One of the challenges most entrepreneurs create for themselves is an inability to ask for help. This can stem from fear of appearing weak, a desire for control, or a heightened sense of responsibility honed by years of “Gettin’ it done.”
Regardless of the root cause, one thing is certainly true: You are not alone. Neither in your thinking that you ARE alone nor your actual state of aloneness. Help is available for you and it’s ok to be vulnerable and ask for assistance. (In fact, asking for help is seen as a way to help others. The Jewish faith calls this a worthy deed – a “mitzvah”.)
My guest today is Mike Hess. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the Blind Institute of Technology. Mike and I actually met several years ago when he was doing a presentation for the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO). Mike took us through a really cool exercise that demonstrated how entrepreneurs in particular have a hard time asking for help. Mike and I chatted about this challenge – particularly in relation to the idea of loss aversion and how he experiences that as a person with blindness.
Mike says he gets a sense of this kind of “squishy” feeling sometimes when he’s talking with people and makes some recommendations for ways to avoid creating that experience for others if you are starting to put off that vibe. Mike believes that if one can just be vulnerable and admit the challenges that they’re having, how that becomes a way to diffuse the “squishiness” and creates a stronger foundation on which to build relationships. As you may have guessed, Mike is just an amazing person. His willingness to share his perspectives to help others grow is truly a gift.
Partner up! If you don’t know how to do something, find a partner and engage with them – particularly if things are feeling “squishy”.