The Art of Asking Book Summary - The Art of Asking Book explained in key points
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The Art of Asking summary

Amanda Palmer

or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help

3.3 (77 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

"The Art of Asking" by Amanda Palmer is an autobiographical book that explores the transformative power of asking for help, highlighting the importance of vulnerability and community in building meaningful relationships.

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    The Art of Asking
    Summary of 8 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 8

    By accepting someone’s help, you might be helping them.

    Are you ever ashamed to ask for the financial support of your friends, family or associates? It’s common to feel uncomfortable asking for the aid of those around you, but being able to accept help when it’s offered is actually productive for both you and the person lending a hand.

    Take the author’s relationship with her friend, former neighbor and mentor, Anthony. He helped the author by giving her moral support and advice throughout her teenage years and regularly when she was on the road.

    But their relationship wasn't as one-sided as it might seem: Anthony, who suffered through an abusive childhood, doesn’t like speaking about himself or his problems. In fact, he finds joy in talking others through their issues. In this way, offering his assistance to the author was beneficial to both of them.

    Try it out. When you, as an artist, start accepting the help of others, you’ll be amazed at how people support artists they admire.

    Before the author became a professional musician, she worked as a living statue street performer, standing still for hours on end. Nicknamed “The Bride,” she would wear a white wedding dress, white face paint and a black wig while handing out flowers in exchange for money. Her performance quickly made her a local Boston celebrity and attracted many supporters.

    Among her supporters were those who were either personally touched by her work, or simply enjoyed participating in an art project that captivated the public. For instance, the owner of the ice cream shop where the author worked part-time let her keep her costume in the store’s basement, which also served as a changing room.

    In addition to the support of her boss, the author was aided by a flower shop employee who gave her a good deal on the flowers for her show, the owner of a burrito shop who offered her food and the owner of a coffee shop that provided a calm space for her to take her breaks.

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    What is The Art of Asking about?

    The Art of Asking (2014) is Amanda Palmer’s personal account of how she developed her philosophy of asking, sharing and connecting. Through these blinks you’ll gain an in-depth understanding of how to accept help, reciprocate the generosity of others and build a tight-knit, family-like fanbase to support you in whatever you do.

    The Art of Asking Review

    The Art of Asking (2014) is a powerful exploration of the transformative nature of vulnerability and the importance of human connection. Here's what makes the book worth reading:

    • With personal stories and examples, it showcases the beauty and power of asking for help, inspiring readers to embrace vulnerability and deepen their relationships.
    • The book delves into the complexities of creativity and artistry, offering insights into the challenges of pursuing a career in the arts and the importance of community support.
    • Through its raw and honest storytelling, the book captures the reader's attention, providing an intimate glimpse into the life of an artist and the power of connection.

    Best quote from The Art of Asking

    If you love people enough, theyll give you everything.

    —Amanda Palmer
    example alt text

    Who should read The Art of Asking?

    • Fans of music sensation Amanda Palmer
    • People who struggle to ask for help
    • Artists striving to create a highly connected and helpful fan base

    About the Author

    Amanda Palmer is a musician, writer and performer. Starting out as a street performer, Palmer later achieved huge musical success as one part of the duo The Dresden Dolls. Her TED Talk from 2013, “The Art of Asking,” has been viewed more than eight million times.

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    The Art of Asking FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Art of Asking?

    The main message of The Art of Asking is about the power of vulnerability and connection in building meaningful relationships.

    How long does it take to read The Art of Asking?

    The estimated reading time for The Art of Asking is several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Art of Asking a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Art of Asking is worth reading because it offers insights into the importance of asking for help, vulnerability, and building connections. It is a valuable read for those looking to improve their communication skills.

    Who is the author of The Art of Asking?

    The author of The Art of Asking is Amanda Palmer.

    What to read after The Art of Asking?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Art of Asking, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Anything You Want by Derek Sivers
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    • Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
    • Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull with Amy Wallace
    • Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss
    • The First Rule of Mastery by Michael Gervais
    • The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem by Nathaniel Branden
    • Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? by Julie Smith
    • Visual Thinking by Temple Grandin