Happy Wednesday to you. I’m writing to you from the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, where I’m spending a few weeks helping my mom with her house. It’s been a great opportunity for me to think about the whole topic of help and how we both respond to and offer help to those around us.
There are a lot of different kinds of help we need over the course of our lives. When we’re small, we need a lot of help, of course, but our parents and teachers are providing help with the idea that we’ll someday be independent and won’t need their help – at least not on a regular basis. But even though we grow away from needing our parents we don’t grow away from needing other people – we just need them in different ways.
As an entrepreneur, I have usually had my own businesses, without partners. That means I’ve been responsible for just about every aspect of my business myself. But even if I worked mostly for myself, I still had to have help. Even if I didn’t have employees, I still needed assistance getting things done. Sometimes we can fall into the notion that we should do everything ourselves to prove our independence. There’s a certain amount of pride in that and pride can blind you in ways that will keep you from achieving your goals.
I know of people who refuse to ask for help when they need it because of pride. They take on too much and take it all on themselves. The problem is this often results in not doing any of the jobs well, not to mention overwork and fatigue. Think about it this way: if you’re pursuing a dream that is really important to you, don’t you want to give it the best you can? Even if it means getting help to accomplish it?
There’s a special skill to figuring out that you need help and then actually accepting it when it’s offered or seeking it out. Sure there’s a balance between handing over everything to someone else and relinquishing control, but I don’t believe we were made to live life alone or do things completely by ourselves. I believe we were made to need help – to interact – and to help others.
So how do you decide when you need help? How do you decide what kind of help you need? There’s no easy way to tell but if you find yourself spending a lot of time thinking over and over about a certain problem or task that you just can’t seem to solve or complete, that could be a place to start. It’s not important for you to be able to do everything well yourself but it’s important to your business – and to achieving your dreams – that every step along the way is done as well as it possibly can be. If that means getting help, then do it. Isn’t the success of your business or achieving your dream worth that?
Where do you go to get help? There are lots of resources – books, classes, seminars – to help you and they all have their place. But I believe it’s really important to your success to have go-to people as well. While I may have done businesses alone, I’ve always been surrounded by people who could help me in a number of ways. Some are mentors who provide business wisdom and advice; some have skills I don’t have and I’ve hired them to do something I don’t have the skill to do (I’d rather pay an expert to fix my computer than mess it up on my own); some are spiritual advisors; some provide moral support. They are all special people and not just anyone can fill those gaps in your life.
Just like it’s important to choose the right person to share your life with, it’s important to choose the right people to help you in your business and in reaching your goals. You want people you respect, who can offer you true help, who have knowledge and skills that are important to you. I have a lot of friends, people who are very important to me, but I don’t ask for advice from all of them; I seek counsel from a selected few people I respect, who share my ideals, who understand what I’m trying to achieve. It doesn’t mean I think any less of people who aren’t in that “inner circle” when it comes to helping me with my business. It just means I am selective when choosing who helps me.
The Beatles song I used for the title has a line that goes like this: “Help, I need somebody / help, not just anybody.” That’s really the truth for us all. Sure we need help, but we need to be selective about who we call on for help to make sure they can really give us the guidance and advice we need.
Until next time, I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach, reminding you to Live the life you’ve always wanted, Love your life and the people you share it with, and inviting you to become the Rock Star in your world.