Look for the Helpers
If you're not familiar with the advice from the American TV Show Host, Mr. Rogers, I urge you to use the mighty Google/YouTube and watch the brief interview in which he famously said, "Look for the helpers, people are always willing to help." While he was addressing catastrophic events, it's advice I finally sank into this weekend.
When Work Wives Global was officially launched a month ago, so many people raised hands to offer to help. I received messages via LinkedIn, texts, emails, calls. Former clients put time on my calendar to share their experiences, make suggestions and offer to make connections for me. One offered to partner with me, former colleagues cheered me on, made suggestions about the site, one even spent time creating a Pinterest set of images for me and suggested a content calendar. My in-laws sent me gorgeous flowers to celebrate me, two Gen X Moms who are friends gave me ideas for what they want to see and my NYC Sis took me out for drinks and it turned into five hours of her sharing ideas of how Gen Y considers these services. Everyone was helping me.
I was too busy running 90 mph to keep up and I was taking in so many points of data that I would vacillate between feeling overwhelmed with information and feeling overwhelmed with gratitude.
Then, this weekend hit. Hard. I had spent two days trying to make Social Sharing a reality on the site and that just made me mad at myself because I was wasting two days I should have spent on proposals and content. The negative energy flying out of my hands and emanating from my heart was powerful and palatable. After disconnecting from my screens for huge chunks of time each day this past weekend, I realized I'd stopped asking for help. My business model is all about help. Helping individuals, helping companies, helping teams. I'd felt so positive Friday, as I learned that two women with whom I'd been working, had strongly negotiated for themselves and were juggling job offers and excellent salary options. I could be of help to them but I was not helping myself.
Collaboration is vital to success and I was failing at it. My gratitude for Neil Clemmons, Suzanne Brown of Mompowerment, Nicole Craven, Shiri Karisokov, Moira Dorsey, Stephanie Johnson, Jennifer Idavoy, Jacqueline Allison, Maysoon Sharif and John Doyle is where my focus should have been; but I was focused on the problems. When this journey began, I asked for help and I've come to understand that I will need help every step of the way. Thank you to each and all of you who have jumped in and said, "this is what I can do" or who have graciously given me your time and wisdom, who WANT to help. When women (and men) help, incredible things happen.
Asking for help requires the ability to admit our weaker areas, admit we need input or a different perspective. Humility and collaboration are good friends and once I began to reach out and humbly ask for tangible help, my mood shifted, my energy felt lighter. Look within and then look for the helpers in your professional field and in your life.
We cannot build companies or careers without it.