Are you stuck on something?
How to create a formula in your excel spreadsheet, how to launch your email campaign, how to re-organise your office?
We are ambitious, competent professionals.
Yet sometimes we come up against a task that requires a skill set or knowledge base we’re simply not experienced in.
In my opinion that’s a good thing. It means we’re making progress. We’re meeting new opportunities to grow and improve ourselves …and our businesses.
So what do you do when you’re presented with something you don’t know how to do, or you’re not sure where to start?
Sometimes the solution is easy: a 5-minute how-to video on YouTube is just the thing to see us through. Problem solved, minimal time, and we’re back in action.
Other times it’s not so straight forward. Have you ever sat on a project or assignment for an excessive amount of time? You might have ruminated over how to do it, yet you were determined to figure it out yourself.
True, it’s incredibly satisfying to solve our own problems.
How much time are you wasting?
How does that impact others?
How does it impact your business?
Sometimes the best solution is to ask for help.
Change your beliefs
Don’t be afraid or ashamed. Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re any less competent in your job or abilities. In fact, it’s a show of intelligence that you’re resourceful enough to seek assistance as and when it’s needed. Plus, on balance it makes others feel good about themselves to be able to help.
More reasons to ask
- Minimise downtime – Asking for help, especially at the onset, will minimise workflow interruption and keep progress moving forward.
- Save time – You’ll reduce the time it would otherwise take if you muddled through on your own.
- Pre-empt stressful or costly situations – For instance, a project running past deadline, inability to complete other important work, or missing opportunities.
Who to ask
Friends and colleagues – Each of us has a set of strengths, skills, talents and expertise. Who knows a thing or two about what you need? Whether it’s how to change the ink cartridge or how to format a presentation, ask someone. Remember, you’ll have knowledge in areas they won’t, so if appropriate, consider offering a skill swap.
Same goes for general skills. If you feel you could be more efficient in certain areas, such as timeliness, meeting targets, whatever, ask someone a step ahead of you how they do it. Offer to reciprocate with your expertise, a coffee and a smile.
Professional assistance – Many of us try to do it all. We figure we’ll save on expenses if we figure out how to run every element of our business ourselves. Nothing wrong with wanting to know the ins and outs of our operation, or adding another skill to our toolbox.
However, when time is of the essence, you can easily end up losing money and potential business if all your time is absorbed into doing something a professional could do for you. Embrace the power and efficiency of outsourcing what you can. Save your time, focus and unique expertise for the activities that affect your bottom line.
Remember, you can’t know everything. No one does.
Yet trying to take everything on yourself will eat up your own valuable time, impact others’ abilities to perform their work, and hold up progress on your own business.
If you’re stuck, ask for help.
If you don’t know how, ask for help.
If you’re wasting time, ask for help.
And importantly, remember to express your genuine gratitude and appreciation. Who has helped you recently, be sure you’ve thanked them appropriately.
Do you need help?
How much time could you save?
Who can you ask?