How to Obtain The Support You Need To Save Your Business
Originally published: 07/09/2018 15:28
Publication number: ELQ-97111-1
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How to Obtain The Support You Need To Save Your Business

4 Steps To The Support You Need To Save Your Business


Many entrepreneurs and small businesses I know are struggling with business-threatening issues, but are reluctant to seek any assistance. Some assume that the help will be too expensive or doesn’t exist, but I find that others are just horribly uncomfortable asking for any kind of help. This results in personal and business failures that could have been easily prevented.
The fact is that none of us can go it alone in business. We all need people to support us, pick up our slack, and go to bat for us. I have found in business that other people are much more likely to help us than we realize, often for free or a later non-specific payback. Most people get a tremendous satisfaction from helping others, but are equally afraid to offer without being asked.
I’ve never really understood this conundrum, so I was happy to see a new book, “Reinforcements: How to Get People to Help You,” by the well renowned social psychologist, Heidi Grant. She explains the reasons and research behind why we hate asking for help, suggests the right ways to ask for assistance, and confirms that understanding the impact of efforts is critical to success.
I will paraphrase here the steps she recommends, using my own experience as a business advisor to set the context and examples:

  • Step n°1 |

    The advisor needs to know that you might need help.

    The best way to do this in business is to proactively ask someone to be your mentor. The most successful business executives build one or more two-way mentoring relationships with peers. For example, Bill Gates has a long-standing mentor relationship with Warren Buffett. Mark Zuckerberg openly acknowledges that he was mentored in the early days by Steve Jobs. 

    In my experience as a startup investor, I’ve always been more impressed with founders who admit early that they need my guidance (as well as my money), rather than others whose ego or fears prevent them from ever admitting that might need some help.

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