Back in March this little conversation between two academics turned up in my Twitter stream:
Have just put in another request for funding to help attend Feminism and Classics VI. Amazing how difficult it is to ask for money!
— Liz Gloyn (@lizgloyn) March 15, 2012
@lizgloyn I don’t even like asking my own bank account for money. Asking from others? Very hard.
— jbj (@jbj) March 15, 2012
A big part of my business is helping academics ask for money. (I call it Grant Proposal Development Support.)
A fairy godmother would make this so much easier
Cinderella didn’t think she was good enough to marry a prince. She certainly couldn’t have asked for all the things she needed to go to the ball.
Her fairy godmother just knew she was more amazing than her current circumstances suggested. She granted her the things she need and Cinderella stepped up.
If only you were just granted the resources you need, you could make significant contributions to knowledge.
Self-promotion is hard.
One of the biggest problems with asking for money is you have to tell the person or organization with the money what a fantastic person you are and what fabulous things you will do with the money they give you.
Most of us have a hard time with that. We secretly fear that we are being like the Ugly Sisters and arrogantly claiming a status we don’t really deserve.
What would your fairy godmother say?
Some of my clients respond to the discomfort by reducing their demands. To avoid being greedy and arrogant, they play small.
That’s like Cinderella sighing and staying home to clean the hearth while her stepmother and stepsisters go to the ball.
If you had a fairy godmother what would she tell you about yourself? What would she challenge you to do? What would your fairy godmother want you to have so that you could do that work?