Argh! How To Ask For Help (And Still Be Independent)
I’m not an asking-for-help kind of gal. For too long, I believed I could do everything best for the business, until I learned that this was absolutely backwards. So I learned how to delegate (but not abdicate) and hired the help I needed. But quite honestly, I still catch myself not asking for help -- which then leads to feeling overwhelmed with to do lists, procrastinating, and getting easily distracted. This issue became crystal clear on one outing with a group of fun women I call “The Ladies Adventures Club.” While driving in the pouring rain, our Club’s transmission died. Thankfully, the car came to a stop while entering a parking garage entrance, half in half out. Cars lined up, honking at us to get out of the way. Our fearless driver kept her cool. I asked to be let out of the car and was joined by my 3 other adventuresome ladies to push the car out of the entrance and onto the street. We got it to budge a couple of inches, but not enough to gain any momentum. People walked by. Cars continued to honk. Finally, our fearless driver calmly put down her window, said, “Hey, Trinnie, just ask that guy to help!” So I asked. He balked. I encouraged and cajoled him. He reluctantly put on his rain hood, and with his brawn, we got the car out.
Thinking about it later when I got home… why didn’t I just ask the guy or other people earlier? How is this a symptom of how I don’t ask for help in business? I tell myself it’s because I like the way I do things and can do them faster. I tell myself, I don’t want to be a burden on anyone. But if I’m honest, another reason I don’t ask for help is probably because I don’t want to be burdened by anyone. Sadly, I’m like that guy who balked. It infringes on my freedom, or my sense of not being able to extricate myself. It sounds so incredibly selfish, I know, but that’s how it feels. Not very adventuresome. And certainly not the way I wish to run my company or be as my best self in the world. So what’s an independent to do? The value on freedom is very real. Here’s what I’m trying out:
Give more on little things. When I do, I find I can learn to ask for help more easily on the big things.
Be courageous. A no brainer. Yes, I feel vulnerable, but I’m dancing over a comfort zone here. I find that asking also generates tremendous compassion and connection to other human beings.
This is the kind of leader I want to be and organization I want to run. If I want my organization to be systematized, I will need to create the systems and ask others to help me run them. This is something I have committed to – working smarter, not harder.
Being honest – and communicating when I feel the time boundary bells go off. Talking about my time boundaries avoids needless agonizing, resentment and late hours before they happen. What is it I need? Again, this is towards the kind of open communication organization I am creating.
Be kind to myself in the process. As with any new habit, or venture, falling down is built in. What might be possible if I hold this as simply part of the growth of my company (and myself)?