You Can't Do It Alone - Top Five Benefits of Asking for Help

Entrepreneurs are a lot like the early American pioneers - forging new ground, following their visions and making them real. In order to succeed these pioneers relied on the notion of "rugged individualism", a concept now woven into our cultural fabric. Unfortunately, this valuable idea can be taken too far, leaving us feeling like we must do it alone. As a result, many of us believe that doing it alone is better and more virtuous, and that pulling yourself "up by your bootstraps" signals a sign of character. I consistently encounter clients - entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs - who believe that being a Lone Ranger is the way to go, and that if it's not hard, it's not worth doing. There's a difference between challenging yourself and taking the hard road when you don't ask for available assistance. Top Five Benefits of Asking for Help: - Create community. Through the act of receiving, you cultivate partners and mentors to support your vision. Just like you enjoy giving to others, people want to give to you. When you ask for help, you extend the opportunity for others to give back. When you are engaged in something exciting, risky or daring - like entrepreneurship, you'll find that people love to participate in your vision. It's exciting and gratifying to be part of another's adventure and see them succeed. - Achieve your vision and its supporting goals more quickly when you ask for what you want and need. Use the question "Who do you know who?" to reap the benefits of financial, business, emotional or spiritual assistance. When you need to make a specific request, you gain clarity. If you aren't sure what you need, request a brainstorming session to create an avenue to clarity. - Get to yes. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. I attended a conference where a film maker shared her experience of making a documentary about the women leaders of the world - presidents and prime ministers. When asked by an audience member how she went about asking these leaders if she could interview and film them, she said, "If I didn't ask, the answer was always no." - Watch "No" turn into "Yes." Even if you hear "no" as the answer to your initial request, you've planted a seed in that person's mind by asking. Don't be surprised when he or she comes back to you and says, "This is what I CAN do for you..." - Develop the skill of receiving. As a coach, I often hear, "It's easy for me to help others, but I don't feel comfortable asking for help." Most of us internalize the lesson, "It's better to give than receive." Receiving is just as important as giving. The ability to receive fully and gracefully is a skill to develop like any other. When you receive, you give others the opportunity to give. As an entrepreneur, you are the captain of your ship. But as any successful leader knows, it takes all hands on deck to secure a successful voyage. You can't do it alone. Recall anyone you've heard about who's successfully realized a vision. I can guarantee that individual asked for and received assistance in achieving his or her success.