Why Entrepreneurs Absolutely Never ask for Help?
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I have a very deep passion for the art of entrepreneurialism. I say art deliberately; entrepreneurs are often very creative people who can see opportunities that others don’t see, they have to make up the game as they go along and they are deeply passionate about their business.
Entrepreneurs can present as strong and self-assured people with strong opinions – it comes with the territory. However, remove the day by day persona and you will find just another human being with the same insecurities and anxieties.
Speaking from personal experience, I find many joys in being an entrepreneur – I love the challenge, the opportunities and all of the other benefits, however there are many times when the pressure can be overwhelming – Staff issues, customer issues, supplier issues etc.
My personal default response is to simply “bite down on it” and get on with the job. I don’t often ask people for help and this seems to be a very common attribute for the many entrepreneurs I have met from all over the globe. It got me wondering – why? Some of my thoughts were…
- Doing “your own thing” often leads to a view that you have to be completely self-reliant.
- Pride – having to ask for help is sometimes seen as a failing.
- Vulnerability – closely linked to pride, people are pre-programmed to not be vulnerable.
- Lack of knowledge – it could be as simple as not knowing the right questions to ask.
There is no simple fix solution to the paradox of not reaching out for help. However, I can say from a personal perspective that the moments of greatest success in my entrepreneurial journey have paralleled times when I have been benefiting from outside help or guidance.
How do you get “help”, here’s the great news – help is available for entrepreneurs in a whole variety of places. Some of the very best I have experienced include:
- Peer support groups – I was a member of Entrepreneurs Organisation for 10 years, meeting a group of fellow entrepreneurs each month in a structured setting to discuss ideas, problems, opportunities or challenges proved to be a real value add.
- Mentors – I have been fortunate enough to have been mentored by 2 extremely successful entrepreneurs. Working with people who had experienced some of the problems and seen some of the opportunities I saw was a huge comfort.
- Board of Directors – get the right board around you, it can catapult your knowledge acquisition and success rate
- Coaches and Consultants – engaging the right coach or consultant can provide perspective and expertise that is simply not available within your own personal knowledge base or within the expertise of your business.
I will sign off with some words from Anne Wilson Schaef – “Asking for help does not mean that we are weak or incompetent. It usually indicates an advanced level of honesty and intelligence.”