Dec 032013

Do you know how to ask for help? What about asking a question of others to find a solution to a problem or challenge? It’s actually a learned skill – from my perspective, and it’s all about being brave enough to hear the answers and listen to the lessons that inevitably come from the conversations with others.

If you are lucky enough to get your hands on a wise person, tie them to a chair and record the Q & A to play back as needed!

It’s ironic that we have no problem with asking people for feedback on our personal lives and relationships; we discuss all this openly and frequently and do what our friends say. But imagine when it comes to business questions, we completely go quiet and freeze up, or in my case we just don’t think about it. For so long it never occurred to me to just ask.

Whether you are a start up or an established business owner, you will constantly come up against, or be forced into, situations that will stump you. Clearly there are moments that Google can’t fix, and where no search bar in the world can provide assistance either. It’s either human contact or find out the hard way. Often, in fact far too frequently, the hard way comes in multiples as well… Why would it be easy? Lol

What if you look bad?

Is there an art to asking? Only if you over think it and care how you ‘look’ or ’sound’ when the questions come out. I like to think of asking as part of my investigation and search strategy. Usually that means me investigating what I don’t know, and searching for the right words to ask about thing I have no idea about, to people who know everything about matters I don’t. Make sense?

You may need a simple query answered, or an investor to deal in to your business, or a contra deal considered; the size of the ask isn’t relevant. It’s learning to ask that has the effect and changes the journey. And one answer I know you will get if you don’t ask, is the horrible echo of nothing.

Deep breaths

Take a good look at collaborative business models, people who have really fined tuned the art of asking and surround themselves with like minded individuals, who gather a complementary brains trust to resolve, construct and grow their unique and combined businesses. They can’t always afford specialist advice and consultants, but they know they need one, so they just ask!

When you do take a leap and want to breathe life into your idea and make the vision more than just a mission statement, wouldn’t it be great to find someone who could answer some basic questions at crucial times, and possibly save you the pain of learning very hard and expensive lessons? Especially if you are like me and you need to break something several times before you realise what it’s all about. If only I had asked…


Growing a business and leaving your very warm and fuzzy comfort zone where you are the all-knowing-and-seeing Queen and to suddenly stand at the edge of the cliff, facing a blank space is a diabolical dilemma. You either assume you know it all and freefall, or you ask … for transition help.

To overponder the simple task of asking is to waste the very time you would gain by just doing it – maybe avoid sounding like you have inhaled a helium balloon, and it will all be fine. And remember to pay it forward. There is someone around you who wants to ask, right now they are trying to get the courage to come forward and peek through the curtain, it doesn’t hurt to answer their ask.

It’s a big ask was published on Angela Vithoulkas’ Blog.

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