Resolution #3: Learn to Ask For Help

When I first started my business in 2004, I did everything myself – figure out how to accept credit cards, organized a free template of a website, read up on google ads, created and managed my own campaigns, all while handling our finances and our daughter, our grocery shopping, etc.

As business grew, so did my responsibilities. Each time I felt overwhelmed, I solved the problem by asking someone else to handle things. First – getting a financial planner to make the decisions for me and tell me how much to save and what to do with the savings. Then, an accountant to tell me what to do with my taxes. Then, someone to design a website for me. Then someone to design an even better website for me, then someone to come up with a web marketing campaign for me, someone else to manage my advertising, then a personal assistant and -most recently- a Virtual Assistant to take care of my mundane business related tasks.

I went from having a part time babysitter, to part time preschool to full time preschool, to an au pair (the best quality of life decision I made for myself and my kids other than starting my business). My best friend/personal assistant helps with grocery shopping, sending out holiday cards, cleaning my disgustingly piled-upon desk, making my -numerous – returns to various retail outlets, and generally keeping me sane.

The purpose of all of this, of course, is for me to have more time to do what is really important- the things only I can do that cannot be farmed out – mothering, wife-ing, serving my clients, exercising, knitting, reading and spending time with my friends.

There are lots of ways you can ask for help to concentrate on what is really important to you:

1. Arrange a child-care swap with a friend so you can get your nails done, get to the gym, run errands, meet a friend for lunch, or work.

2. Cut back on your cable bill (for example) in favor of a babysitter an extra couple of hours.

3. Make conscious choices. Rather than just doing everything you always do, prioritize the things that you think have to get done in a normal week and think about what someone else could do just as well as you.

What things do you ask others to help with? What do you know you need more help with in your life? What are some solutions? Feeling overwhelmed by everyday life is not necessary or beneficial. After all, if  you have backup systems in place, then on those days you don’t feel well, or you have to take care of someone else who doesn’t feel well, or if something else unexpected occurs, you will have someone else (or a few different someone elses) to call upon.

Don’t assume there’s only one way to organize your life (the way you’ve always done it). Really think about what makes you feel overwhelmed and what can be done about it. Come up with a plan and involve others if that’s what it takes to make things happen?

Please comment with your ideas and resolutions in this regard!


4 responses to “Resolution #3: Learn to Ask For Help

  1. I like your positive outlook, I am working on an online business also and will be checking back with you often, like you I have done everything myself, and I do AGREE asking for help is a great idea.

  2. I was inspired by your comment about not assuming there is only one way to organize your life-I sometimes forget this and become OCD about things for which I have no control. I will use this as my mantra this week.

  3. I appreciate your “permission” to take care of yourself. One thing that I have seen (and need to be reminded to do more) is, as I take care of myself – the better mom, business owner/consultant, wife, friend, etc. I am! I ran a childcare in my home for 8+ years – giving, and giving, and giving to the point that I was burnt out. I now work as a Local Childcare Coordinator for Cultural Care Au Pair, providing more flexibility with my schedule and utilizing my childcare experience, at a more manageable pace for myself and family. Thanks for the fantastic au pair “testimonial” – hosting an au pair is definitely a flexible & affordable live-in childcare option!

  4. this is a great topic- i am NOT good at asking for help! i’m a control freak! no one can do it better then me!!!!! oh wait,….you can? …and you would…help me!??! i remember having this conversation with one of my bridesmaids (camp bridesmaid) a week before the wedding about some little thing I was stressing about and she was like…i’m just going to do that for you. and my first thought was- can she really do that? which is so pathetic, i was basically asking if a 28 year old college educated professional could call my florist for me! duh.

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