Why smart entrepreneurs ask for help
When you’re first starting out in business, you may need to bootstrap. I did that. I did that for a very long time. Until I realised the downside to that was that I wasn’t moving forward as quickly as I wanted. Setting up a new business online in 2018 is easy, in a way. You can find free content on the internet about pretty much anything you need. And then consume in whatever media you prefer, too. But, at the same time, starting a business today can be a daunting prospect. And that’s precisely for the same reasons. Because there is so much free information out there that you can get totally lost in it! Which is why I now know that smart entrepreneurs ask for help, instead of struggling and trying to figure it all out on their own. But why is asking for help a good idea?
Asking for help allows you to fast-track your learning
I love learning. I think I might be addicted to it! When I first left my job and decided to take a break from my career as a Business Analyst back in 2016, I didn’t have much of a plan. What I did know for sure is that I wanted to write more. A lot more. So I started my blog, Mind your Mamma, reached out to online magazines like the Huffington Post and Moterh.ly (then Parent.co). And I got writing more. Result.
But a whole new world opened up for me. The online world. The world of social media. At the time I had never heard of webinars, online memberships or even podcasts! I didn’t even have a Twitter or Instagram account! I didn’t know the first thing about email marketing, and I certainly didn’t have a clue as to how to promote myself or my business. In fact, could I even call it a business back then?! During the months that followed, I joined pretty much any Facebook group that was suggested to me. I jumped from blog to blog, trying to absorb as much as I could and as quickly as I could. I read, listened to podcasts, attended every free webinar or masterclass I could find, and joined a business membership. And I even took myself to a couple of big live events.
Learning takes time!
And you know what happened? I learnt. I learnt a huge amount of stuff. But it took me months. In fact, all I did for about a whole year was learning. And I also got overwhelmed with the information because I was learning in a scattered and unfocused way. So in 2018, I started making different decisions. In 2018 I started to plan exactly what help I needed and where. I started to get really intentional about the help I asked for, and as a result, I’ve been able to learn more and faster. Now, because I’m focusing my attention on specific topics (like blogging and book-writing), I’m not being distracted by trying to learn everything at the same time. And I’ve been feeling less overwhelmed as a result.
Asking for help allows you to customise your learning
Like I said, in my first year in business, I tried to learn everything. To be fair, I had so much ground to cover that I wouldn’t have been able to be focused and intentional even if I tried! So I tried to be everywhere instead. I learnt about online courses, membership sites, and podcasting. But I don’t teach an online course (not at the moment), and I don’t have a membership site or a podcast, so was that the best investment of my time? What I did need was help with my SEO, for example, and with my email marketing. So I went out and looked for that. And what a great decision that was!
Instead of spending months trawling the internet hoping to get the right information and not end up in a rabbit hole, I hired mentors and specialists to work specifically with me. Having spent much of 2017 signing up for online courses that I didn’t follow through, I tried a different way. I looked for a human being who’d sit down with me and give me advice. Specific, targeted and tailored advice that would work for me and my business. Personalised advice. And that allowed me to learn exactly what I needed to learn (as opposed to generic information that wouldn’t necessarily do anything for me).
You’ll grow your business a lot faster
When you invest in asking for help (and specifically customised help that works for you and your business) you allow yourself to learn exactly what you need and quickly. And you feel more motivated to go and implement what you learnt. In other words, you’re much more likely to take action and get results. Why? Simply because an actual human being spent time teaching you a specific skill or trick. You see the value in it, and you’re ready to go get it done.
Not to mention that if you’re working with someone (like a coach or a mentor) over a period of time, they can also help you stay accountable. They’ll cheer you on and be on your
case side! There’s nothing like having to explain to your coach or mentor at your next appointment why you haven’t done something that motivates you more to get that thing done!
And you know what happens when you take action on the things you learn? You get results. When you get results, you achieve success. You get a sense of accomplishment and achievement, and you keep going. You keep pushing for more. Striving for more. And as you tick your goals off, one after the other, you set new ones. And then you smash those too. That, my friend, is called progress.
It’s called (steadily) growing your business.
You’ll build great connections
And last but not least, working with others (coaches, experts, and mentors) allows you to make great connections. And as an entrepreneur, can you think of anything more valuable than that? We can all remember a time when business was done in person. Through handshakes and physical meetings. Or phone calls at best. But if you work within the online world, you’re likely to have clients and customers that you’ve never even met in real life. People from all over the world that you may never even meet. And yet, the online world works in the very same way as the ‘real world.’
It’s about who you know.
With so much more competition and ‘noise’, where it’s harder to see the wood for the trees and understand who exactly you should be working with, your happy clients and customers are the ones who will recommend you. Your coaches, mentors, and the people you work with are the people who know, like and trust you. And therefore the people who will recommend you and connect you with others. I’ve had plenty of examples in the last year of helping people with their writing, just to find out that they could help me with other areas of my life. Be it exercising or aromatherapy!
The connection may not always be obvious and immediate – they may not recommend your products or services to their friends and family the next day. But building deep and meaningful relationships based on honesty, authenticity, and a desire to help will work wonders for you. The day will come when someone you’ve worked with hears about an opportunity you’d be perfect for. And they’ll be the ones putting you forward for it.
How I help smart entrepreneurs
In the last year, I haven’t just changed my own tune by asking for targeted, personalised help in the areas I feel I need help the most. But I have also started helping people with areas *I* am an expert in. Namely, writing and blogging. My most popular services are the one-to-one mentoring sessions on blogging for business. Ninety minutes with me save business owners months (if not years!) of trawling the internet for information. The sessions are super-targeted and laser-focused on what YOU need to learn right now, and after our meeting, you’ve got tons that you can go and implement the next day. So you can start making a tangible difference to your own business and grow it a lot quicker than you would have otherwise.
One of my favourite parts about offering this service is that I’m able to get to know my clients really well. I get to know what they’re all about – what values they stand for and how they run their businesses. Some of my clients are people I’ve ended up buying from myself! But all of my clients are people I support and I’m wholeheartedly behind all the time. All the way. I’ll be the first one to recommend them when I see an opportunity. Because I know they’re serious and passionate about what they do. I know they care. And I know it because of the passion, dedication and investment (of time and money) they’re prepared to make.
So if you need any help with your business, get in touch. I offer one-to-one, ad-hoc 90-min sessions on Blogging for Business, improving your writing skills (if you happen to be a non-native English speaker entrepreneur writing in English), and I can help you with any marketing content you need for your business (including web copy, newsletters, and blog writing). You can also book a Power Hour session with me if you need targeted help on any of the above areas.
So, will you be asking for help with your business this year?