25 Jan Closed Mouths Don’t Get Fed
There are a few things that I find myself saying day in and day out, and I think it’s about time I get out of my writing slump and begin addressing a few of them to get me started. This blog is just as much for me as it is for the rest of the world, so there’s nothing better to start back with than something like this.
I got in a little slump after Hurricane Harvey hit. My home wasn’t damaged, but I spent a ton of time helping others recover, and it’s been tough to get back into allllllll of my daily/weekly/monthly routines. Writing blogs was one of the last things to get back on track, and here we are. But I digress.
“Closed mouths don’t get fed.” It’s something my mom used to tell me a lot as a kid. She echoed, “It never hurts to ask.” I apply this to just about everything in my life, and it’s been a super valuable tool in my arsenal.
In leadership aspects, in ministry, in business, there’s one thing that’s always true. I never want to say no for someone else. I’ll give them the opportunity to make that decision for themselves.
5 Times that Opening My Mouth Kept Me Full
1. I wrote about it a while back, but I’m now a teacher at Lone Star College CyFair because it never hurts to ask, so I did. Originally, I was going to drop off an old portfolio to one of my favorite teachers. She wanted some examples to show to students, and I told her she could have mine.
As I was up there dropping it off, we shot the breeze about the goings on of the last few years since I’d graduated, and she told me about having a hard time finding teachers. I was really busy at the time, but I’m a glutton for more work, so I asked if I could teach. The answer was obviously yes, and it’s one of the most fulfilling things that I do professionally. Closed mouths don’t get fed. You can read this one in more detail.
2. I’m not a great salesman. I tell that to potential clients all the time. I hate following up, I hate trying to sell people my services, so on and so on. But there’s just something about “all I need is a logo,” that gets me fired up.
No. You defffinitely need more than that.
I start asking questions about goals, expectations, next steps, and inevitably I know that the person needs more than just a logo.
I tell a couple of stories, give a few examples, and 90% of the time I upsell from a plop-and-drop logo project to a full visual identity and in some cases more. Not because I’m some amazing salesman – because I don’t say no for them. This aspect of my business makes up for a large portion of my overall income, and it’s one of my favorite things to do for clients as you can tell by my portfolio. Yet again, closed mouths don’t get fed.
3. John Owen is another former teacher from my days at Lone Star College CyFair, but he wasn’t actually my teacher, and his impact on me was very different than my other teachers, now peers.
He was a teacher in the Visual Communications Department, so I saw him around every now and again. We talked at ceremonies and award shows where I was presenting, and he was just a good dude. I recently came across his profile on LinkedIn, and I noticed he wasn’t teaching any more, so I reached out to him to say what’s up!
We talked a bit before he invited me to lunch, and that day was a turning point for me personally. I shared with him some of my strengths and weaknesses, and he took it upon himself to challenge me in both. We talk once or twice a month now, and every time I get off the phone with him, I’m inspired and challenged. We’re also beginning to work together on some projects where our strengths compliment one another. This is a win win win, and I’m super pumped about it. But it all started because closed mouths don’t get fed, and I’m always hungry!
4. The first three are all relevant to my freelance career, but there was a huge one back when I was in-house working for Chevron on the Wheatstone Project. It was 2013, I’d been there for less than a year, but I’d worked really hard and impressed a lot of people. Danielle and I just found out she was pregnant. All of the sudden we needed to get a bigger house and 2 new cars because both of ours were high-mileage, and hers was tiny.
I went into my bosses office and asked for a raise. It’s an amazing story, and I can’t share it with the right level of detail for a blog, so if you want to hear the story in full detail, ask me next time you see me. Anyhow, I told him what was up and that I needed a raise, knowing good and well I’d probably get shot down. People were being laid off left and right around the country, and I’d only been there a year.
Well, he gave me a raise. A really, really big one. Not only was I humbled, it was just another example that closed mouths don’t get fed. I wouldn’t have got that raise if I didn’t speak up.
Aaaaand 5. I’m not telling unless you meet me in person and ask. :)
Enough people will tell me no at other points in my life, that I may as well go for it. I could write about this in so many different ways that I’m already workin on a follow up.
Don’t just sit on the sidelines waiting for something. Get it. Stand up. Speak up.