All of us face problems. Some of them may be personal, financial, or even career-wise. However, there seems to be an “American apprehension” to asking for help, as if “figuring it out” ourselves elicits some sense of pride.
Anytime I walk into a store I’m typically greeted with “Do you need help finding anything?” I respond with a curt, “No” when in fact I need all the help I can get (I spent 15 minutes meandering Target looking for coconut oil last week).
For whatever reason, I like finding what I need on my own, but at the same time, I end up exasperating so much time and energy. What’s the point?
Just ask for help
The short anecdote above doesn’t reflect my entire attitude on asking for help, I ask for help quite a bit.
I believe the fear of appearing stupid or ill-informed drives us to seek answers or solutions to problems on our own. But here is a fun fact: people like helping other people.
Sure, it takes a slice of humble pie to admit you don’t know the answer, but connecting with someone who might have the life experiences to help you is valuable.
The Accidental Apprenticeship
Jeff Goins uses the term “accidental apprenticeship” in his latest book The Art of Work. Actually, he dedicates an entire chapter to the concept.
“Every story of success is a story of community. Although mentors are hard to come by, accidental apprenticeships are everywhere. Your life is preparing you for what’s to come.”
I know that the word apprenticeship sounds old and dated, but it’s a concept that is still very much alive today.
The best way to learn is by doing, aka practice. However, practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect. But to practice perfectly requires a coach or mentor, someone who can provide a standard we strive to reach.
But like Jeff says, finding a mentor is hard – so use what is around you to learn. Who do you already know in your life right now that can help you learn? Is there anyone you can call to meet for coffee or email for a bit of advice?
Ask for help, and you will find it.
How can I help?
I’m putting my services out there, for free. Let me share with you a few things I already know and would like to teach others:
- I know how to start a blog or website from scratch
- I know how to record, edit, and publish a podcast on a shoestring budget
- I’m quite handy with excel (no really, it’s literally my day job)
- I’m known to give decent advice from time to time
- I know how to cook
I’m putting myself out there, free of charge, to help any of our readers in need. Feel free to reach me at declan[at]millennialtype.com.
But you must do one thing in return: offer to help one other person, free of charge, with something you are good at doing.
Ask for help, then pass it on!