Asking for help means you aren’t smart enough to do something yourself. Asking for help means that you are weak. Asking for help means you are in the wrong position in business. Have you heard any of those statements before? They seem to follow us generation after generation and decade after decade. It’s time to put a new spin on an old tape… seeking help is empowering.
Whether you are an entrepreneur or starting a new position or recently got promoted, you find there is one thing that rings true…it can be lonely. When you’re in sales, and we all are, it goes one step further because unless you are in front of someone, your emotions go from being on to being…alone. I can remember a full day of appointments and I would be in my car rocking out to some great music and then I was “on” for the first appointment. Back into my car and while the music was still playing, I was listening and humming a bit. Into my next appointment and back “on” …back in my car and…well you get it. You try and fill the empty moments with music or news but in reality, you feel lonely…and it doesn’t matter if you have sold or not, it’s still a lonely profession. Having no one to bounce ideas off in that new role…equally as lonely.
Now imagine you have someone you can reach out to and ask for help or ideas to get you to the next level. Wouldn’t that be great? But…if you did do that, would that person feel like you weren’t sure about what you were doing or that you couldn’t make decisions yourself? Weren’t you told to “fake it till you make it?” Would people think less of you if you showed that you might need their expertise or experience? See how that creeps back into your brain? Asking for help and support is such an easy thing, until it’s not.
What are some reasons why you should ask for help?
1. Wouldn’t it be great if simply by asking for help you are creating brand awareness? When you let others know what you are doing, they are getting to know you and what you do. If you have a great reputation and what you are doing brings value to others, it would only make sense that they would think of you when someone needs what you have to offer. If you don’t ask, the answer is always “NO” …
2. That was good for your brand. Now, what about building your network. By reaching out to others and getting to know them and letting them get to know you, your network is also growing. No matter where you are in your career, you need a solid network.
3. What about growing your business? When you ask for help and check your ego at the door, people will help you. Those that don’t, you have that magic word NEXT. Those that do become part of your network, are strategic partners to help grow your business and can become that confidante that you need to feel comfortable enough to share your thoughts with. Win-win-win…
Those are some basic reasons why you should ask for help. But when is a good time or the right time to ask for help? I’m sure the first thing you thought of is when you are in trouble. You’re not making money or have no clients or when everything seems to be going wrong. While those are good times to ask…you also need the courage to do that. You can also ask for help when things are going great and you want to get to the next level. It doesn’t always need to be during the gloom and doom you might be experiencing. Here are some other times when asking for help makes sense:
~When you are just starting out ~When you are entering into a new market ~When you want to grow your audience ~When you are looking for a strategic partner ~When you want a promotion
The bottom line is you can always ask for help. It may take a few times to feel comfortable, but always remember that one of the habits of successful people is that they do ask for help. There are some great reasons to ask for help. Sooner or later everyone will need to ask for it and then be open to receiving it as well.
1. At some point you will have to do it. It doesn’t matter if you have all the money in the world or have zero, there will come a time when you will have to ask someone for their help. If you aren’t good at it, start small and practice.
2. You won’t be the only one that benefits from the request. When you share your expertise with someone else, how does that make you feel? Pretty good when you see their reaction and hear their gratitude. It will be the same for you and the person you help. I always say that when you become a mentor, you learn just as much if not more than your mentee. This is no different.
3. Have you heard the phrase, “walking in their shoes”…If you’ve asked for help and received it and now you have been asked to give help, you will know what it felt like for that person to ask you and how difficult that might have been…who is the winner now?
4. If you never ask for help, do people think you have it going on…even if you don’t? Most of us will struggle now and then and people expect us to be human. You can’t always be perfect and that is too difficult and boring anyway. Here’s an example…when I was taking my insurance exam, there were no classes to take and we didn’t have a computer to do anything online. My children asked if I needed help and of course I declined after thanking them for the offer. I failed the test by 1 point and my daughter’s comment was “Thank goodness you’re human” …need I say more?
5. When you ask and offer help it creates connections and relationships. When you need something, these are already in place with people ready to support you. Don’t wait until you are struggling to ask for help. Don’t celebrate your successes being lonely. Asking for help gives you a reason to be a part of groups, colleagues and friends. It can be very lonely as an entrepreneur or being in a new position…I think I started with that statement.
Remember…“There is no lack of knowledge out there…just a short of asking for help!”
Judy Hoberman www.sellinginaskirt.com