By Michelle Post, Ph.D.
Running a business can be overwhelming. There are many days that I feel like my business is running me instead of the opposite. I was at a conference recently and the speaker said, “You don’t have, because you don’t ask.” Ouch!
We are living in a “collaboration economy,” there are plenty of people who want to help, and it doesn’t have to cost your business a fortune. In the technology sphere, there is online training, webinars, podcasts, blogs, social media posts, groups, forums, internet radio, videos, freelance websites, and virtual assistants. And don’t forget about the physical sphere. There is family, friends, organizations, chambers, meetups, coaches and consultants.
“The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.”
-Bob Burg, motivational speaker, consultant and author
There are a multitude of reasons people don’t ask for help. Perhaps we don’t know who to ask for help? Maybe we are too prideful to ask and don’t want to appear lazy for not solving the problem ourselves or unintelligent for not knowing the answer? Or, quite often, we simply don’t know how to receive help.
“Getting your ask in gear” is a catchy way to motivate individuals and businesses to overcome these obstacles to obtaining help. Realize that some people want to help, and just get over yourself already and ask. They may know you need help but won’t know you want help unless you ask. Face-to-face is the most direct, albeit sometimes intimidating way to ask for help. If that isn’t your communication means of choice, use social media networks to post questions or seek help on a problem. Social media is an amazing place for tapping into the collaboration economy.
While the Biblical principle of “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35 NIV) is a familiar concept to many, in business and in life it is important to be a receiver, too. A friend recently taught me, that by letting her help me, I was helping her too. I had never thought of it that way.