Being self-sustaining has obvious perks, mainly that you can always depend on yourself to get the job done. However, trying to do everything on your own can also lead to your downfall as an entrepreneur. You only have one set of hands and you can't possibly be trained in every aspect of the business (unless you've had years and years of experience). That said, you don't have to crash and burn — all you have to do is ask for help.
Entrepreneurs don't have to take it as a sign of weakness. In fact, in can only do wonders for your business.
Why should you ask for help?
To learn and gain experience
Let's face it: There are a lot of things you don't know. Even if you have plenty of skills, there will come a time when you're faced with a problem you can't fix. This lack of knowledge is one of the most stressful parts of being an entrepreneur, but it's something you'll have to deal with. And you don't have to deal with it alone.
So, let's say you're struggling with setting up your own website. Website building is a relatively new skill that you might not have mastered yet. Instead of getting frustrated over it, consider reaching out to a professional website developer who actually knows more than you on the matter. You'll save a lot more time and energy (even money) by outsourcing a job you know nothing about.
To prevent mental fatigue and burnout
Just because you CAN do it by yourself, doesn't mean you should. If you're like most creative entrepreneurs, you'll run the risk of burnout. To make things worse, entrepreneurs, in general, seem predisposed to deal with mental problems. A study on the matter found that 49% of entrepreneurs suffered from at least one mental health condition during their lifetime. Such conditions include ADHD, bipolar, and addictive disorders. While neurodivergence is actually a competitive advantage for entrepreneurs, this widespread issue can also stem from the unhealthy belief within the community that normalizes an entrepreneur's neglect of their wellbeing. The outdated motto "no pain, no gain" still reigns in many markets, and it's taken its toll on these aspiring business leaders.
You can avoid these problems by detaching yourself from that toxic mindset and learning to ask for help when you need it. Remember that it doesn't mean you're giving up, nor is it a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it's a sign of strength and self-awareness.
How do you go about asking for help?
Know what you need help with and who to ask
Now that you know why it's good to ask for help, let's talk about how you can go about it. First, you need to pinpoint what you need help with. If you're not sure, then you need help to figure out what you need help with. That's not unusual. You can't know everything, and it's possible that you've landed on something that you just don't know that you don't know. A good business coach can help you spot gaps in your business and help you be proactive in dealing with them. In most cases, if it's a problem inside your business, you'll need some extra hands to resolve it, so consider hiring some support to help you out with daily operations.
For instance, you might want to hire someone to help with your finances, given that more than half of all businesses fail due to cash flow issues. Your profit and the cash you currently have on hand are two different values, and this should be taken into account when running a business. Even if it might seem like your company is making money on the surface, getting a trusted professional to take a closer look might reveal that outstanding transactions and late client payments have robbed you of your month's revenue.
Reach out to your support system
In many cases, you will require support. Reach out to family and friends if what you need is to feel emotionally recharged or relieved of burnout. You can also consider finding a good mentor. Every aspiring entrepreneur needs an experienced one to learn from! A good mentor is someone who owns or has owned a successful business and can give you valuable advice on how to handle yours. They've already been through it all and they have plenty of insight to pass on to the next great entrepreneur. Getting help from others assists in your professional and personal development. Plus, it can do wonders for your business and grow your network. You can also join a support community - like a mastermind group or A-Club, or hire a coach. Just remember that you have options!
Never be afraid or ashamed to ask for help, because doing so is a step in the right direction. And remember what Lisa says: Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should. Ask for help and lighten your load!
Written for lisarobbinyoung.com by Jennifer Birch