It’s really hard to ask for help. Even when you’re used to asking for help, you can feel like you’re taking advantage of a friend or someone’s time and knowledge. And some people don’t always respond really well; they expect you to have exhausted the internet for resources before you ask them for help. But certain things like certain tasks for arts and crafts or your taxes need a little bit more explanation than the googleable resources. And yes, I ALWAYS start at Google.
None of us would be where we are if someone had not helped us along the way, especially as children. Even when you feel like no one has done anything for you, I can guarantee someone helped in some small way. Because “help” does not need to come in the form of a $60,000 check nor does it need to come in the form of someone hiring you for a job. Help can be defined by getting an Advil from someone when you had a terrible headache. It could be a hug when you really needed it. It could be someone reading a resume or just saying “Go get’em, tiger!”
Asking for help is par for the course when you’re new to something. I’m still in start-up mode myself but I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for my friends helping me along the way. I’m in a much better position now than when I started 3 years ago, with better work to show for it. It’s how everyone has gotten along since the dawn of time, some people are better at asking for help, some people are better at giving. Some people might be good at both and some people might be terrible at both. Life is figuring out who is willing to barter with you.
And that’s all this is: it’s a barter system. If I ask for help, I have to help you. Not because you’re threatening me to help you because it’s the right thing to do to make sure that I pay you back in some way for your assistance. It doesn’t have to be one to one, either: one action to pay back for one other action. This depends on your relationship. This is why I like to offer my help first and then request when I feel like I’ve added value to another person’s life. Those who respond well are people I can trust and those who don’t want to help are not worth the time.
There is no formula for this and it’s also not cool if you only want to become friends with someone just because they are more skilled than you. Authentic relationships are easy to maintain and easy to continue because it becomes a beautiful cycle of helping your friend and being helped yourself. You’ll always want your friend to succeed and the will want you to succeed too. Keeping that going consistently is what makes a person worth of even your Board of Trustees. But that’s just me.
To highlight some of my friends that have done what they can to help ME in some way, I’d like to just quickly mention:@stephenegts, @hannamations, @rewyndmakes, @squidbrainsdesign (or Jillian :P), Heather Larkin, and the greatest Siblings over at @wellesleyunderground
And finally, I’m asking for YOUR help! Please leave a comment, like, share or just send me a message! I’d love to know what you think about this post and what else you’d like to read about.