Ep #87: Asking for Help
Do you believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness or a lack of ability? Maybe you just feel like – “Why bother – I’m just going to end up doing it myself anyway.” You have too much amazing work to do in the world to be minimizing your impact because you don’t want to leverage the support of others. Here are some tips.
What you’ll find in this episode:
- The three types of help people usually need.
- The importance of being specific.
- An exercise to point you in the right direction.
- What does asking for help mean to you?
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Hey, I’m Kris Plachy, host of the Lead Your Team Podcast. Running a million dollar business is not easy. Whether you’re just getting started with building your team, or you’ve been at this for a while, I’m going to bring you honest, specific, and clear practices you can use right now today to improve how well you lead your team. Let’s go ahead and get started.
Hello, hello. How are you? Welcome, welcome. This week I want to talk with you about asking for help. I have a lot to say about women and asking for help. I think it’s an essential skill for women who run their own business. Now, there are different kinds of help that you can ask for. There’s help that you can ask for where you just say, “Can you do this for me?” and people know what to do. There’s help you can ask for that is a very specific way that you want something done. Then there’s help you can ask for that’s more about support, an emotional support, emotional help.
I think we have to be able to do all three. I think you also have to be very clear for yourself what you need, because I think a lot of times we just want help, but we aren’t really clear about what the help is. We just want help. Do you need help with something to just get done? Do you need help really delegating a responsibility? Do you need help emotionally to feel more supported, to have somewhere to go to work out your own worry?
I started the How to CEO Program about a week ago, which it’s so amazing, so many incredible women working in this program. I teach a class live once a week and then we do office hours several times during the week. That’s an opportunity to really talk to and engage with them individually and hear what their challenges are. Even in the two short weeks now that we’ve done office hours and I’m getting to know people, it’s very obvious that this is just a common issue.
For us, when you think about providing help, or I’ll help you, you have a idea in your mind about what help looks like. When you then ask for help, I think in your mind you think it should look like what you expect it to be, because that’s how you provide help. But when you’re kind of in the world and you’re like, “Can someone help me with this?” your lack of specificity about what you need almost guarantees that you’re not going to get what you need. Then of course, that just reaffirms I’m sure what is a common belief for so many of us, which is no one can really help me. No one really knows what I need, so why bother asking because I just have to do it myself anyway.
This is different than delegating and all the other things we talk about, although I do believe it all starts there because a lot of the women I meet, they just want help. They’re set sort of, “Oh, I just need some help,” but I think initially, sometimes it just means I need somebody to listen to me and help me sort out my thoughts, or I need somebody to do my laundry, or I need somebody to literally be responsible for this part of my business.
The first thing to do is to sit down with a piece of paper and ask yourself, “Where do I need help? If I could have help anywhere in my life or my business, where would it be? What does help look like if I were to ask for help for that?” If it’s a house thing, what does the help look like? If it’s something to do with the business, what does the help look like? If it’s something for you, what does it look like? Until you’re clear, it’s hard to go into the world and ask other people to help you and you don’t know what you need.
But then we also have to think about what you make it mean that you need help. Do you make it mean that you’re weak and capable? You don’t have to be overwhelmed to ask for help. I don’t think you need the justification of overwhelm to raise your hand and say, “I need help today or now or forever.” But I do think a lot of women have assumed a lot of responsibility because they knew what they wanted their lives and their businesses to look like, which is normal. Then it becomes almost difficult to help you because you become very committed to and focused on the way that you want help. If you don’t get it that way you grow frustrated and you just tell yourself, “Oh, see. It won’t work. I’m not going to get the help I need,” and you close it off. It just becomes more evidence for you not to ask for help.
I just know that there are too many of you who have way too much amazing work to do in the world to be minimizing your impact because you don’t want to leverage the support of others. It’s not that I know that you don’t wish you could, it’s just the work that the investment of yours to do it is, feels daunting. That’s honestly so much of why I do what I do for leaders is helping you learn how to build that. It is a system and you can curate systems that help you, that help you lead and build this business and have a great team and enjoy your personal life. Most of the women that listen to this podcast and that are my clients are doing okay financially. You have means. This doesn’t take cajillions of dollars, but do you need help?
This isn’t going to be a terribly long podcast today y’all because I want you to really allow yourself to chew on it. Where do you need help? If you could have any kind of help that you wanted, what would it be? In what part of your life or business? Are we talking about something that someone will just do, like go get my car washed? Are we talking about a responsibility you’d like to delegate ongoing? Are we talking about emotional support?
One of my clients recently did a testimonial video and that’s what she talked about is working with me. She said, “Leaders are always out front and so there isn’t anybody for them. Leaders are busy supporting everybody else. There isn’t anybody for the leader.” She said, “That’s what my work has been with her.” When she needs help, that emotional help, that capacity help, how do I think about this problem help, that’s what I do with her.
I think a lot of times we look for that kind of support in places where people are not able to provide it. Not because they don’t love you or like you or care about you, but there’s not an understanding of that challenge, those challenges that you face as a woman leading a life and a business. Where do you need help? What kind of help do you need? Then ultimately, are you willing to believe you could find it if you took the time to really outline and clarify what that is?
Sit with that today, get yourself some support, get some help. You’re worth it. Asking for support to me is an indication of strength, not weakness. Do you agree? I’ll talk to you next time.
One more thing before you go. In a world of digital courses and online content, I like to work with my clients live because I know that when you have someone you can work with, ask questions of and meet with, you’re so much more likely to get the success that you want. Head on over to howtoceolive.com to learn more about our very exciting, very exclusive program just for female entrepreneurs. We’ll see you there.