On the outside you paint the perfect picture, always smiling and telling people that everything is okay. “How’s business? Good, good. Never better in fact.” Maybe if you say it enough, it will be true.
The reality is, business isn’t good, and no amount of wishing or saying it is will change that fact. You can hardly sleep at night, worrying about how you are going to make payroll. Hoping and praying is not going to get that next big project in the door without a hitch.
This is the reason they say “It’s lonely at the top.” Who can you tell? Your employees? They would likely freak out and start dusting off their resumes. Your suppliers? They would cut your credit. Your customers? They would smell desperation and not take the risk. Your friends? They would think you’ve failed.
It’s also the reason many businesses fail. You, the owner, can’t take an honest look at the business and can’t solve the problems alone.
Instead, a lot of business owners don’t — they would rather not ask for help. More so, there seems to be a belief in the entrepreneurship community that asking for help is a sign of weakness. They just push forward, hoping the turning point is just around the corner but with no clear path in sight.
Why Not Asking for Help Can Cost You Everything
People are often quick to get someone to help them with their golf swing, or to learn a new language. Asking for help and getting instruction is the obvious solution. Yet, in a business where there are infinitely more challenges, options, and moving parts, we decide to do it alone.
There is no clear school or program for how to run a business. Even the most prestigious MBA will not prepare you for all of the issues, problems, and opportunities your business will present. As well, no program covers all the variables of staffing, marketing, selling, producing, financing, administering, leading, and profiting from your specific product. So, you need to find help now. You also always have to be willing to look for different resources at every stage of a business because the challenges and opportunities change every year.
Recognizing that ego is the big reason we don’t search out help is the first step. It is better to be a business owner that is striving to become an expert in every area of their business, than to be someone with their head in the sand. Ask the questions you need to become successful, leave your ego at the door.
What happens if you don’t ask for help
You, like most business owners, can make a list of the areas you are weaker in. They can identify the challenges of the business now, and into the near future. Knowing the areas in which you struggle ahead of time can help your business down the road.
Now, you need to be proactive about finding people and tools that can help. These can be consultants, coaches, industry specialists, or mentors. Also, it can mean engaging your existing team to see who knows what. Often past experiences from your team can present knowledge and tools you didn’t even know you had.
While you may not be aware, your customers and certainly your staff see the issues you are having. It is stronger and braver to say it out loud and ask for their help in solving the problems than to pretend business is fine. You must keep in mind that you are not the only one affected if your business does not thrive, your staff and customers do as well.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to ask for help.
Start today. Sit and list the concerns, challenges, and issues your business has. You don’t need to find the answers today. You just need to get your falsely protective ego out of the way.
Next step, reach out to your network (staff, customers, friends, business associates) and see who can potentially be a resource for you. Go online and search for yourself. Then choose resources who can prove their past successes and knowledge base, just like a job interview. Furthermore, the organic approach of asking for help can boost brand awareness and assist in building your reputation among other business owners. It is also a great way to expand your network. This is why even the busiest and most successful entrepreneurs always seem to make time for lunch meetings, golf meetings, dinners or any other type of networking event. Having a supportive community can make a significant impact on the wellbeing of your business.
With each new issue identified you will breathe easier. With each small step to improvement, you will feel empowered. With each declaration of “I don’t know how to do this,” you will become a better business owner who directs their ego, not the other way around. Don’t wait until your business is on its last leg to ask for help.
Caught in the ego trap denying that anything is wrong with your business, but can’t sleep at night from the stress? Let Evolve Business Group help. Our coaches and advisors have all been business owners before, and have a strong understanding of what is needed to drive performance and growth in people and organizations. Start making a difference in your business. email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call +1-403-836-3023 and book a free consultation today.