Another Entrepreneurship Project of the  Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University

We Get By With a Little Help from Our Friends

We all end up facing problems in our personal and professional lives. And quite often, we don’t end up seeking help from our peers and loved ones—for any variety of reasons. Maybe we’re feeling too proud, too shy or just want to work out the issue on our own time. Because sometimes you just

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Writer Minda Zetlin narrates her experience of asking for (and accepting) help from many people during her recent cross-country move. The journey included traveling long distances and sleeping in camper vans, along with asking for and accepting help from many different people, from family and friends to complete strangers. Minda realized how she had to start practicing how to ask for help. “Ask someone for a little assistance, accept it gracefully if they say yes, and just as gracefully if they say no,” she suggests.

The following are the top five reasons why people should feel comfortable asking for help (and why it’s important to build that skill in your repertoire):

1)      Sooner or later, you won’t have a choice: You will eventually ask for help after you run out of all other options. And you don’t want to wait till the last minute to ask someone before it’s difficult for them to help you.

2)      Helping benefits the helper: Helping someone makes you feel happy and warm. It also makes you learn and refurbish your concepts and gives you an opportunity to showcase your expertise, which could ultimately benefit your career. And if you aren’t asking for help, you are withholding those benefits from people who care about you.

3)      The next time someone needs your help you’ll be able to empathize: You might be extremely generous otherwise, but helping someone when you’ve asked for it yourself is different from giving it when you never have.

4)      Not needing help is a form of conceit: Being self-sufficient is a trait many take pride in. But sometimes, all of us will need something from someone else and don’t be shy or afraid of asking for it. We all succeed with each other’s help and have gotten lots of support along the way.

5)      Not asking for help means not being connected: When you ask for and offer help, you build connections with people—potentially friends and business contacts. Asking for, receiving and offering help creates meaningful connections between people—simple as that!

Are you comfortable asking for help when you need it? Do you consider this an important skill to learn, especially when starting a new venture or business development? For the full story, log onto Inc.com and read the full article.

Thanks for reading and until next time… stay WISE!

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