Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
We can all do so much better with a bit of help. Many of us fear asking for help though, and this could be holding both ourselves and our businesses back.
It certainly can be helpful to ask for help when it comes to building a business. Imagine how much better it could be to get support and share resources to develop your business. You will have hundreds of things going on simultaneously (or at least you should), especially in the early days, right through to when it’s time to grow to survive.
The more organized and strict you are about meeting goals, the better your building foundation. The busier you are, the more likely you are to forget things, run into walls or miss all the important deadlines. The temptation is to push back deadlines, that’s if you even had time to prepare a timeline. Moving, missing or not noticing that you have missed targets can be costly, and it delays putting ideas into action.
Being rushed or missing vital steps are all common mistakes made in both new businesses and established ones, yet asking for help or outsourcing and delegating some tasks can save you. If it’s your own deadlines you are missing and you work alone, it’s easy to excuse it and lose motivation and momentum. If it’s other people’s deadlines you miss, you could be doing untold damage to your business reputation, miss vital orders, repeat business or offers that cost you.
Asking for help
Bringing in support will ensure that nothing is skipped over or forgotten. It will undoubtedly cost money unless you have family and friends ready to dedicate time for free. Yet, just because a solution may cost money, you certainly shouldn’t dismiss it. Buying help can bring new momentum that could save you money in the long run.
It’s also not generally a good idea to have everything on your shoulders as taking a break and recharging are almost impossible, which you’ll pay for eventually.
Businesses never run in a nice orderly fashion and step from just one thing to the next. You will be juggling various aspects at once. It’s vital that elements work simultaneously and laterally, not just linearly. All oars need to be aligned to move the boat forward. After all, the best rowers know the power of all arms working together in time to win. Working as a team makes things move forward faster, so delegating and trusting others to work with you is all it takes.
The power of coming together
It can certainly be difficult to ask for help, but sometimes it’s not hard asking; it’s being comfortable to accept the help that is the real issue. Even those who ask for help can find it difficult to let go and actually accept it and entrust tasks to others without wanting to micromanage. For some, it is the guilt of needing help, feeling inadequate or frustrated in themselves. However, it’s vital to push aside feelings of failure and inadequacies and accept that sometimes things are greater than we can cope with, whether physically or emotionally. Knowing when you need help and doing something about it is a sign of strength.
Countries and individuals do better when they come together to offer and receive help. Even the mighty United States has teams of advisers working to support the president. The president is the face of the country, yet he has support from advisers, assistants and experts in other fields to carry out his job. He is, in effect, building a business and using the people that can help him best to grow to get the job done.
Building a business is pretty much the same; it’s hard alone, and sometimes you need advice, support and a teammate with more time or expertise. Even if you’re experienced in all business areas, you still only have the same number of hours and days as everyone else.
Connecting people who need assistance
In business, I’ve quickly learned that no matter our culture or beliefs, we have fundamentally similar concerns and problems as individuals and businesses in the world. No matter our station in life or wealth, what sets some apart is their ability to accept help when needed.
It is not a sign of weakness or inability to manage effectively. It is a sign that you recognize what others can bring to your business and life and are prepared to let them do some things for you.
We have to get past creating endless to-do lists and spending more time juggling the to-dos than actually doing them. If this means taking a step back and accepting help, how can it possibly be a bad thing? If you are offered help, saying “yes” can open up many fascinating possibilities for your business, friendships, networking opportunities and a chance for people to enjoy your success with you.
I often use the analogy of hamsters running on a wheel. Sometimes the wheel runs too fast and they fall off. As we negotiate the wheel of life, it’s often moving more quickly than we can handle. We aim not to trip up or fall off, yet we often do, and this is often through a failure to ask for help to negotiate the wheel better. Accepting help can be all that is needed.
Our humanity, I believe, may see differences in our cultural norms, our morality and ethics and our prior experiences shape who we are, but share them and help others and we can all learn and achieve greater things. So whether you see yourself as a low-level worker, a billionaire or an entrepreneur, it doesn’t matter. Using the help available and asking when you need help will help reduce the differences between us and ensure that there remain only a few degrees of separation between us.