15 Mar Why asking for help is good for your small business
Asking for help can be good for you and your small business as we continue to navigate change. We are three months into the year and already many small business owners are struggling to stay motivated.
We may have started with the right intentions – jumped on board with a focus word, revised our business and marketing plans and colour-coded our planners to schedule our days and weeks to within minutes.
How long did it last before old habits started creeping in and we started working more in the business than on the business?
If you are starting to feel this year is like last year – just without the excuse of COVID-19 – then you are not alone.
Networking is starting again
I attended my first business event of the year for International Women’s Day. Despite the dire statistics about the status of women in Australia so many people buzzed around the room like the world was perfect. Discussions about how business was good, business was improving, aren’t we lucky … Our excitement about being reconnected with people disconnected us from the chance to share our truths. Stopping us from asking for help.
While it can be great and encouraging to celebrate success, exaggerating triumphs can be limiting. It may diminish the opportunity for customers to reach out to you. Or if potential clients think you are too busy they just may take their business elsewhere.
Asking for help is a sign of strength not weakness
It is hard to admit things are not the same as the picture perfect world we might present on our socials. It can be difficult to admit we need help to get motivated and make things happen. And we need help with either the nuts and bolts or the big picture of our enterprise. In these social media airbrushed days: ‘Our business teeth must be clean, and our entrepreneurial nostril hair trimmed at all times!’ (Kate Toon, copywriter)
As humans we are hardwired to want to please and to do things on our own. From when we are children our independence grows and develops. The first time we take steps to the first time we walk to school on our own. We crave independence.
Getting a small business owner or entrepreneur to let go and get someone to hold their hand is hard because it quite often means surrendering control to someone else.
Entrepreneurs are generally optimistic and used to running their own show. While this can be beneficial, sometimes these characteristics hold small business owners back when problems arise. They don’t always feel comfortable asking for help, even when they need it. Sound familiar?
You don’t know what you don’t know
As a business coach people come to me asking for help for on the surface it appears to be technical or strategic help. However, sometimes the bigger issue is about the mindset of the owners themselves. Many of us spend too much time in our own heads. We get overwhelmed trying to do it all and solve all our business problems.
For many people, asking for help could be an admission that we don’t know it all or we aren’t coping. In this world of perfection on the outside, the fear of people judging us negatively can be a barrier to asking for help. This can ultimately become a barrier to business success and sustainability.
Asking for help builds relationships
As humans we are also hardwired to needing connection. That is the beauty of Beyond Business Groups. When you start a group you create a safe tribe of like-minded people to share your truth with (admittedly this might take a few meetings for you to be able to really open up). Your group can share your despair and then lift you up. They can help you celebrate the smallest or grandest of success, and help you come up with ideas to get you out of a funk or make your current ideas more robust.
Peer learning process helps you learn
If you find it hard asking for help as a small business owner; if you are operating solo, or feel like you are, then we can support you. For those of you who are mostly dependent on your own resources, knowledge and skills to get by and grow, then the Beyond Business Groups program is what you might need right now. As a peer learning process it means you will learn more with others than you can on your own.
Our next intake starts in April. All you need are one or two other people to join you. Find out more here.
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