You don’t ask, you don’t get – old school values still hold space in a digital world


As entrepreneurs, it’s a scramble to be seen, an endless spiral to navigate a complex online marketing world.

 Is it asking or cold calling? Saying thank you or a subtle bribe? Networking or stalking? There seems to be a fine line, and I wonder if fear of the latter caused you to forget basic business principles.

The world has progressed, and to keep up, I caution you against losing touch with the old-school values that are still more prevalent than ever in a digital world.

As entrepreneurs, it’s a scramble to be seen, an endless spiral to navigate a complex online marketing world. Anxiety and adult ADHD rates are peaking as we eagerly await that one post to go viral and the dollars to flow in.

A lot has changed, but so much has not.

Social media birthed a level playing field between small and large businesses after decades of marketing being a game only the big boys got to play. It ‘bridged the gap,’ you might say, and hence the appeal. 

Finally, the solopreneur and the small had a seat at the table, but their invitation was swiftly retracted.

So, we sit and wait to be seen, heard, and found. We bootstrap, wasting time and money looking for the secret, the hack, and the cheat sheet to succeed when the answer was in front of us the whole time. 

Yes, I long for the days when a slab of beer said thanks without your moral compass getting dragged into question. A little wining and dining got a deal across the table, and a golf game and a scotch meant more to follow. 

And while those actions in themselves might sound pompous or obnoxious, the message behind them does not. 

Businesses can nurture relationships beyond a DM, a like, or a share. Success exists outside the gram, and real life awaits those willing to play. It’s doing what your competitors need more time to be ready to do, taking the time and sliding out from behind the screen. 

It’s pounding the path, putting your hand in the air, and shouting a beer. 

It isn’t a game for the elite or the old, and how quickly we have forgotten. 

I see you sitting on your hands and waiting for the DM to slide in, but while you wait, let me remind you of a line as old as time:

“You don’t ask; you don’t get.”

The world is busy, and opportunity exists; look up. 

Elsa Mitchell is a serial entrepreneur across a diversity of industries from beauty to construction, a business mentor, Bossy Bitch podcast host, and rural/regional business advocate.