by Saskia Crawley
I’ll skip the modesty. I’m one of those people who is multi-talented. I’m an eager learner with boundless creativity and I pick up tech and creative skills fast. Which, teamed with a pretty good sense of intuition, makes handling new business learning curves relatively enjoyable. I love making something from nothing. I love having an idea and seeing it come to fruition, and when I’m in my element – I’m quite happy to do it all myself. But there lies my problem (or one of them!) and perhaps something that’s held me back from the profits I’ve longed for (yet never really aimed for) for years. I’d rather “just do it myself”, because I can.
Asking for help does not come naturally for me.
Perhaps it’s also because I come from an upbringing where, as the eldest child and the daughter of a parent with chronic pain, I was asked to be the helper a lot. I’m wired to be of service, embrace proactivity, and find ways of getting things done without having to rely on anyone else. I’m sure a lot of driven entrepreneurs have similar baggage they relabel as must-have qualities. But what happens when we’re so caught up in seeing our vision through on our own strength, that we miss out on how valuable getting help is? Why is it so hard to ask for (and accept) help?
Given my admission that I’m pretty confident in my own ability to get things done. It may surprise you that I think I’ve found a contradictory answer… Taking on help is so hard because we’re afraid of what could happen. Good and bad. Taking help means taking a risk, here’s how:
Fast-tracking your business help means supercharging your way to a new life
Let’s face it. When you first set your minds on business success (whatever that may look like for you) the thought of it becoming a reality feels like a fantasy. A fantasy that’s nice to imagine in the future but disconcerting to imagine experiencing right NOW. If you picture business success to bring notoriety, awards, financial freedom, more time and space to live and explore and create precious memories they way you truly long to – accepting this as a reality can be hard and at first uncomfortable.
Maybe your resistance to outsource or employ is actually a resistance to let yourself reach and experience your fantasy for real yet.
Investing in business help means taking a financial risk
If asking for help in your business means outsourcing skills or upgrading your technology and equipment, financial investment is required. So often ambitious startup entrepreneurs use lack of funds as an investment barrier. But if you don’t have the cash to invest in the services you know will propel your business, ask yourself whether you are willing to get proactive to find them or you would rather hold your back for now. Yes, there is always the risk that a business investment will not pay off. But that’s a risk that must be taken if you choose speed and ease over continually pressing on by yourself.
Getting business helps means handing over your baby
If you’re like me, your business is your baby. An extra member of your family you’ve poured hours of hard work and care into. You’ve sacrificed time, energy, emotion (so many emotions) into getting it to the point it’s at now, and the idea of placing it in the vulnerability of someone else’s care is daunting. What if they don’t ‘get’ it? What if they damage your reputation? What if they run off with your ideas and do things better?
Asking for, and taking, help requires trust and courage. But there are always things you can do to boost your confidence and ensure you’re a good fit before you begin working together.
What’s their track record? What does their portfolio look like? How easy are they to communicate with pre-purchase? What process do they undertake to get to know a brand? Do they support your industry/niche?
If you’re going to make your business succeed on a bigger scale, at some point you’ll need to hand over some responsibility. Why not now.
Saskia Crawley is a journalist, copywriter and content strategist for kids & family focused brands, and the founder of Share The Joy Media. She recently launched The Content Creche experience: a complete done-for-you brand messaging, web copy and digital content package designed to help kids sector businesses stand out and attract the parent customers already longing for what they offer.
Saskia is also a mother of 2 young boys and a big believer in going for your dreams even after children are added to the mix. Find her on Instagram here.