If there’s anyone we’re happy to listen to when it comes to business advice, it’s Sarah Jessica Parker. This entrepreneur is adamant that she doesn’t have a “brand,” but the fact is that success follows her name everywhere. So when SJP said “asking” is her secret to success, we naturally had follow-up questions — but actually, it’s as simple as it sounds. The way to learn new things, and get new opportunities, according to the über-successful Parker, is to ask more questions, and ask people who can help you to do just that. Given that Parker is now launching her own Sauvignon Blanc in addition to her popular shoe line, and, oh, yeah, that iconic acting career, we’re ready to take some serious notes.
Speaking at the #BlogHer19 Creators Summit, Parker addressed a crowd of fellow entrepreneurs and content creators to discuss how she’s made her business dreams come true. As it turns out, a lot of it has come down to picking up the phone and asking. “I think people really want to be helpful to young businesses … people want exciting new ideas,” Parker said. “Simply reach out. The worst that can happen is someone disappoints you, and then you move on to the next person.”
Of course, Parker acknowledges that in her situation, picking up the phone is not the same as it is for most people: “I know that I had opportunities that … aren’t always available,” she admited. “It was an easier thing for me to call somebody blind.” But even if it may be harder, or you face more rejection, your voice can’t get out there if you don’t put it out there. “You don’t lose a whole lot by asking,” Parker concluded. Honestly, she has a point.
Parker adds that — for all the concern we have about how we ask these things — people should really think more about how they respond. Not all rejections are equal, Parker warned: “It’s about the way they say no. They can say no in a way that makes you glad for asking, or they can say no in a way that’s humiliating, but I didn’t lose any ground by asking.”
For Parker, the kind of person you choose to be when asked for help has everything to do with your own success. Describing the business leaders she looks up to, Parker had this to say: “They like to see people grow; they want to share information,” the actress said. “That’s the kind of person I hope to be as an employer … because of the people I got to be around who I felt were so good at what they did, in large part because of the people they were.”
So, to sum up Parker’s entrepreneurial tips? “I’ve asked a lot of questions,” she said, “and I’ve tried to be near who I admire.” SHE Media CEO Samantha Skey, who was interviewing Parker, added that it can nerve-wracking to ask for what you want: “How do we ask Sarah Jessica Parker to speak on our stage?” she posed as a (not-so) hypothetical. Parker’s response? “Just ask!”