Photo by Jacek Walicki Down Dog Photography
Highly successful people are successful because they get a lot of help, not because they are too good to need it.
You are not expected to know everything. Really. So pretending that you do doesn’t have much of a payoff, especially if it keeps you from getting the job done.
Don’t let your ego get in the way of getting help. I have seen many careers fail for this single reason.
Here is why getting help will widen your margin of success over those that fail to seek it out, don’t recognize it, or refuse it when offered.
Get help to make sure you deliver.
If you are growing your business or career, you will be in over your head from time to time. At times you will feel like you are not qualified, you are not doing a good enough job, and you are not sure what to do about it.
Never suffer alone! It’s OK to be confused, it’s not OK to fail to deliver results. So get some help. Find people who have done similar jobs and ask for best practices. Get mentors who are not in your business that you can go to and say “Help!” and be safe in doing so.
The last thing you want to do is struggle on your own, act smart, and fail to deliver.
You are NOT expected to know everything. But you ARE expected to be able to recruit the support you need, and learn how to do the things you need to do along the way.
Get help to make you better, smarter, and faster
You always need to be increasing you “fund of knowledge”. Think about what you know about a particular topic. Your fund of knowledge comes from what you already personally know, plus what you can research on your own in a given amount of time, plus ideas and information you can get from others.
If you develop a habit of learning from others, the bigger your fund of knowledge will become on an increasing number of topics. So you will become better and faster at solving problems. You’ll learn even more best practices, and get continued inspiration for innovations.
The best way to do this is to avoid the temptation to feel like you know more than others, and to develop the habit of always asking others for inputs and opinions. See also: Who has the best ideas?:
Get help to grow your influence
Successful people have a ready network to go to for referrals, recommendations, introductions, leads, sales, partnerships, participation in key events, and general support of whatever they are doing — All the things that make business go. Don’t underestimate the value of this.
I know I have been caught up in being narrowly focused for months (or years) at a time, not realizing just how much these kinds of connections drive real success. Without growing your influence through others, you will not accomplish as much, and you will will not compete effectively for the top spots.
Get help to get more work done
Sometimes there is just too much work to do. People who invest in building their “extra team”, can get more people to do actual work for them. They have access to more resources and support for what they are trying to accomplish. Without this you will go slower and have less capacity to produce value for your business.
Standard Rules of Networking Apply:
- Network when you don’t need anything
- Give more than you take
Make sure you help others
Everyone can be a mentor. Seek out opportunities to help others too. This is important to keep your balance of give and take in your network always leaning toward “give”.
When you are asking for help, I have found that starting a conversation simply with “I’m hoping you can help me…” is a good way to start a conversation. Most people want to help. It doesn’t make you less credible to ask, and in fact, can build trust and confidence. Never Fail Alone.