This week I did ask, and I did get.
Two Saturday’s ago, Dermot O’Leary was talking about me on his show and said “we must get her on”. I got in touch with the show and BINGO – this Saturday morning I was live on the Radio 2 Saturday breakfast show chatting with Dermot about my misspent teenage years, my early influencing skills and how I singlehandedly made Kylie Minogue and saved the BBC.
And whilst I probably peaked quite young when it comes to influencing, I also learned early that if you don’t ask you don’t get.
At university I fancied producing a fashion show as part of a May Ball. I pitched the concept to the ball committee, and they said yes. So I produced a fashion show for the May Ball.
When I first went freelance as a TV Production Manager I was advised that at interview I should say my current rate was £500 per week (it was 1995) – as an employee I was on quite a bit less and I needed to say this rate to signal I had the experience to do the role. Off I went to interview for the freelance role, and was asked the inevitable question “so what is your current rate?” I took a deep breath and managed just about to squeak £500 per week, to which they replied “in that case we’ll give you £525 per week”. I recall smiling sweetly and trying desperately hard not to fist pump the air! – sorry Anthony Geffen @AtlanticProds I probably should have come clean a bit sooner!
More recently, just at the point when I had a manuscript that I was happy with for The Freelance Bible, I was at a drinks party with some old friends I hadn’t seen in a while. I made a bit of a beeline towards my friend who works in publishing, and I rather cheekily pitched her my book and asked if she could recommend someone for me to talk to, and she connected me with my brilliant Editor Martina O’Sullivan at Penguin. Was I being a bit cheeky? Yes. But … did it work? Yes – I got a publishing deal with Penguin.
And this time last year, when the Penguin audio book team emailed to say they wanted to produce an audio book of The Freelance Bible and asked which, of the voices they had selected, would I like to read it? I wrote back asking if they’d consider me to be the reader? They asked me to submit a demo reading, which I did, and I got the gig – it’s available on Audible if you fancy a listen!
And it works both ways, just this weekend I had an email with the heading ‘if you don’t ask you don’t get’. It was from a freelancer who’d read my book, loved it and wanted to connect as he felt my screen sector expertise could help his fledgling business. Will I pick up a call – of course I will. Big respect @peter_wagstaff from @scenespan I look forward to chatting with you.