There I said it. Yes, you, the supremely high-functioning, visionary leader and earth-shaking entrepreneur, need help.
You need people who have more experience, more talent, more ability, more TIME than you. You need people to bounce ideas off of, people to tell you when your ideas flat-out stink. You need people to encourage you, to motivate you, to run alongside you as you sprint to the finish of a project, product or launch. You need friends, family, strangers, competitors, and enemies.
A famous person once said “You are the average of the last five people you met.” If you have isolated yourself in the quest for entrepreneurial greatness, you are the average of…nobody. You’ve robbed yourself of massive potential! You’ve basically created an echo chamber where the only ideas you hear are your own, and the only criticisms, advice, or suggestions you receive are from your own head.
A lot of times, the reasons that we refuse to ask for help seem logical and sensible. We’re afraid of being perceived as unsure. As entrepreneurs, we’re the face of our business in ways that somebody working for a large corporation never is, and so we have a much more important image to uphold. Would you want to work with somebody who was unsure, or lacking in confidence, or didn’t always have the right answer? Would you give your money to that person for their skills? Probably not, we think, and so we construct this persona of calm, cool, and collected, never needing anything from anybody as we go about our daily work. But that robs us of dozens, if not hundreds, of potential value-adding interactions every day! Remember that not everybody is your customer, or your client, and so not everybody needs to see your “business persona” at all times. While the messaging and outward construct that we present to our customers is definitely important, for too many of us, that becomes our 24/7 guise, and hides the areas where others could help us.
Then again, there are times when our most-needed interactions are actually negative ones. Competitors, enemies, detractors, bad reviews, etc. Criticism and crisis also are important for the entrepreneur, both as a motivational tool, and as a gauge of our own resilience and ability to overcome chaos. I teach students all the time in my Confident Leadership Masterclass, that the negatives that swirl around us can actually be positives, if we know how to adjust and adapt ourselves to them.
So yes, my friend, you need help, you need the positive help that can point you in new directions, show you new perspectives, and you need the negative help that can challenge you and provide some friction and drag on you to test your resilience.
The only people who fail are the ones who fail to ask for help when they need it. Ask for it, expect it, and be ready to learn from it when it comes!
Originally published at noholdsbarredleadership.wordpress.com on September 26, 2017.