When (and why) to ask for help
Most small business owners are great at their craft and excel by delivering core products or services to a high standard in a way that satisfies the needs of the business’s customers. While mastery of one’s craft is essential for achieving success in business, mastery of one’s craft in-and-of-itself does not guarantee long-term, sustainable success. In fact, the skills that motivate business owners to start a business and that are responsible for their early success, are not exclusively the skills that are needed to sustain meaningful and sustainable growth. Sustainable growth requires the continuous development of a diverse skill set that is only obtained through a commitment to the firm’s mission, a keen awareness of the firm’s strengths and weaknesses, a thirst for continuous learning, and the effective acquisition and deployment of the resources needed to run the business. A failure to develop or acquire the right skill sets ultimately stifles growth and is a leading cause of stagnation or even business failure.
Unfortunately, for too many small business owners, the concept of asking for help in pursuit of a diverse skill set implies weakness, dependency, and insecurity. It’s my experience that the primary reasons that people resist seeking help in pursuit of their goals are grounded in fear, insecurity, and ego. Business owners often struggle to accept the realities of their situation; they have an underlying fear of the unknown; or, they struggle with vulnerability. The simple truth is, we seldom achieve anything of great significance completely on our own. And, as business leaders, we shouldn’t want to.
So, how do small business owners develop and master a diverse skill, find time to deliver core products and services, while achieving the business’s growth objectives? Here are five steps.
By following these steps, business owners will free up more time for activities that are essential to growth. Moreover, the organization will function with greater efficiently from a higher level of trust, open collaboration, and more effective teamwork. This can only be accomplished by asking for help, and by leveraging the talents of others inside and outside the organization. We strongly encourage help from a business coach in your pursuits!