This week, I received a text from a very smart, ambitious college sophomore, whom I also mentor. In his words, he was trying to “figure some things out” but didn’t know exactly what to ask from me. He has another mentor, who happens to be a dear friend of mine and a brilliant leadership expert (Andre Thornton at whitmanconsulting.com), and yet, my mentee still struggled with knowing how to ask for help, even from his other mentor.
Unfortunately, this is not a rare occurrence, which is why I feel compelled to bring it up for the sake of future generations. I’ve had plenty of individuals confide in me that they are not comfortable asking others for help. This can stem from not building a network of people, who you trust to ask for guidance or insight. Just Tuesday, I asked a talented sales rep who wants to take full advantage of her capabilities, who she liked, trusted, respected and admired. I was hoping she would bring up someone she could rely on to help her get better and achieve the goals she’s destined to tackle, but she said no one.
Why is that?
It Never Hurts To Ask.
Why is it that so many people who want to get better don’t ask for help or don’t know who or how to ask?
It may have to do with a fear of feeling less competent, if we ask for help. Maybe it’s because our self image isn’t what it needs to be? Maybe we think others won’t be willing to help? Perhaps, it’s that we have always been taught that we need to “stand on our own two feet.” I don’t know what the reasons are, in particular, but I will say – these reasons and fears are not valid. Why? Because this type of thinking will strangle your possibilities and imprison you to a life less fulfilling, in my experience.
Everyone needs help.
Life is a plural experience. The only two times we were meant to be alone are when we are born and when we die. Even those times are filled with people, either celebrating a life to be or a life that was. Barbra Streisand won an Emmy and an Academy Award for her song, “People.” In that song she sings that, “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.” I couldn’t agree more.
Build Your Success Network.
Build a network of relationships with people who are givers, who have traveled the path you want to travel.
Seek relationships and learning opportunities from those who have achieved the things you want to achieve. I owe so much of my success to the people who have helped and taught me lessons that make me better. I may be rated one of the top sales experts in the world and twice named CEO of the Year, but none of it happened without the network I created.
Here are 32 names I can easily recognize, because I am a product of what I have learned from them: My wife Maryann, Jim Crutchfield, Bud Garrett, Bob Lieberman, Don Cutcliff (the king of the “I can change your life club”), my brother Jude, Eugene D. Vezina, Rube Kagan, Jerry McMurty, Annette Moran, John Fuqua, David Snow, Jesus Leal, Peter Ciano, Matt Murphy, Cathy Geddes, Mark Cohen, Buzz Williams, Duggar Baucom, Herb Sendek, Nate Sachs, Gary Jaburg, Jeffrey Mayer, Ron Wilingham, Bill Brooks, Andre Thornton, Danny Thornton, David Reich, John Fitzgerald, John Kemper, Louis Day and I know I have unintentionally left out 20 more.
Ask Them For Help.
None of us are mind readers, so when we have a success network, we have to ask for the help we want. Ask about who they know, what books are they reading, or what they’re doing to improve themselves that you might do as well. If we don’t ask, then how will anyone know what we need or want to learn? To GET, you have to ASK. Your future success very well may depend on it.
Stay In Contact With Them.
Develop a plan to stay in persistent, relevant contact with the people in your success network. When the ReallyLinked app comes out for iPhones in September (I developed it for this very purpose), use it to make sure that you are not losing influence with the people that need to influence you.
Achieving the greatness that is in you is your destiny. It is your opportunity for making a difference in this world that will last long after you are gone. It is your opportunity of a lifetime. Use a success network to achieve your greatness and BE INCREDIBLE at whatever you do.