in the room, say yes, pursue that it has really taken on fire created a new mission for me. And I’m just thrilled to share back into the community both activators and guests right now something that was really born here. So there we go. You guys ready to get ready, you’re ready to get ready, ready to go. So here we go. Yeah, Melanie says she loves someone who talks as fast as she does, yes, this is going to be a challenge. For otter, let’s just say that. So I’m Welcome to your most powerful ask. This is about how we can make the asks that can change everything, for all of us and for everything for you. So my goal, I do have a goal right now, which is to help 1 million women, ask for more and get it and use asking as a success strategies in their lives and in their careers and communities. And really, that goal is something that you know, these ideas created for me and after I worked on this goal for a while I was asking myself, but why India? Why do I want women to ask for more and get it and use asking as a success strategy. And really, I see now that my mission behind this work is to put more money and decision making power in the hands of women so we can change everything for all of us. And you’re going to see what I mean by by not just you know, I thought of these ideas. In the beginning I thought they would just be around money negotiation. And it turns out, we can ask for so many things that help resource our dreams. It all started with this wild idea called Ask like an auctioneer. And from that, from a lot of stages I’ve been delivering this content on and workshops inside and outside of organizations. I’ve learned That the women are who I’m really interested in and these these million women, yes change everything for all of us, April. That’s right. These women are women like you high potential talent that are you know, that really have big goals when looking for visibility, mentorship, sponsorship, career growth, impact investment, you know, anything they need to ask for, to help them level up, you are entrepreneurs as business owners who are ready to retire and for sure you are independent. So many of you are independent professionals ready to really ask for bigger and better fees, and bigger and better projects that actually bring your own vision for yourself and the things you want to impact to fruition. Since I launched project Ask Like an Auctioneer in 28, mid 2018, I’ve I’ve talked to hundreds of women, and it turns out, and I’ve worked up workshops, 1000s of asks with them, it turns out that I noticed that the things that we can ask for almost fall into the four categories at the top of this list and the bonus category of fun, more money. And that can be anywhere from investment to getting a raise a better comp package to raising your rates. as a freelancer, it’s about authority. And this isn’t just about getting that promotion. So your name is on authority, it can be about owning decisions about things that are critical in your job and your career. It could for many women, it’s about stepping out on their own and being the author of their day. So they also follow fall into the world of influence what audiences stages, mentors, can they can they connect with and ask for more of in order to help reach their goals and balance and I don’t just mean work life balance. In a lot of cases, it turns out the asks we can make may help bring into balance our inner selves and our outer context. So that the way we’re living and what we’re doing a more in alignment with who we are. And then underneath all of this I’ve seen a lot of it is about more fun. women or women are making the asks that women are making the asks that are helping them have more fun and joy in their lives. So when I say ask for more and get it these are the kinds of categories that those assets can fall into not just financial negotiations. So the question for you today to get the most out of this session we have together is this question, what is the one midterm and concrete goal you have in your career or business? Right now something right there that feels, you know, not like a big, hairy, audacious goal that is untouchable and out on the horizon and constantly moves away from you. But something really concrete. So my goal is to reach a million women with this content that feels like I can measure that. And it does feel midterm even though million feels like a lot. So I want you to just hold in your heart right now. Maybe write it down or text it to yourself, what is one midterm concrete goal that that you that you have in your business or career right now? I see hear thanks. I do have a lot of energy. It is true. And I heard somebody in the chat saying that you’re a giver. And this is this is this is so true. I’ve heard a lot of I don’t not sure exactly April, what you’re pointing to here, but I have a lot of women say they’re great. They love to give, and they hate to ask. And I’m here to actually balance that out. Because unless you lots of women and lots of other people in your communities have a lot to give you as well. So my hope today is that you get one idea that gives you the courage and confidence you need to ask for more when you make the kinds of asks that really matter to those goals. So that’s the one idea if you get out of this time that makes gives you this courage making for you, this is going to feel like a major win for you. So here’s our journey together. Today we’re going to talk about how to ask like an auctioneer, I’m actually going to show you what that looks like. We’re going to talk about three steps to finding the assets that matter because i have i it comes up a lot that women go Yeah, like I see how asking can matter. But I don’t have anything what I asked for I don’t have an upcoming negotiation. So I’m going to show you how to kind of unearth the invisible asks, you could make that advanced your goals. And then lastly, I’m going to address a question I get a lot which is okay, I have the app, but how the heck do I do it? How do I set up my ask? So it helps me win. And then we’re gonna open it up, we’re gonna put you into some groups, some small groups for you to work on the three steps of developing an app with another woman who is in the session today. And then we’re going to open it up and I am going to let you raise your hand and say I’d like you to workshop one of my asks with media, and we’ll do sort of an open strategy session for everyone to hear. So that’s what how our time is going to go together today. So first, ask like an auctioneer Are you Are you all ready to hear what it means to ask like an auctioneer it’s such a wild idea. Somebody said you know, Oh, I love this concept. And I love great marketing dia how to ask like an auctioneer really good marketing and all I can say is this is Not marketing, this is actually the idea.

So here we go, I’m going to start by sharing, I want to start by sharing this meme that you may have seen floating around the interwebs. I love this one, let me move my stool a little bit here. So I have more room because I know I’m gonna get excited. I love this one, because it really helps me have a strong sense of spaciousness, it helps me stand up when there, the world is tempting me to sort of shrink a little bit. And it reminds me so much of, of how to anchor in my own voice and to not shrink when it’s too tempting to, and it goes like this, you will be too much for some people, maybe some of you can finish the second half of this, those are not your people, you will be too much for some people. Those are not your people. If folks can’t see what you’re throwing down, it doesn’t mean because you’re throwing down the wrong thing. It’s because you probably have the wrong audience. So when I see this for myself, when I send a proposal out to a potential client, and they say, this is too expensive, I can know that I don’t have to make my I don’t have to lower my price. I have to say, Oh, I’m so sorry. You’re not many people and move on and hold on the biggest version of myself. So I, I want that to be sort of the context that we’re that we’re using for what we’re talking about today. I love it. Karen says, I’m too much for so many people get it, Karen. That’s great. So who the heck am I so my name is dia Bondi. I am a longtime leadership communications coach and creator of project asked like an auctioneer, I have been a communications capitalist for leaders across the globe. For the last 20 years, I spent the first 10 years teaching what you think of as a traditional presentation skills class in both technology and packaged foods. And the last 10 years is really focused working one on one with individual leaders and entrepreneurs so that they can find the courage to speak from the heart when they step in front of the audiences that can really matter to aligning every the world toward their business aspirations. I’ve worked, in fact, had the great opportunity to work with a bunch of our ventures, I hope some of you are on the call. And I that really is what my that coaching world is all about. And I’ve had the chance to be I’ve done a lot of stuff, let’s just say I probably executed 6000 coaching sessions taught hundreds of workshops around the world and got to be in the back room to some really incredible rehearsal rooms, green rooms for some really incredible events with some really incredible voices. And we all suffer the same thing. We all suffer, suffer worried that we’re going to do it wrong when people are looking and listening.

A handful of years ago, I took myself on put myself on a sabbatical sort of a working sabbatical. And I did the thing I had threatened to do. 10 years earlier, my husband reminded me this was something on my bucket list. And I went to auctioneering school, I packed my bags and flew from California to the Midwest and did a 10 day training and how to auctioneer everything from livestock to art to real estate. It was me and 100 cowboys and like four other women at a hotel on the side of Route 66. Learning how to do just that. And when I was done, I thought that is so that was really fun. What am I going to do with this? And I thought you know, I’m going to do with this when I get back to San Francisco, I am going to be a as an impact hobby. I’m going to be the auctioneer in the Bay Area who does fundraising auctioneering for Women led nonprofits and nonprofits that benefit women and girls. And that’s just what I did working with organizations like dress for success, amazing organizations, bay cat, which deals with racial equity, not necessarily directly for women and girls, but racial equity across the board and storytelling, girls, Inc, and a few art institutions around here that are women LED and are female focused. So these two worlds crash together for me after the first year of doing auctioneering. I did maybe 10 or 12 auctions and I realized something super powerful that applies to my communications work. Because here’s the thing, clients come to me and they say, Do I need you to help me right, my 12 minutes on stage, I need help putting together my story for clients or customers or partners or pitches. I have an industry event coming up and I need to get ready. I need to What do I say? What’s the story I’m going to tell? And inevitably, the question I have to ask them is what are you asking for? You know, in business, we call that your call to action? Right? What are you actually looking to get from the audience in order to move the thing that you need to move forward? And yes, it’s an impact hobby. Yeah, looking for one that pays that’s it. That’s a trick right there. Um, so I have to ask all the time, what are you asking for? And they’ll tell me what they’re asking for. It’ll be headcount or investment or Or mentorship or recruiting somebody for a board or they’ll be pitching this strategic project for a consulting work, or they’re looking for budget or whatever the thing is, I’ll say Yes, great. But how much of that? Are you looking for? How many heads for to resource, this super important project at work? How much investment? How much time? mentoring hours are you looking for, from the person you’re talking to? Or the people you’re talking to? How much? Because the quantity has a lot to say about what the level of resistance might be in the room? And this question of like, so great, how much rarely gets an answer. Instead, what it does is it creates a whole bunch of hand wringing. Well, I don’t know dia, how about I really need like 12 heads, but but there’s no way they’ll go for that. So how could I ask for 10? And then I borrow two part timers from engineering, and then maybe I can also get some contract dollars to hire a freelancer to help come in on a contract basis. I really need I really am looking for $27,000 in a partnership commitment, but there’s no way they’ll go for that. So how about 10? I don’t know, let me Google something. Let me ask my dad, who knows nothing about my business? Let me ask my friends. Let me and so what we do is we start running around the world trying to figure out what the right answer is. And inevitably, I end up getting a question back to me, and it sounds like this, we’ll do a shoot, what do you think I can get? And for years, I was like, Yeah, great question. What do you think you can get? And we would gain that out? We would ask, in order to get a yes, we would shape our Ask based on what we thought was possible. They’ll never go for 10 heads. So we’re going to ask for seven. And we’re going to borrow from engineering and see if we can make it work.

So I have a mental model in my mind about the relationship between asking and courage because it takes courage to ask for things. It takes courage for us to ask for things. So here’s how I think about it. on the horizontal axis, you’ve got courage. And on the vertical axis, you’ve got an Ask and you need certain amount of courage to make a certain amount of ask, right a certain quantity of the Ask you’re making, and that might land you somewhere right about here. Okay? This is like a kind of ask that says Like, I’m pretty sure I can get this, I can get yes to this. So I’m gonna I think I can muster enough courage to ask it, I’m 95% Sure. They’ll say yes. And so that’s enough. For me. That’s how much exactly how much courage I can muster, or maybe uncomfortable like, if it’s at 7% guaranteed, then I can muster the courage to do it. But here’s the thing. What about all these other increments that are outside of the nearly guaranteed? Yes, what’s up there? And why don’t we go there? why don’t why can’t we muster the courage to ask for something that feels not guaranteed? And the answer is because all those amounts live in a place I call the zone of freaking out, they are not living in the place of the zone of guaranteed they are in the zone of freaking out or what I like to call the zone fo you’ll hear me say that a lot today, the Zoho people say, get out of your comfort zone, get out of your comfort zone. And I asked if I’m out of my comfort zone, then where am I and you are in the zone of freaking out. Now at the very top of the zone are freaking out maximum amount of courage maximum amount of ask, there is something there is a doc out there, there is an amount out there that has a note attached to it, for sure. But if we’re willing to go up and touch that know and then negotiate down, we may end up at a yes, that is bigger than anything we could have. We could have gotten if we’d only aimed what we thought we could get. So we have to actively aim for the No. And that is exactly what we do as auctioneers. And I didn’t even see this until I started standing on stages rapidfire negotiating and seeing how beneficial it is. And how important it is that the know that we touched the know in order to maximize the opportunity of every single ask. So we asked to get to know as auctioneers now I have a demo of this playing out and actually a live auction. Would you all like to see it? Let me know in chat. Let me know if this is something you actually want to see. Right? Yes, you want to see that? I know you do. Girls, I know you do. So here we go. I am going to share with you as a one minute demo. Here’s what’s going on. So I do this auction every year for collage Art Institute in a with a law Art Institute in Berkeley, we do a live auction. We do actually 140 items on the wall for a silent auction. And then at the end of the night, we take 10 of those items that we pre selected out of the batch of art or selling and we do a live auction. We usually pick 10 or 11 this item, this piece of art that you’re going to see me sell right here Here was like nine out of the 11 items we have that night. This is just a quick one one minute demo what I’d love for you to do is listen for listen for what am I asking for? What does it sell for and also what’s going on in the room. Okay everybody I have the volume turned up on my side. So if you’re listening to it in your ears, put your put your finger on your on your volume button so you either can turn it up or turn it down if you need to. Everybody ready? Here we go. 42 jumping to 4640 240-642-4646 45 are you in at 45? Sir 40 to 45 looking for 4646 looking for 4746 looking for 47 here she’s in at 46 looking 40 $700 here 47. Looking for 4847 just looking for 40 $800 48 looking for 40 949 looking for 5049 looking for 5000 he’s in a 49 he’s got it at 4049 looking for $5,000 here 49. Looking for 5000 he’s in right now at 40 $900 a unit five five looking for 51 five looking for 51 five unit 50 $100. here she’s got it at 5000. Looking for 51 she’s got it at $5,000 looking for 50 $100 Yes, who is she go ahead and look $5,000 50 $100. Are you out sir? $5,000. All in right now. So $5,000 you’ve got it. You’re great. So the next thing I asked was your bitter number because I needed to call her bitter number so she knew she could claim her piece of art. Now. Here’s the question for everybody listening. Yes, it is Natalie. It’s so much fun. And it’s hard. Let me say it is really hard. Not just tracking your numbers, but actually going for the next ask is actually a challenge and I am in my Zoho and I am doing this work. Just understand that. So here’s the thing I want you to do. Tell me what did I sell that piece of art for? Put the number in the chat? What How much did I sell it for in US dollars? Yes. five grand. You’re totally right. five grand. What did I ask for?

Yes, thank you, everybody. 51 I could not sell it until I got a No. Because getting that no tells me I have maximized the potential of that. Ask. So I am looking all the time for that. No. And that no is a beauty used to be scary for me. Even in my even in my coaching practice. No was scary. And now I see it as like this great sign that Ooh, that no just told me I am absolutely the ceiling. And I can negotiate down at the increments that matter to me. And and find that perfect equilibrium between what somebody is going to say yes to and what I actually need when I asked for. So um, yes, I could not sell it until I maximize that ask so. So here’s the thing I understand you are all not in a competitive bidding situation unless obviously you’re buying a house and in high demand area or something. I was in my zopo Erica, yes, I’m always in my Zoho when I take stages always. And when I’m asking on behalf of the nonprofit’s I’m fundraising for I am also in my Zoho, and it give you some examples of that in just a second. So I’m Zoho is the zone of freaking out and you can watch that on the replay as we go about thank you so much for adding that back in. The Zone of freaking out is the opposite of your comfort zone. So the the the thing to understand here, let’s see where it was. I just got in the chat. And now I got lost. It’s like those moments when you walk in, you look in the refrigerator and you go, Wait, what am I looking for? That’s what happens to me sometimes halfway through. So you’re not in a competitive bidding situation that often I’m sure, but you can still anticipate what do I think? What do I think I’ll get it? What do I think will actually trigger a no? And how far away from where? How far away? Is that number? Or thing volume of something I’m going to ask for? Then the thing I would feel safe safe around asking what is that gap? So we always want to be aiming for that? No. And if you touch it and negotiate down, you know you’ve maximized the potential. Okay, so what do we do in order to actually go back? What do we do in order to step into our only click back? I think I might have it. There we go. How do we step into our zone of freaking out? How do we help ourselves, make the asks that challenge what we think is possible? We’ve got to empower the ask, and how do we do that? Well, I’m going to share four of the nine ideas that I pull from the world of auctioneering to help you make the asks that are bigger, bolder, and challenge your assumptions about what somebody will or won’t say yes to you ready for those. So here we go. Number one, this one is probably my favorite and one that helps me push send. When I send a proposal that feels a little bit too big for my britches, the kinds of proposals that have a number on them that feel a little bit Zoho ish for me. Here we go. People are irrational. I get a lot of pushback on that people I know they’re not we make data driven decisions around here. I’m like, fine, I get it, you might do that. But people, individuals are pretty irrational. If you don’t like that, you can just say your rationale is not their rationale for what they’ll say yes, or no to. So stop deciding for them based on your rationale. Let me give you an example. And I’ve seen this happen. And I know this because I’ve seen it play out in auctions over and over again. And the beauty of auctioneering is that it’s so rapid fire, you see something instead of played out over months and months, you see things play out really explicitly, right in front of your eyes. And I see this all the time. For example. Last year, I sold a piece, I sold a piece of art that had the street value of $10,000 for 40 $500. Okay, people who were selling it, they thought it was worth 10 grand person who bought it thought it was worth 4500. The same time, I actually sold at another fundraiser a two night camp, excuse me, a one night camping trip. Granted, it was a luxury camping trip for 12 people for $55,000. twice in one. Yeah, Hannah’s like Excuse me? Yes. Because let me just tell you, it was shocking to me, because Am I going to spend 50,050 $5,000 in a one day camping trip? Probably not. But my rationale is not their rationale, we started the bidding at like $12,000 expecting it would never go above 22. We sold it for 55 twice. So we thought we ended up with $110,000 for a two night camping trip, boom, stop deciding for us, for other people what they will or won’t say yes to.

That might give you the freedom to make a ZOFO kind of ask. second idea that helps you empower the Ask into the zone or freaking out. This is this concept of knowing your reserve. This is something you know that you’re not going to take less than in the counter offer. This is the number or the level of engagement, or the partnership agreement or something that quantifies the thing that you’re asking for that you won’t go below in order for you to say yes to this is the place where Yes, at that number or that level of engagement. They can’t touch this. So know that and you’re safe. I know this because when I go sell art, what I do, every time in prep for the preparation for the auction, I have to know from the client, what’s the minimum you’ll take for this piece of art? If I sell it for $7? Do I still sell it? I know you want 10,000? But what if we don’t get it? What’s the minimum we’ll take? And if I know they say 4500, I’m good. Because I can if I can’t get it to 4500 I can just pull it right out and say Oh, I’m so sorry. We just were pulling it out pass. Actually, in auctioneering, what we do is we put a house paddle in the air and it just comes on out of the auction. Not this time people not at that price, we get to decide what our reserve is. So no your reserve and you’re going to be insane. You are going to give yourself courage. Why? Because people ask me this all the time. Okay, but if I if I don’t get what I’m asking for if I don’t even get my reserve, what do I do? And the answer is, I don’t know. What are you gonna do? If you know what you’re gonna do if you get a no to even your reserve, that negotiation or that ask you’re going into is not a deal killer because it is not the cul de sac of your dreams, it becomes one speed bump in the direction you’re going to next. So you’ve got to get yourself if you gotta get yourself a reserve and then you’ve got to answer the question if I don’t even get my reserve, what are we going to do? And now that you might find that is a courage making activity for you. And it helps you make the asks that challenge what you think you can get. Okay, so idea numero tres here we go with idea number three. So here so here this one I’m just looking at the chat really quick perhaps good idea to move to your reserve but take something off the table shirt that can be an issue of increments taking something off the table as you go from the no all the way down to your reserve. Absolutely you can find what those mechanisms are as you craft for yourself. We know what the I’m gonna say chips but the what what kind of what you can toggle as you go into a negotiation with somebody. So let’s see price is a measure of value not your worth. Okay, this one’s a little tricky. Right now in our in the sort of conversation is around get paid what you’re worth know what you’re worth. And yes, I want you to get paid what you’re worth to get the level of engagement and the partnerships that are that are what you are worth I yes. And this can be a little bit of a trap. I have heard a lot of women talk about I want to get paid what we what I’m worth this Just in the money type of ask. And if they get a no to that, it can be soul crushing, because is that a signal back to me that that’s not what I’m worth. So I want to uncouple the idea of value and worth as to two separate things. Because we are all we all have worth, and we are all worthy It is our inherent worth. But what somebody else values to attach an amount of an asset to we can’t, we can’t always control. So I, again, I see this and how things play out all the time and auctioneering, where a client will say we want this trip to Hawaii to sell for $12,000. And all I can say is, I’ll sell it for whatever whatever someone values it in the room, as long as it’s above the reserve, I can’t control that for them. But I sure as hell can make the ask. So I have reframed this at to make it useful for me in my career and the asks that I make in my career to make to sound something that looks a little bit more like this, it’s that price, or I think of what they’ll pay your audience what they’ll pay or do for you and with you is not is a measure of value or a way to see what they value and how they value it. Not the way to measure or define our own worth, or worthiness. So this to me touches back to you will be too much for some people, those are not your people. So I hope this gives you another mental model to help you step into your Zoho and make the asks that matter and if they can’t see it, and and you get to say, No, thank you.

Let me continue. Let me continue here. Fourth idea I pulled from auctioneering to help me make bigger, bolder, more more meaningful asks, Is this notion of being an agent for your purpose. And I want to start by saying in my communications coaching work I’ve seen over and over again, a leader I work with can say the courageous thing if they really connect with the purpose of their time onstage and their own purpose in the role that they’re playing as a leader or as a founder in their organization, their overarching why. And as auctioneers, what I learned was, when we are auctioneering, we’re actually we’re not the buyer, we’re not the seller, we are an agent, for the poor. I’m an agent for both. And in this way, because I do nonprofit fundraising for women led nonprofits, nonprofits that benefit women and girls. What I’m doing here is I am being an agent for the purpose of the organization. And sometimes in my auctioneering role, I’m not actually even doing a negotiation, I’m just standing on stage and saying, here’s what we’re here to do in the world. I’m asking for direct pledges, Would anybody like to raise their paddle at $25,000? Anybody in for $25,000, anybody in a $10,000. And I’m just, I’m just making cold asks for people to say yes. And when I get to the lowest amount, and I have no more paddles in the air, I have a choice to ask one more time, which feels like a Zoho kind of ask, or to have an approach where I have the chance to stay safe, and just put my mic away and walk away. And a handful of times in the last year, I have said dia, the choice right now is to ask yet one more time and see if we can, on behalf of the purpose of this organization, find one more give in the room. So you can be an agent for your own purpose when the ask that you are are making might feel a little bit intimidating. And I want to give you an example of that right now. A friend of mine, Jane, she runs a nonprofit. She was She’s full time in there now. But But for many years, she stood up this nonprofit that provides excuse me, yes, it’s nonprofit, they did not go B Corp. She She stood up this project to provide high potential ambitious women in the world of social impact. World Class coaching at a low Bono rate, okay, started out as sort of like a side project she was doing. And over time it grew and grew and grew. And she’s done. I don’t know how many cohorts now she does three or four colors a year. And she’s been doing it for 10 years now. handful of years ago, Jane called me and said, dia, she was chief of staff at a large technology company and doing this, you know, in the cracks and crevices of her life. She said, I want to get away from my from my everyday career and go full time into this gig over here with my with my nonprofit. And to make it sustainable. We’re going to do a partnership strategy. And I said, Great, she goes, so how can I help you? She said, I need to get on the phone with you. And and I need to like figure out what my pitch is. We have a potential partner coming up. It was actually the more of a sponsorship opportunity. I said, Sure. So we got on a phone on the phone. And I said What’s going on? She told me the story. And I said Jane, tell me like What is it? What are you asking for? And she said, What do you think I can get? And instead of doing what I used to do, which was like Yeah, great question. What do you think you can get I asked her what do you need to resource your dreams? And she said, I need 70 $500 from the sponsor. And all I could think of was like really girl 7500. All that off. She goes, all right. It’s actually 14,000. And I went, Okay, does that actually put you on payroll? If you do if you land that many sponsorships across, you know, this next year, she said, No, no, no, actually, it won’t pay for me. And I’m like, Well, if your goal is to actually drop your day job and have make this sustainable enough for you to put yourself on payroll to afford to nurture it, what’s that number Jane? She said, $25,000. I went, now we’re onto something. Okay. And I asked her, is that a number you can ask for? She said, that number is squarely in my Zoho. And I thought, yes, sure it is, but it’s a true number. So help me understand what what’s blocking you. And she said, You know, I just, I have, I have negotiated million dollar projects, multi million dollar projects, in my business, in my in my career on behalf of my employer. But when I go to ask for myself, when it’s me asking for something, I’m working on UI that feels hard. I said, Jean, what are you going to do take that 22 grand and go make a deposit on a Lamborghini? If you wanted to, you could. But we all know that’s not what you’re doing, what you’re doing is in enabling your dream that is tied to your purpose. Let’s talk about that for a minute. So we told some stories a little bit about what really matters to her and what her nonprofit is designed to do, and the kind of impact that she’s having. And when she attached to that I asked her Jean, can you not walk into that ask being an agent for yourself, but instead being an agent for this purpose, to bring this thing to life? And she said, yes, that gives me freedom to ask big and bold. A couple of weeks later, I called her I said, Jane, how’d it go? She said, terrible. I said, In what way? She said I made the ask and I said great. And what do you ask for? She said $37,000 I was like, okay, girl, she was challenging what she thought she could get in a super real way? And it turns out, actually, they said no, but they would have said no at any her audience would have said no at any range. Why not? Because the number was wrong. But because they per ask made them realize they weren’t prepared with their own sort of giving strategy around working with nonprofits and sponsorships. It reflected back to them that they didn’t have a y for what they would say yes to at any level. And so what she learned was that she’s going to do a better job going forward about who she’s getting in a room with to ask so that they are more aligned before she even goes to make that ask. And I have to say, this is true for us in fundraising auctioneering. What do we do, we invite people who buy tickets to the, to the events that we do the art shows where we sell that art, and that is a curated set of people who we know our vision and mission aligned. So she’s good, she did a better job going forward, not spinning her wheels, asking the wrong people for the right thing. So here’s the thing, other things can happen when you go ahead and ask, even if you don’t get what you’re asking for you learn something new that can help you make the kinds of asks that can change everything for everyone. So I want to share another another quick story with you. For about this woman, I also want to call the rain of the brave loreena the brave was in the audience. The very first time I ever shared these ideas. She was sort of part of my beta test. And she walked out the back door never raised her hand never introduced herself to me. But it turns out, she tweeted something at me a couple of weeks after we were in a room together and she said Do I just act like an auctioneer and I feel like I’m going to puke and I love I love this. Because I know that she knew that I knew exactly what she meant. And what she meant was, I just asked like an auctioneer and I feel like I’m doing something courageous. I’m standing up for my dreams for myself and I’m asking for more so I can reach my goals faster. And in the year after this very first tweet that she sent to me. She stood in her sofa over and over again. And she two extra salary and three extra title. And she is now would you like to see a picture of Lorena the brave. She is a one of the loves of my life. Now and a big champion for this work because she’s seen that the entire experience was eye opening and empowering for her. And she now Lorena the brave. This is her. She runs all of HR and all of recruiting and operations for an augmented reality gaming company gaming, which is a space that has been historically hostile toward women and for women. And she just by the sheer placement of her in that influential position as a Latina single mom in her early 40s. She is effectively changing everything for all of us. We don’t need her to do anything except be her own badass self. So this is what I mean where I want to put more money and decision making power in the hands of women so that we can change everything for all of us. So she didn’t ask, you know, what am I worth? You know, I’ve talked to her a lot over this last 18 months. She never asked what am i worth? What she asked was is this counteroffer I’m getting sent to me, which is a beautiful, bold, sure question. Now one asked can change everything I want to share really quickly, I’m almost getting done with my content. I know I’m just going and going. One asked can change everything and my ask that I made looking back, my husband reminded me of this. When I when I look back over my life and career, the the asset that changed everything for me wasn’t more money. It wasn’t even. It wasn’t a title. It wasn’t a job. It wasn’t an investment. It was a really simple ask, and it was Will you teach me?

And the person I asked this to said yes. And it changed my life forever, and is actually a big piece of why I’m here today. So here’s what I like to do. I’d like to stop and see if there any questions in the chat I can address before we go into like, okay, yay. But I don’t have an ass coming up. Like, what do I do? If I don’t have an ask coming up? I’m going to show you a little system that you can use a three step system to finding an ask that uncovering, like if I’m going to use asking as a success strategy, what might I ask for? So if you have, if you have any questions, you can put those right in here. Yes. If you put the letter Q before that would be great. How do you apply this to the virtual environment we’re in right now? Ah, well, look, this can show up in what you write to someone, it can show up in a phone call, it can, I mean, whether we’re in a virtual environment, or we’re in an IRL, you know, non COVID environment, you know, the assets are the assets and how and where you deliver them may be a little bit different. You just need to consider the constraints of that kind of, of that kind of, of that context. So maybe you’re needing to build some rapport with somebody, and that happens over email, and then it follows up with a call. I’m not sure if that’s kind of the question you’re asking for. But I think rapport building is really an important piece of making a courageous ask, however, I’m pitching my book right now with proposals and I’m making big scary, Zoho ish asks, right into a submission form, like IRL or not like I’m having to find I’m having to not pull punches, even when it’s a cold ask. Anybody else have a question here? Great, Sarah, I hope that I hope that helped you, is asking people for people to survey a big enough step than asking for a pre commitment, or should Should I add right? In the survey for the pre commitment? I don’t know. Diane, great question. We should workshop that when you guys get back from this little from this little from this little activity you’re going to do with one another? And that’s a great question. If that’s the question you want to workshop in the activity you can do that? I think it’s going to depend on how warm is the audience, like, if you if you’re going to ask for pre commitment, and you get two out of 10? Is that good for you? Is that what you want? And the bigger question is, are you actually preemptively low balling yourself by not asking for it? You know, am I preemptively low balling myself? That is the that is the way to know whether the question, you know, whether the ask is, is something you should include or not include? So I love that people are always like, what is the zone of freaking out? Yes, it is the zone fo it is the opposite of the comfort zone. And it is where all of the potential is I can also think of it as a zone of potential. When we make apps that are bigger than we know we’ll get a guaranteed yes, those most often live in the zone of freaking out, which is also where the where the potential for those asks are. So great. I’d like to keep going and give you this little three step methodology. Is everyone ready? Everyone ready? So, um, before we go into this, one of the once once we have these conversations with a lot of the women I’ve been working with is last year, which are coming workshops, keynotes, and I do sort of coaching circles, you know, every quarter that women who’ve seen this content and drop into just like we’re about to do right now. Asked me like, Okay, I have the app, but how do I say it? How do I say it? And I want to share with you a little mental model that might help you. So you know, Laurie was that Laurie? I was just talking to also yet Yep. Right. So cuz now that I’m 46 I cannot retain information for very long. So Laurie. So nice.

Thank you for your patience. So I want to share with you a little mental model that I use in auctioneering that might help you auctioneering and so many other places that might help give you a way to approach a courageous ask sort of the story about it. And Laurie, this one I would imagine be super useful, as you, you know, might approach other people in your industry who have existing communities and networks that would push women toward your experiences that you want to fill over the next you know, over q1 and it goes like this. Let me see where am I? So I understand that to make the Ask even if it’s courageous alignment really can be everything like it’s it’s the it’s a passion Powerful starting point, and I use this framework I call I see you, you see me, let’s move together. So what that means is we’re starting to set up our Ask by saying, Hey, I see you, I see what I see what matters to you, so that that person knows that you’re not knocking on an inappropriate door, meaning you’re actually barking up the right tree, you know, that there’s a reason that you’re, that you’re approaching them. And that you that you’re speaking what you see them as, as a context for why they’re coming while you’re coming to them. And then just share with them a little bit about you and and so that they can see you as the context for the ask that you’re about to make where you might be making a move together. So in auctioneering, it looks like I’ll step on stage and it’ll look like Hello, everyone, I see why you’re here, dressed. This image right here is from Dress for Success fundraiser we did last year. And I’m speaking the language of the community. In that moment, I’m saying I know why you’re here. Because you value these things. I see all of the work you’ve done as a as a contributing community to dress for success and how successful they’ve been this last year, I acknowledged that work. And you know, just the effort to even get here tonight. And I see exactly what kind of impact you’re intending on having tonight. We’re going to do that. And then very quickly flip that to say, look, now let me let me help you see me why I’m here. And what I’m really doing. My name is Deobandi, I’m a longtime leadership communications coach. And my impact hobby is to stand on the stage before you what I value is helping elevate women so we can put more money and decision making power in their hands so we can change everything for everyone. My work is this and other things. And my mission is and so that now we have an alignment that creates the platform for an ask that feels courageous for me to be making and delightful for them to be saying yes to. And it gives me sort of a foundation for making the bigger version of the ask I need to make. So as you as you think about the assets that we workshop today that you may go out and make in the world tomorrow, this might be a small mental model to help you figure out where do I even start? So when we say like, I see you, you see me, let’s move together meaning I am this ask helps you get more of what matters to you. This ask helps me get more of what matters to me. And when you say yes, you’re helping us both. Because inside of every ask is an offer an offer for someone to action, their own values, and offer for them to stand up for what matters to them, and offer for them to feel valued and offer for them to save the day and offer them to be a hero an offer for them to practice radical generosity. And that’s why it’s not an a mistake. I think that our Ask app isn’t just an ask app. It’s an ask give app. And like I saw in the chat early on, you know, I am a giver, we are so many of us are givers. And when we have the chance to give in a way that is real and courageous. It can it can be a value to both sides of that coin. So I’ll say that like I love this quote to say that like only when we are brave enough only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light and from Bernie Brown. I love this quote because it tells me when I think of the darkness I think of making the kinds of asks in and of the world that don’t have a guarantee can feel like tripping through the dark. We don’t know what we’re gonna get back. And when we do get something back that is more than we expected. If we had preemptively low balled ourselves, that is a delightful celebratory moment.

So here’s what I’d like to do right now I’d like to remind you that yes, you will be too smart for some people may not be your people. And that’s okay. So I’m Dia Bondi and this I said to you earlier that you can text the word impact to 66866 to get on my mailing list, because all the stuff we’re talking about today is going to get unpacked in my podcast, which I’m super excited and nervous. And my Zoho asked is to bring women for you to be on tip for when that drops so that you can subscribe and share with friends. Because we’re wanting it to have a lot, a lot of high impact content that women can actually use without having to buy anything. All right, so I’d like to now go open it up again, to our to our group we have, we have about 215 minutes, a little bit more 18 minutes, maybe a little less sorry, to workshop some of your upcoming asks. So if you’d like to talk about an upcoming ask for any questions about what we’ve covered today. You can do that by raising your hand and Hannah can call on us pick the first person I see is Francesca. Where are you?

Francesca 50:01
Um, well, I have an initiative, which is trying to build more healthy students who are attending community colleges.

Dia Bondi 50:14
I was a community college student, yay, community colleges.

Francesca 50:18
Yeah, I’ve experienced that too. And I’ve observed a few things. And there was the survey about, you know, diets and exercise. And it seemed like from this survey, the students are willing to try, they know what’s healthy means. So I did approach the health department. And there was a very big enthusiasm from one person because they have data and they want to use data. It’s just gone through the processes and data. It also needed to support from other individuals within the same community. And I did and it felt a little bit less enthusiastic. And there are many reasons, but I feel like I need to bring a community of leaders from the College Board. And it’s like, the technology mean,

Dia Bondi 51:09
you mean, I’m sorry, Francesca, you mean, like campus staff? You need people on campus to champion the program. So that the standard Yeah, so that it’s more ubiquitous? And it’s not just you trying to push through a

Francesca 51:21
right, okay. But I do have some sort of experience with the technology, but not very much. So it’s like I need to get the technology person to because this is all going to be technology, basically. What’s the question? How can I help you? Is the website so important? versus the the leaders? How am I going to kind of communicate? Is it the technology? Or is it those relationships with the leaders?

I couldn’t answer that I’m not a technologist. But I would say that like the voice, the champion voices are where the asks can happen. So I would straight up say, website or no website, business card, or no business card, you know, what the concept is, you know, what the impact is you’re trying to make that you could leverage I see you, hey, technologists on campus, I say all the work and community driven initiatives you’ve done over the last five years, your your fantastic community leader, and I know that you are also involved in a health and wellness panel that I saw you on last year, and you care about health and wellness. Here’s what I’m doing and the impact I’m trying to have on the on the health and wellness of, you know, campus participants here. And we need a technology champion like you to help bring to life this vision. Will you participate in this upcoming panel I’m hosting, will you will you sign on as an ambassador for the program? I mean, I don’t know that that’s dependent on a website or no website. Okay. Is that helpful?


Dia Bondi 52:54
Yeah, I love that stuff. I think that you can, I think that in some ways, not having things fully developed, if it’s community driven, new can can be wonderful, because then those folks can participate and be part of the growth of it, and not just signing on to something that’s already hardened, you know? Okay. What was it? Who, who’s next, Hannah? Thank you for that. Thanks for that question.

Hannah Cree 53:17
Yes, so we have Nancy

Dia Bondi 53:21
Where are you, Nancy?

Nancy 53:22
Hi, everybody. I really resonated with your story about the champion, and how she she created a nonprofit to help others.

Dia Bondi 53:33
Dana champion. Yes, she’s awesome.

Nancy 53:36
I’m similar except for I didn’t go the nonprofit route. And I have a profit business. And so I help empower queer folks, I have a company out coaching and things like that. It’s and I found that a lot of people in that sphere don’t have the money to pay for my services. And so I’m looking at another model of like trying to get somebody else to pay for their services.

Dia Bondi 53:57
Yes. champion. Let’s go put your money where your mouth is.

Nancy 54:00
Yeah, exactly. And so I worry I guess in my ass that I don’t have a charitable donation number that they can get some kickback for donating but I still want to ask him about the impact is the kickback.

Dia Bondi 54:15
Here’s the thing is like, you know, sometimes that I mean, that’s a CEO is like, the impact is the kickback. I mean, I wrote a check for 1100 bucks. And the impact is what I’m after. And here’s the thing you will be that model will be too much for some people, those are not your people. So it is about seeking out like Jane, the champions story. Sorry, Nancy, can I just rant about this for a second because like, like Jane, the champions story, your job is to go make the biggest, boldest most courageous ask of the people who are already aligned to what to the kind of impact that you’re trying to have in the world. And maybe they’re you know, maybe their kickback isn’t just maybe their kickback isn’t you know, they get a tax. Write off In some ways, I’m like, why wouldn’t you do this, even if you didn’t get a tax write off, if you say that you are an ally or whatever, I think that there’s an opportunity for you to also generate reports or, you know, deliver content into their organizations as part of their sort of sponsor member community. You know, there are other things that that you might be able to get in terms of product as an outcome of this. But I think you don’t have to change your story or feel feel like, like, you have to apologize for not having a charitable donation receipt when people write a check for it. So I don’t know if that was your question except to say that, like, if that’s holding you back from from really going there, there might be really beautiful. The work of it is getting the right people in the room, and to tell the story back to them of what they’re already saying they want to what kind of impact they want to have as an organization in the world, and then show how what you’re doing in the world is a way for them to deliver deliver on that promise. Right?

Nancy 56:04
I don’t know. Yeah, I think I’m still like, unsure of who the right people in the room are like, my first thought is rich gay men. But I don’t know as many like rich lesbians could, which I work more with with women identified people.

Dia Bondi 56:24
I wonder if is there are there a group of people that can that can do a barn raising with you or a group of people you can get in a room with to brainstorm who might be the right profile to to pursue?

Nancy 56:35
Yeah, that’s a good idea.

Dia Bondi 56:37
Who are they? Who are the six people who get what you’re doing? at whatever level whether they’re across the dinner table from you, or you know, are, you know, in communities you participate in online? Like, who are those six to 10 people that you can get to do an I an ideation session on what that profile might be?

Nancy 56:57
Yeah, that’s helpful.

Dia Bondi 56:58
That’s an ask you could make tomorrow.

Nancy 57:01
Okay. of your commodity.

Dia Bondi 57:03
I need help. I need help pursuing this thing that we both care about. And I’m stuck help unstick me.

Nancy 57:10
Yeah. Awesome.

Dia Bondi 57:12
Okay, who else is up?

Nancy 57:14
And then so much is Yeah, it was awesome.

Hannah Cree 57:17
Thank you. The next one is Jen. Jen. Jen, where are you, Jen.

Jen 57:23
I’m right here. Thank you so much. So I own a co working space in the Chicago suburbs.

Dia Bondi 57:31
I hope you’re okay.

Jen 57:32
I also have a barking dog. We’re hanging in there, we’re hanging we have a very nice landlord. And we also got a nice grant from our county. My daughter’s super excited about that. Sorry about that. But um, so my goal honestly, I’d love to have like 2030 spaces around the country I focused on working parents were open to all but my mission driven to help working parents. And I have a couple of different next big moves. One of them is internal and external. The internal move is I need to hire more people because right now it’s just me and one other person and I’m not getting paid. And that’s been fun. But you know, getting a paycheck will be even more fun.

Dia Bondi 58:10
Yeah, thank you for that burnout monster. Yeah, you’re overworked, underpaid. mommies don’t do so?

Jen 58:16
Well. No. So we’re looking for some investment money to help bring out a third person probably even a fourth or fifth on a contract basis as well. And I have some folks with with some pockets, but it’s like, you know, how do you how do you make that transition from you know, hello acquaintance to please give me money.

Dia Bondi 58:41
I’m gonna interrupt you. And in coaching, you don’t call it interrupting. We call it intruding, which is just a fancy fancy way of saying interrupting I what I love, what I love about what you’re pointing to is it goes back to the same framework. How might I cold call somebody that I’m an acquaintance with who I know has pockets? Guess what? I see you You see me let’s do something together. Hey, Mike, over there, and investment, capital, yada, yada. I know you care about these things. I know these are in the ballpark of investments that you kind of make, here’s what we’re doing. And even in the face of COVID. Here’s how successful we’ve been. I want to take them. And here’s what I’m trying to do. The impact that I’m trying to have in the world is squarely aligned with already the kinds of investments and impact you say you want to make in the world. I watched all your YouTubes I said it on those panels. I read your newsletter. Don’t try to pretend like you don’t like this. And then let’s get on could we meet and you might have to do that 500 times but I see you You see me May at least unstick you a little bit from that blinking cursor, huh? Okay.

Jen 59:48
Yes. You did say that many times in this and I just needed to hear it for sure.

Dia Bondi 59:55
And, and and the next big move, you’re going to have to tell the story, obviously of where you are. What’s You get the call but the ICU starting with that with what acknowledging what matters to them and where they are in their business, as a platform for why it matters that they know what you’re working on, might set you up give you again, give you a place to start the conversation. Also, what’s beautiful about that is you’re going to weed out the people who don’t get it right away. So you’re not having a fight with somebody who’s not listening.

Hannah Cree 1:00:25
So amazing, amazing. Thank you for the question. Do we’re at time I know that there’s more people with their hands raised. This was amazing. I put the feedback form in there. I’m pretty sure you want to see dia again, if you do, let us know. Maybe we can dive deeper on this. Maybe put in we’d love your energy. Do you know that it was all up in chat, ready to take on the world with the ask I love how you reframe things. For me to this was really great. So we will send out a wrap up the video, there is actually a little template worksheet that d is going to give you so you can listen to this again and reach out to her. Thank you Dina, you’re amazing. Have an incredible day of wherever you are in the world. The beauty of Sheila, lots of claps and the emojis and reactions.

Dia Bondi 1:01:10
And then [email protected] I want to hear about your story. Send me all the things

Hannah Cree 1:01:15
and all the things. Thank you everyone have a great rest of your day.

Vicki Saunders 1:01:21
Thank you for listening to the SheEO.World podcast. Please leave a review, share with a friend and subscribe on your favorite podcast player. We invite you to join a global community of radically generous women building a $1 billion perpetual fund to support women working on the World’s To-Do List, invest in women and invest in yourself at SheEO.World.

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