The Art of Asking: Amanda Palmer

The Art of Asking, by musician/writer Amanda Palmer, hit the bookstores just before the holidays last year.The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

Having watched her TED talk months before, I knew I wanted to read the book.

I did not expect to have an addition to my Must Read list for business owners.

And yet, here we are: this is a Must Read.

You don’t have to know or like Palmer’s music to appreciate the vulnerability and wisdom she offers. (In fact, I didn’t much like her music before reading the book. Interestingly enough, after reading the book and coming to appreciate her so much more, I now find I like her music a lot more as well.)

Palmer is clearly a writer as well as a musician, which means her language is both lyrical and clear. She knows how to tell stories, and she knows how to use those stories to make points that comes across with conviction, power, and compassion.

Why is this memoir of an unusual woman and independent musician a Must Read for business owners?

As business owners, we have to be able to ask. Ask for clients, ask for help, ask for money, ask for support … ask.

And asking is often hard.

Sometimes, as Palmer describes, really hard.

With her delicate touch and her nuanced story-telling (some of her stories are more like parables, and I use them with clients in many situations), Palmer helps us come to terms with our own challenges around asking … and gives us tools (I am now constantly reminding myself to take the flower! take the damn donut!) to become better.

Absolutely a Must Read.

And if you haven’t seen her TED talk, I highly recommend it as well: