In the 1st Key, we looked at the big list, and in the 2nd Key, took everything off the plate that we could using the first 3 of the 4 D’s from Julie Morgenstern’s Time Management from the Inside Out:
The 3rd Key is all about delegating. It’s about taking the things that you’ve got left on the plate and asking the question – for which of these things is it critical that I do them personally and what can I give away?
In this society, we’re taught that it’s wrong to ask for help. You should be able to do it yourself, right? Just pick yourself up by your bootstraps and get to work. But the truth is that the really successful people understand that no one gets there by themselves. You have to be willing to ask for help.
“But Debra,” you say:
- If I ask for help, don’t I look weak?
- If I ask for help, aren’t I vulnerable to being taken advantage of (could also sound like, what if they steal my material?)
- I can’t ask for help, everyone else is just as stressed and overwhelmed as I am!
- What if they say “No?”
Regarding the first point – ask yourself this, if you don’t ask for help, and aren’t able to come through on your promises as a result – how will you look then?
Regarding the second point – I’m recommending delegation, NOT abdication. Be smart in how you work with people -and set up accountability procedures.
Regarding the third and fourth point – whenever you ask, you must be OK with them saying, “No.” If you don’t allow the “No”, then you’re not asking, you’re manipulating.
But let me ask you this – when someone you love and care about asks you for help, how do you feel? I’m not talking about the person who always asks and never offers, always takes and never gives. I’m talking about the person who mostly does for themselves – when they ask for help, how do you feel? If it’s someone you really care about – I bet you feel honored and grateful to be able to give to the people you love. By not ever asking for help – you are holding out on the people you care about. You’re cheating them of the opportunity to contribute to you and to express their love and caring for you. So asking for help is being generous – isn’t it?
And if it’s OK for them to say “No.” because they just can’t this time, then they will also have the space to say, “Yes.” if and when they can. And you need to trust people to take good care of themselves. Support them in being honest with you – let them know that it’s OK if they say no. And then accept their generosity graciously and with gratitude. You could also look for ways to give back and help them out when they need it.
When it comes to asking for help from your fans and followers, as an artist, you are offering them an opportunity to play with you at a deeper level. When fans volunteer for an artist they love, they become more committed and invested in your success. And as a result, they are more likely to share you with others, buy from you, and commit to being your fan for the long term.
And isn’t that really what you want? Committed, passionate lifetime fans? The best way to create that relationship with your fans is to ASK FOR THEIR HELP!
So who are you going to ask for help? Let me know how it goes!