Asking for help is a big deal — a big deal
First you have to realize that you can’t do everything on your own.
Then, you have to find the person you need help from.
And then you have to muster up the courage to ask for help and potentially face rejection or acceptance.
If you’re asking for help within your business or passion project, there could be additional thoughts running simultaneously through your head:
Will they get my vision?
Can this person be trusted?
Should I just be doing this myself?
The truth is, everyone needs help. Even the Bible saw fit to let us know that in Ecclesiastes 4:9-11:
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble (NLT)
There’s no need to feel ashamed that you’re waiving the red flag. However, just saying “S.O.S. — I need help!” is only the beginning.
So, how exactly do we go about putting ourselves out there and asking for help? It’s actually a lot easier than you think. The tips below are in sequential order so do not cherry pick which ones you want to use.
1. Pray about it
Really, Vannesia? Pray about it?
I said what I said!
As humans, we can overgeneralize, exaggerate, and make life-changing decisions from limited research. Your purpose and dream are bigger than you. Why not go to The One who predestined you in the first place?
You need a clear mind and level head when you’re assessing your needs. If not, you’ll ask for help out of a place of desperation and lack of knowledge, rather than intentionality. When you operate out of desperation, you’re liable to accept anything.
Just because a decision is acceptable, doesn’t mean it’s optimal. It’s up to you to be so in-tune with your needs that you know the difference.
If you're a human behavior or I/O Psych nerd like me, check out the Theory of Bounded Rationality coined by Herbert Simon. We do this more than we think!
Additionally, you may pray and be led to the realization that you don’t need help at all. Maybe you need better time management apps or to just stop procrastinating. If that’s the case, you’ve just saved yourself (and others) plenty of time because you’re solving the correct problem.
If you’re still convinced you need help, keep reading.
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2. Be confident
Do you know what’s worse than going through a hard and confusing time? It’s looking like you’re going through a hard and confusing time.
Remember, the people that you respect and admire all have help. There’s a reason why there’s job titles like “Assistant,” “Administrator,” “General Manager” and “Chief Operating Officer.”
There have to be managers and administrations that keep the operations moving while the visionary is strategizing. Don’t be ashamed that you need to reach out and get help with your dream. On the contrary, be proud that you’re breaking ground on another phase of it.
3. Know what you need
This step is c-r-i-t-i-c-a-l. You have to know what you need help with and be able to clearly articulate it. No one is going to do the work for you and remember, waiving the red flag isn’t enough. Know what action items you’re looking to fill, what skill set is needed, and how much time it should take.
Be specific and create a simple job description that is direct. Here’s what I mean:
Before: “My calendar is all over the place. I need an assistant to help me.”
After: “I need a part time virtual assistant for 5 hours per week to schedule my potential client calls. He/she should also screen the potential client, gather all the information for me prior to the call, schedule the call with them, send the meeting request, and should alert me of any potential scheduling conflicts. I would also like he/she to find an automation tool to help me stay organized when they’re not around.”
See the difference?
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Research and reference check
This is a big one also because of the time that we live in. Everyone is learning the power of maximizing all of their talents. While I fully support utilizing your skills, just because your brother’s wife’s cousin’s stepson was great at changing myspace layouts back in the day, doesn’t mean he can set up your online store in 2019.
Researching a referral as well as the job description is important because it allows you the ability to make a well informed decision. Additionally, researching someone who you may ask for help prior to the actual solicitation allows you to see if they are a good fit to help you in the first place.
Remember, just because someone has the ability and/or the availability doesn’t automatically make them an ideal to fit your need.
Whether receiving help or helping others, you want to ensure that the need is clearly defined. Taking these steps can help make the act of asking for assistance a simple means to a favorable end for both of you.
Always speak life,