Leadership, Let's Talk Business

Is Asking for Help a Strength or a Weakness?

By , February 27, 2020

Do you view asking for help as a strength or as a weakness? Your answer to this question can make or break your business.

By the time he came to me to ask for advice, the only thing left to do was stop the bleeding and get out.

He sat across from me in my office, tears welling up in his eyes. He had invested $400,000 into his new venture, and it wasn’t working. The most painful part of the story? If he had sought advice from someone sooner, he may have been able to turn the situation around, or at least cut his losses.

As business owners, we tend to hide; we’re too ashamed of our struggle to seek help and advice when we need it. But the truth is that almost every challenge we face, someone else we know is going through or has gone through. Reaching out for another perspective can save us not just money, but also so much time, aggravation, and stress.

Because none of us know it all. And pretending we do does much more harm than good.

Do you view asking for help as a strength or as a weakness? Your answer to this question can make or break your business. Do you isolate yourself in challenging times and let your struggles quietly destroy your self-confidence? Or do you use those moments as an opportunity to seek advice and guidance from others?

Asking for help when you need it can propel your business forward in ways you couldn’t have imagined.

Here are 3 Ptex Practical Pointers for seeking help from others.

1. Speak to people who have been there, done that.

These people don’t need to be big names. They can be friends, family, peers, or mentors. It may take trial and error before you find someone who you feel comfortable sharing and asking for advice about your struggles. You may even have multiple people you go to for different areas of your business.

2. Connect with others in your industry.

Industry-specific events and gatherings are an incredible way to make new connections with people whose experiences you can learn from. You’ll likely pick up new ideas and solutions that you would have never thought of on your own and get access to resources that can speed up your growth.

3. Read, watch, and listen to the masters.

While you may not be able to get personal advice from big names in your industry, you can get so much valuable advice from content they’ve created—books, articles, blog posts, podcasts, videos, etc. You can learn from their experiences, and even from their mistakes (if they’re vulnerable enough to share them publicly). And you can do so on your own time, at your own pace.

I can’t stress this enough: If you’re facing a challenge, don’t be shy or ashamed to seek out advice from someone you trust who has overcome similar challenges. Build a dynamic, well-rounded network of people with different experiences and viewpoints. Today’s business culture is such that people are open and willing to share their experiences and knowledge—use it to your advantage!

Remember, though, that the advice you get and the knowledge you gain will only go as far as your ability to act on it.

Have you sought advice from someone who has helped you overcome challenges you face in business (or life)? Comment and let me know. I’d love to hear your story.

Meny Hoffman

Meny Hoffman is the Chief Executive Officer of Ptex Group, an Inc. 500/5000-ranked marketing and business services firm headquartered in Brooklyn, NY.

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