The Big Ask
OK, so here’s this: One of the last magazine articles I wrote is all about asking for help. Turns out asking for help is good for both a) the person needing the help, obviously and b) the person who gets to deliver the goods.
When we help another our physiology changes. Our bodies fill with these feel-good chemicals, endorphins that make us feel warm and bubbly and good.
So I know all this – and yet, I started sweating big time last week when I knew I needed help. It’s hard to make the Big Ask.
No is Always the Answer to the Unasked Question
I’ve got this book coming out How to Live an Awesome Life and I need to learn more about marketing and connecting with others and the whole business side of publishing.
I know a lot of people who are a lot smarter than me and who are good at just the very things I need to learn and improve on, but I felt so anxious about asking. I don’t want to be too demanding, don’t want them to think I don’t know what I’m doing, don’t want to take advantage.
But then I read that famous quote attributed to Nora Roberts that says: “If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.”
And, I figured I’d be better off with folks saying “No” than I would be if I failed to ask in the first place.
Asked and Answered
So ask I did. Three times in fact. Each time I asked a specific question via e-mail, targeted toward the expertise of the individual I was asking, and without expectation. I wasn’t going to take it personally if I didn’t hear back or if they decided not to help. We all got other things going on.
But, turns out the Big Ask for me, wasn’t all that big for the people I asked. All three responded with such intelligence and kindness and insight. They had answers readily available – because they know their stuff — offered good ideas, and plenty of encouragement.
I am so much better because of what they offered. Better for admitting my vulnerability, asking for help.
Asking for help, is a catalyst for growth and connection. But, it certainly isn’t something to worry about.
Identify the one thing that you need and the one person who can provide it and reach out with good intention and without expectation and you’re bound to discover something you need to know.