Asking for Help

Or sometimes sending out an SOS loud and clear!

Being a business owner, especially an internet marketing business owner, can be lonely.

When I first started my business in 2008 I had a network of agency owners that I could contact to answer questions about running and building my business. But I would hesitate to ‘bother’ them. I would hesitate before calling someone because I thought I would be interrupting them.

I didn’t think I was important enough to get their help.

Oh yeah, insecurity ran deep.

But I also had this value of self-reliance – very American, by the way – that became a wall for me to break through.

Self-reliance is great! But it doesn’t pay the bills when I don’t know what I’m doing.

So, here I was, really wanting this business to succeed and unsure if I was doing the right things – especially when the recession really hit in September 2008 (financial industry nearly collapsed).

It was in November of 2008 (or thereabouts) that I learned the value of asking for help.

Reaching out to those who have gone before me and asking them “how do I do this?”

Deciding to ask a mentor for their wisdom based on experience rather than relying on my own lack of experience and learning from the mistakes.

I got the help and guidance that I needed, and also learned that every single time I reached out, the business owner was eager to help me.

Now that I’m a business owner, I understand the eagerness to help others. The satisfaction I get from watching someone succeed because I provided an answer, some guidance, a recommendation is truly remarkable.

If you have difficulty asking for help – whether it’s about business or something personal – here are a few things you can do to get better at asking for help:

  • Give first. Be helpful yourself. Do it on a regular basis. How? Well, join a professional group on social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Association) and provide answers when you can. This will make it easier for you to ask, and receive, the help you need because now you will feel like you earned it.
  • Know what you want to ask. Sounds simple, but if you think about it, just how specific is your question? There have been many times I’ve been approached by a new internet marketer that wants help, but they ask for it in a way that makes it impossible for me to help!
    • “How do I make money online?” Trust me, if you call yourself an internet marketer, you should know the answer to this.
    • “How do I talk to my potential customers?” This is a much better question and one that tells me the kind of help you need. Communicating with your target market. And it won’t take but a bit of conversation to find out exactly where you’re fumbling and stumbling.
  • Another way to ask the question is in a SMART way: Specific, Meaningful (why you need it), Action-oriented (ask for something to be done), Real (authentic, not made up), and Time-bound (when you need it). A SMART request is easier to respond to than one that is misses one or more of the five criteria.
  • Don’t assume that you know who and what I know. Even if those you ask can’t help you directly, they can tap their personal and professional networks. Until you ask, you don’t know who other people know. I once made what I thought was an impossible request.
  • Develop a habit of asking for help, after you’ve been giving it for a while. Giving and taking are essential for individual success and business growth. If you’re a giver but don’t ask for help, remember that people want to reciprocate … so let them!

When to Ask for Help

Here are a few other times when you should consider asking for help:

  • When your business is brand new
  • When you’re launching a new product (or just thinking about it)
  • When you’re looking for partners
  • When you’re expanding into a new industry
  • When you want to reach new audiences

Now you know how to ask and when to ask … who do you ask?

If you’re an internet marketer looking for supportive and helpful group that can answer your questions, provide current training and help you make money online, check out the system I’m using.

If you want to own a business but aren’t ready to jump in fully with time and monies, consider starting out with a blog. This platform I’m using comes with a team (me included) of bloggers that can help you be be a successful blogger.