I was recently helping a good friend with some logistics for an event she was organizing and I got a little frustrated, because I knew I could have contributed more if she would have asked for my help earlier. This inspired me to say: “Emmi, I am going to write an article about how to ask for help!” In any business endeavor when resources are tight (e.g. money, time, sleep, etc), one must know how to ask for help or a favor.
So why am I using Emmi as an example? Let me start by saying that she is an absolutely fantastic business woman who has an impeccable pulse on her target market, takes care of her clients, and leaves a “wake” of raving fans. But Emmi hates asking for help, because she doesn’t want people to think that she is taking advantage of them. I used to hate asking people for help too. It was a mix of pride, ego, and inexperience that led me to act that way. So what made me change? Back when I was fresh out of school, my mentor set me straight and hammered a couple of things into my mind that helped me immensely with the issue:
- Start by helping others as much as you can, so you have a savings account for goodwill. The more you deposit in it, the more you will have to draw upon when you need it. Start “depositing” early and often.
- People love helping. If someone is your friend, he/she wants to see you succeed and will find the time to give you a helping hand. I personally garner great pleasure from helping my friends.
- Put your ego and pride away! Asking for help does not make you look weak, stupid, unsuccessful, etc. Ask any serial entrepreneur, who has made it, and I have no doubt you will hear about the vast network of people they have supporting them.
Photo credit: Robin Laurén