CALM DOWN MIND
& Ask for Help When You Need It
When I started my business, I dreamed of a flexible schedule, a destiny I controlled and products that I co-created. I was so excited to be my boss.
What I didn’t realise was the number of decisions I would be making every day and what an impact they would have on the potential of the business, my health, and my overall life. Sometimes, it felt overwhelming. I often came home tired and not wanting to make another single decision.
Entrepreneurs are great at starting projects alone, but sometimes when we hit a bump in the road, we don’t know which way to turn. That’s when we need some help.
H-E-L-P is a four-letter word, both literally and emotionally.
Some of us, believing it’s a sign of failure, hesitate to ask anyone for advice or assistance. We worry that we might inconvenience a friend or overstep a professional relationship. Other times, we don’t want to appear weak or needy, but actually, it takes courage to reach out and acknowledge that sometimes, we can’t do it all
Entrepreneurship can be painful, and most business owners choose to do it alone. However, if you don’t ask for help, you deny your friends and colleagues the opportunity to assist you, which many of them would be delighted to do. Moreover, if you try to do everything and make every decision by yourself, you’ll stress out and burn out. It’s essential to use the network you’ve built when you need it.
When I look back, there are a few things I wish I had thought about:
Acknowledge your need.
The higher the need, the more hesitancy most people feel before asking for help. We don’t like to think that we are burdening others with things that we find tedious. Eliminate any hesitations you have. Your need doesn’t make you weak.
Just because you could do it alone doesn’t mean you should. It’s unhealthy (and unproductive) to tough it out.
For example, writing a book is an endeavour most people are afraid to tackle because they don’t know how or where to start. Why not seek the advice of a writing coach who holds you accountable and helps you become a better writer. This person will keep you on track and helps you reach my goals.
Ask for Help.
Not everyone dares to start a business. Most people don’t. But they are in awe of you, and they want to help you. Let them. Think about what you need and who can provide it for you.
Some of the most successful entrepreneurs admit that they could not have done it alone. So, don’t be shy. Ask for precisely what you need, when you need it and how you need it done. People want to help, but they need to know what you need to be helpful.
So tell them.
Discover new Business Opportunities.
The next time you ask for help, you may discover a great, unintended consequence. Business needs often lead to new opportunities through collaboration.
Let’s say you’d like to host a webinar, but your audience is small, and you aren’t sure if your idea is worth the cost and effort. Instead of trying to do it yourself, contact someone in your network who holds webinars frequently and who has a good reputation and a substantial following.
Through collaboration, you’re more apt to build that relationship and get exposure and experience. It never hurts to reach out and see what happens. The answer is always “no” if you don’t ask.
Learn to Take Advice.
Asking for help is hard enough, but taking someone’s advice can be an even harder challenge. That’s when the ego comes into play. After all, it is your business, your baby and you know best right? Some new entrepreneurs feel defensive when they receive guidance from more experienced professionals, especially if it’s unsolicited.
Don’t allow your ego to blind you to the gaps in your know-how. That attitude is a quick path toward failure. Those who care about your success will want to save you from experiencing the (typically costly) mistakes they made early in their careers. Most advice is offered from a well-meaning perspective, so accept it with gratitude and grace.
Listen when others give you information, then decide later if you want to take their advice.
Create your Support Network.
During turbulent times, a strong support network can help you prevail. At some point along your business journey, you’ll need the support of other professionals. You might need a recommendation for website design or some advice on how to assemble a board of directors for your new business.
Reach out to other entrepreneurs and create your network. Share what you have learnt with them, and they will be energised to share with you. When you need thoughts, ideas or inspiration, flag it up to your network and watch them come to your aid!
You Don’t Have to Be Alone.
Being at the helm of a small business can be lonely as the buck stops with you alone yet, running your own business is one of the most exciting and challenging adventures you will embark upon. Set yourself up so that you don’t feel alone. I am lucky enough to have a fantastic community that has my back.
From all walks of life, this fantastic tribe provides me with new product ideas, training, marketing suggestions, product names, and so much more.
The best advice I have ever received came from those entrepreneurs. They provide me with insights from fresh experience ideas and creative energy.
The more key connections you have, the more likely they’ll take the time to help you. Reach out, build relationships, join professional organisations, serve on boards, volunteer your time or take colleagues to lunch. Many people will want to help you. Ask them for what you need.
Not only will you be building business relationships but friendships with other self-starting people, communicating passions and connecting with others who share those passions.
Surrender your need for control, take a deep breath and turn your weakness into a strength by asking for help.
I’ll be cheering for you!