Last month me and my daughter were in bed for 4 days, very poorly with flu.
As a single parent I ended up feeling quite vulnerable about this. As always, I thought we will cope, we can just sleep until be get better and we will be fine. But I forgot what flu is like and as there was no one to look after us we became dehydrated and my blood sugar fell through the floor leaving me unable to mange. Lots of people had been very kind and said ‘if you need anything…’ but I hadn’t understood what it was that I needed so sat and cried and felt isolated.
Then Friday evening I figured it out… I needed good nutritious food, not the quick cook frozen junk we had for emergencies.
Saturday I put the word out and guess what.. food turned up – lots of it!
I just needed to be able to tell people what I needed and they were more than happy to help. The truth is that there are lots of people out there who want to help if we can just ask.
We all need help from time to time and running your own business can be very isolating. Plus quite a few of us still do the super hero act don’t we?
The hard bit isn’t finding people willing to help, the hard bit is figuring out what we need. The more specific we can be the easier it is to find the right people to help us.
Just to reinforce this point, that same day a man I know shared on Facebook that at a networking event he asked for help to find an overseas conference where he could be a speaker. He got a referral within 45 minutes.
If what you need is someone to help you figure out what you need, then consider a coach or a mentor . When I decided that I needed a mentor to help me get some clarity and prioritize my work load, I put the word out on social media – and I had 5 offers within an hour! Sarah Cruickshank meets me for an hour a month and over a coffee gives me the space to stand back and find where I left my sanity.
On a personal note, what I also learnt from this is that when people are very ill, or in an emotional hole, they can’t always step back and identify what they need from others. So sometimes it is up to us to put ourselves in their shoes and figure out what they need and just go and give it… Dog walking, a pot of soup, a bit of child care, because every little helps and we shouldn’t always have to wait to be asked.
What have been your experiences of asking for help? I’d love to hear your story, so please leave a comment below.
And, if I can help, give me a call 🙂