You could be the greatest entrepreneur in the world, but if you don't know how to do everything, you are running the risk of putting your business out to pasture before it has a chance to begin. This is what many people think, but the reality is that entrepreneurs cannot be skilled in everything. An entrepreneur is someone that needs to recognise that they are never going to be the smartest person in the room and will know the value of asking for help. Many business leaders struggle to ask for help because they have insecurities, but let's get rid of this silly notion and understand the benefits of asking for help, but also how you should ask for help.
Risk is something we're always trying to minimise at every turn. The benefits of reduced risk include a more stable business and increased productivity. We have to understand what the levels of risks are at every turn, and this could be as simple as using outsourced IT support to protect your business from phishing scams or data breaches, but it could also be about getting guidance on steering the ship in the right direction, for example, through a mentor.
When we understand that we end up putting our business at more risk if we don't ask for help, we ensure that, when we do ask for it, we are not cutting our nose off to spite our face, we are in fact doing right by our business.
We can think that decision-making is to do with us and us alone. Instead, we must think about different viewpoints and perspectives. When we ask for help from others and gain insight into how someone else would do a task differently, we will always have a far more informed decision process. We cannot just look at the data to inform our decisions. Likewise, we cannot go with our gut. We must think that to make a better business decision we've got to gain an understanding of every single permutation of a problem.
The benefit of problem-solving in this manner means that you have looked at everything from every angle but you also have better quality decisions, and you are bringing people into your decision-making process. When you bring employees into your decision-making, you are asking for people to provide invaluable support to your business.
It's not just about learning more, but about the quality of your learning. Nobody is great at everything. By asking for support, we start to figure out where we can improve. There are many people who think that if they have to learn something new, this marks them out as a weakling. We are learning something new every day, and when we are stepping away from the sense of self-preservation and thinking that a leader should know everything fresh out of the gates, we are going to have a far better perception of not just ourselves, but the business as a whole.
This notion of a growth mindset is critical because we have to remember that our decisions are not just impacting ourselves but they are impacting the whole business. One wrong decision can have a major impact on team morale and could put you in financial trouble.
Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness, and this is why we must remember that asking for help the right way is just as critical. Let's show you some ways to do this.
You need to identify yourself as the weaker part of the dynamic. Asking someone else for help means that you can frame it as a quick assist, but instead, you should make it sound like you are struggling to solve a problem and you are shining a light on their fantastic abilities to solve what you are struggling with.
Being specific in what you need help with is critical, but you also need to define the reasons why, right down to the smallest detail. The quarterly results could depend on this one solution, or an entire team would benefit from this support. When you highlight why, this doesn't just make sure people are more likely to help, but it makes them feel like they've got a big hand in helping you out.
Asking for help is never easy because we have it built into us as a sign of weakness, but it's always worth asking for a hand.