Last week I shared some tips for preventing anxiety while trying to grow and maintain your online business. In addition to that in a recent post, I talked about how asking for help is an important skill to have online because you can’t do everything on your own. That’s why there are so many tools, programs and groups to put people together.
Between email responses and blog post comments, I saw a common theme of people saying how hard it was for them to ask for help, so I decided to talk about the problems we have asking for help and how to overcome them.
If you get my weekly update “Things You Missed” then you know we briefly discussed this a while back, but I think many of us can relate to the topic, so I wanted to share it here.
How to Get Past The 5 Reasons People Don’t Ask For Help
Fear of Being Annoying
This is probably the easiest one to spot and the hardest one to overcome. By nature most of us want others to like us and we don’t want to inconvenience them or burden them. But guess what, very few people do things that they genuinely don’t want to do. If you ask someone to do something and they don’t want to do it, then they won’t do it. It’s really as simple as that. Asking someone nicely, “Do you have time to look over my webinar slides,” isn’t annoying. Asking them over and over after they tell you they don’t have time is when you are becoming annoying.
Just because you ask someone to do something doesn’t mean they have to do it. If you remember that and respect their answer, you won’t be annoying.
Extra Tip: Make sure you aren’t always asking without giving. Offer your help or services when you can in return and don’t expect them always to say yes when you always say no. You can do something as simple as making a point to share their content on a regular basis on social media. I’ve had several bloggers take note of this and almost always they seem more perceptive to working with me.
Fear of Losing Control
I know how terrifying it is to trust people with something so close to your heart but don’t think of asking for help as losing control. Instead, think of it as making room to grow. If you need help with something chances are you don’t have the time or the best ability to do whatever it is you need help with. Why spend 2 hours watching YouTube tutorials if you have a friend who can walk you through something in a fourth of the time, it would take you on your own?
Even if you outsource or ask for a helping hand, you are still in control. You still get the final say. I’ve had many friendly conversations with other bloggers about certain ideas. Sometimes they offer an idea of suggestion I love and other times they have a recommendation that I’m not interested in. I’m not obligated to take it, I thank them for the feedback and listen to my instincts in those situations.
They Don’t Want to Look Weak
You know what is weak? Having an ego that is so big, you can’t ask for help. Being able to identify your weaknesses (yes, we all have weaknesses, even Thor) and asking for help is a great sign of strength. What looks weaker? Putting crap into the universe that you did all by yourself or putting something great into the world with help from other people?
Why is it most of the hard workers in the world are so quick to offer a helping hand but so slow to ask for one? It’s a challenge especially as entrepreneurs; we are so focused on our goals that we want to feel like we built everything on our own. The sad part is it isn’t necessarily an arrogance thing but more of a subconscious hazard. You want people to see you as this capable go-getter and that’s fine but be realistic with yourself about your abilities. You should never stop learning.
Fear of Being Rejected
Spoiler Alert! Not everyone you ask for help will say yes. You might hear, “no,” more than you hear, “yes.” I used to work as an insurance agent and my boss would always tell us to get happy when we got a no because we had to get nine no’s before we got one yes, statistically. I don’t know if those numbers are hardcore statistics, but they sure felt real my two years in the insurance industry. The hard part about this one is separating your emotions from their schedule and their answer. They may think you are the bee’s knees but they can’t parent with you at the moment. That doesn’t mean you stop asking people for help and lick your wounds in the corner. The opposite, it means you find more people to ask.Click To Tweet
Thinking They Can Do It All
You can’t do it all. Suck it up and ask for help. The End.
HAHA okay, I guess I’ll go into further detail about this. As a planner myself I can see how you might let yourself think you can manage it all. “If I’m organized I can get it all done.” We are only human. We all need help sometimes in one way or another and to different degrees. We all have weaknesses and strengths, and you need to be able to admit when you need a helping hand.
I want to leave you with this final thought the same way you want to be well-liked and helpful to people you care about is the same for most other people. Think of the last time someone asked you for help on something you’re good at. I don’t mean when was the last time someone asked you to help them move or for a ride to the airport but when was the last time someone said, “Hey you’re really good at writing, will you take a look at this paper and tell me what you think?” It probably made you feel pretty good. When you ask someone to help you try to remember that you are basically complimenting them, extra brownie points if you go ahead and compliment them.
What is the biggest thing that stops you from asking for help in your online business or even in everyday life?