The One Piece of Advice You Need to Hear (but may not want to)

Jul 19, 2016 | Entrepreneurship

It takes a strong person to ask for help. Many of us either have no idea that we could benefit from help, or are too afraid to come forward because we assume this is seen as weakness, or a lack of intelligence.

The one piece of advice you need to hear as a current, or future, successful business entrepreneur is that it is absolutely acceptable, and sometimes necessary, to seek help. Where would President Obama be without his advisors and aides? Where would Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg be without a mentor? The top most successful people in this world could not have achieved all that they have without a little help along the way. Here are three ways to help you seek help in order to become a more successful leader and more productive entrepreneur:

Know it and stop multitasking.

The first step is knowing that you need help managing, whether this means delegating or simply asking for a favor. It is time to get over that initial fear. Yes, multitasking may seem indicative on the outside of someone who has everything together. From afar, that person who can take on more than one crucial task seems almost perfect in the workplace. This image is certainly not all that it seems. Much of the work we try to do while multitasking ends up either half-finished or poorly finished. Far better to do a complete and thorough job on one important project than to do a half-decent job on everything and not even finish the work.

Know the people around you.

Camille Preston, the founder and CEO of AIM Leadership writes that knowing your colleagues is one of the most important factors when asking for help. Knowing well the people in the workspace around you helps build stronger relationships, which fosters trust and a sense of mutual ownership. With these bonds in place, asking for help is a less daunting task for you, and your coworkers will be more inclined to help you as well. Ask politely, know who you’re talking to, and the day will progress much better for you.

Just Ask

Sometimes, it can be hard to break the ice and take that first step towards forming a relationship with a mentor, but don’t be afraid to reach out.

People are often genuinely happy to help you navigate the twists and turns as you develop in your career. After all, they’ve been there. But in today’s busy world, you can’t expect them to seek you out. According to Development Dimensions International, “It isn’t because they aren’t willing to mentor; it’s that they are not being asked.” In fact, they found that a majority of women had only been asked once or twice, and one-fifth of women had never been asked.

Speaking as someone who has greatly benefited (and still benefits!) from mentorship, being in a position now to give back to a new generation is very rewarding, and it’s one that I welcome with open arms.

Do you have any tips for getting help from others? I’d love to hear them! 


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