The temperature here in Portland is heating up fast. Today it is skyrocketing towards the upper 90’s. With the sweltering heat, my 6-year-old daughter, Sierra, is ready to make a difference, and potentially a profit from the baking sun.
Sierra shared that she’s ready to open a lemonade stand. She will sell lemonade for 50 cents per ice-cold cup, and has started brainstorming the best locations around town. She asked me if I would help her with this exciting new venture.
Naturally Asking for Help
Asking for help is something that kids learn to do naturally. It starts from the early age of needing help with foods to growing older and not being able to quite reach that ripe pear off the counter. This learning continues to strengthen the idea that we are in community and that the support of others is all around us.
However, somewhere around adolescence, you probably began having unsavory experiences when making requests, turning the ask sour.
Requests Become Difficult
You began to learn that if you couldn’t do something on your own, help did not come so quickly your way. You were expected to become independent and not rely on others. You felt better off not even asking for help. You learned that if you did ask for help it would come at a cost. You learned that people could say, and often did say, no, which you took as a personal affront.
I think that most of us learned this lesson in excess. After several of these experiences, it was just easier to stop making requests.
That is, until we began to notice that it is as hard to run a successful business as it is to be in a functional relationship without asking others for help.
People Want to Help You
What is often forgotten as a business owner is the fact that being a contribution gives people a sense of belonging and a sense of connection. There are people surrounding you right now that want to help you; they just don’t know how.
Making requests is a skill that you learned as a child; however, you’ve forgotten how to access this ability. It is time to dust off the training wheels and re-learn the art of the ask in order to help your business continue to grow.
Monday Mindfulness to Having People Happily Help You:
Notice what feelings or emotions arise when you make requests of others. Is there is a tightness or feeling of discomfort? If so, just take a few moments to breathe.
Frame your requests of others in doable and specific terms. This allows people the clarity needed to be confident in their answer.
Remember that belonging and connection are basic human needs, and that by making requests of others you are giving those around you these opportunities.
What requests could you make of others this week that would help your business move towards more profitability?