It has been a great strength and a great weakness in my life. When I want to do something, or I want something done, I don’t ask for help to get it done. My motto has always been “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.” While that independent streak can be a blessing, it can also be a curse.
The good news is, I am not held up waiting on others. If I want to do something, I do it. I don’t have to get permission. There is no need to get consensus. I can jump in and tackle the problem…and I am proud of that.
The bad news is, I am limited by my own abilities. I often have a “ready, fire, aim” approach that doesn’t always serve me (or my business” well. As the African Proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
A couple of years ago, I took a big step in the right direction on this front. While I am competent on the finance side of my business, it’s never been my strength. I have to work really hard to make my mind speak that language. I can do it, but I am not confident. It is taxing. So I enlisted the help of an expert. I started meeting monthly with Steve Schillig from the Small Business Development Center. He helped me create our first budget and we meet to see how we are holding up. This has been a game changer for me.
It Forces Me To Look At The Numbers
Do you notice that before that committee meeting, you do a bunch of work to make sure you don’t look foolish? Yeah, me too. Having this meeting with Steve forces to me to do my homework on the numbers. I don’t want to look foolish. Since the finance side of the business is not my strength, I can often avoid this. I would rather write a blog, make a sales call or create a video. Steve serves as an accountability person in our finances. And by this simple act of studying the numbers, I get stronger.
It Gives Me More Confidence
The funny thing is, by asking for help, it has given me more confidence on this side of the business. Weird, right? It turns out I know the numbers better than I thought. By working with Steve it has given me confidence that I know where the business really is. It’s not just my “gut feeling.”
I have always been uncomfortable asking for help. I don’t want to look weak. This is what keeps a lot of us from reaching out when we need a hand. But what I can tell you is, this simple act of asking the expert to give me advice has actually been freeing. Asking for help has not been a sign of weakness…it’s a sign of strength.
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