When it comes to running a business as an ambitious woman and mama, sometimes it can be hard to ask for the help you need as you try to manage all the things by yourself. Today we’re chatting about how going it alone can actually prevent your business growth and some things to do instead. Sound like something you need? Well then, let’s jump in to this discussion all about how you can ask for help in business.
Links for This Episode
- Free Goal Planning Resource
- Mama Business Strategy Session
- Mama Business Community
- More Info & Podcast Transcript
Podcast Episode Recommendations
- #48: Have 5 Minutes? 7 Ways to Use Small Pockets of Time to Grow Your Business
- #44: 3 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Starting an Online Business
- #27: Are You Saying Yes When You Should Say No?
- #26: 7 Online Marketing Tools I Use as a Busy Mom + One I Don’t
Join the Facebook Group
Before we jump into this episode, I just wanted to let you know that the Mama Business Facebook group has officially launched. Running a business and keeping up with all of your family responsibilities can feel overwhelming and lonely. But it doesn’t have to! That’s why I’ve created this community – to bring likeminded mamas together to talk about all things related to running a business and managing a family at the same time. We talk about goals, dreams, action plans, and even spend time troubleshooting. So, what are you waiting for? Join us today at sarahbrumley.com/community.
How to Grow Your Business by Asking for Help, 3 Tips for Busy Mamas
Well hey there and welcome to another episode of the Mama Business Podcast. I’m glad you are here. I thought we’d take a few minutes to just chat about the merits of asking for help, because I know that as super ambitious women and mamas who have a lot of our plates, it’s easy to just believe that we can or have to do it all ourselves. The problem with this mindset is that not asking for help can actually hold you back from achieving the growth or results you want to see in your business.
And this idea sparked as I was sitting at a paint in sip with friends. And if you know anything about me, I’m creative, but not in a “let’s get out the paintbrushes and create a masterpiece” way. I’m more of colored pencils and coloring pages type of girl or even a paint by number. But…nonetheless, they told me it would be very easy and a step by step process. So I went along – plus there was going to be wine, and I love wine.
And you know what? It was. The instructor walked us through exactly which colors to use, what brush to choose for each element, and even how to use that brush to achieve the result that we needed. There was no guesswork involved. I’m not going to say that I created a masterpiece worth hanging in a gallery somewhere, but I did come home with a piece of art I was excited to hang on the wall in my own home. Even on a wall that other people can see.
All because someone who was more experienced than me led me step by step through the process and I had friends holding me accountable for achieving the results.
If I’d had to figure it out on my own, I’m pretty sure I would have had a mess on my hands. The painting wouldn’t have turned out well. I might have given up. And it would likely be sitting in a landfill somewhere by now. Plus, if I hadn’t been in the company of friends, I probably wouldn’t have even gone.
And this really made me think about the ways that we choose to go it on our own when it comes to running our own businesses. And then find ourselves with a mess. Willing to give up, throw in the towel, admit defeat or not even get started.
So, today I want to give you three things to consider when it comes to asking for or accepting help as you grow your online business. And then I’m going to talk about how to actually find the support you need when you need it. Sound good? Okay, let’s jump into them.
You Don’t Know Everything
The first thing I want you to consider is that you don’t know everything. And before you click away from this podcast because it just got super real and uncomfortable, just hang with me for a moment, okay?
I could readily admit this when it came to painting, right? I know that that’s not my forte. But in business we tend to think that we are meant to be the expert and so that means figuring it out all on our own. The truth is that you are excellent in what you do. But running a business isn’t as cut and dry as just providing that product or service. There’s setting up the platforms to actually sell that product or service, creating and implementing a marketing strategy, knowing who your ideal client is, and then finding them, taxes and financial implications and so much more. And unless you are an expert in ALL of those areas, it’s time to admit that some things will be outside of your knowledge base and outside of your comfort zone.
And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But if you continue to choose to do it alone, without the guidance of someone who is experienced in one or all of those areas, then you will find yourself in that mess I referenced. With unpaid taxes, a marketing plan that doesn’t work, no client revenue, or disgruntled clients because your on boarding system is a mess, or whatever it might be.
That’s not a recipe for growth. If anything, it’s a recipe for failure, burnout, and giving up on the dream.
You Do Need Accountability
The second thing I want you to consider is that we all need accountability. It doesn’t matter whether we are a Type-A go-getter type of personality or not, we all need someone to hold us to our word. To remind us of the commitments we’ve made, the strategies that have failed, and the successes that we’ve had along the way.
I’ve talked before about the accountability group I was part of for a couple of years as I launched my business. We set goals together, we talked about our dreams, and we cheered each other on as we achieved success. The fact that we met regularly meant that we really knew who was struggling, were able to troubleshoot when needed, and also that we could tell the other person that they were making a mistake. That what they were doing wasn’t going to work or wasn’t going to produce the outcome they’d hoped for. And this applied to me more often than not because I struggle with shiny object syndrome – so I would make goals at that time at the beginning of the year, and then I’d be off on some random tangent because of this “up and coming” strategy or tool I’d just come across.
Having the accountability of that group meant that they were able to steer me back on track and keep me from going off the rails in a way that would prevent growth or cost me unnecessary time and money. Likewise, having the accountability of my friends in that painting class meant that I showed up, did the work, and actually completed the painting.
The same can be true of a supportive spouse, friend, coach or even a group program. But the fact is: growth requires accountability – especially when times get hard and things don’t feel fresh and fun anymore. And accountability only comes when we are willing to look outside of ourselves and ask for or accept the input and help of others.
So the second thing to consider is that you need accountability if you want to achieve growth in your business.
Your Business Requires Investment
The third thing I’d like you to consider when it comes to asking for help in business is that your business requires investment. Whether that’s investment of your time, money, resources – every business will require investment in order for growth to occur.
And one of the reasons that we are often hesitant to ask for help is because we don’t believe the investment will be worth it.
I’m not even talking about just a financial investment, although that’s a big one. Often, we aren’t willing to invest the time. Or to simply admit that we don’t know it all and that maybe someone else might be able to see things that we can’t see or hold us accountable to the things we need to do.
And this holds us back from growth in a lot of ways.
- We take too much time doing things that aren’t in our wheelhouse
- We don’t get clarity so we actually do end up wasting time or financial resources on strategies that don’t actually work for us.
- We spin because we “aren’t sure what to do next”, thus losing revenue and potential clients that we could have had if we’d just known what to do next.
- We end up feeling discouraged, like an imposter in the situation, and possibly even end up burned out or on the way to burn out.
It’s like that painting class, right? If I had decided to go it alone, without investing in the actual training, then I’d have been working outside of my wheelhouse, probably using the wrong brushes, wasting resources, and probably not have anything to show for it. The same is absolutely true in business.
So, once we know that we don’t know everything, that we do need accountability, and that our businesses require investment, how do we go about finding the help we need?
How to Ask for Help in Business as a WAHM
Well there are a couple of ways that I recommend.
- Join a community that has similar goals to yours. This could be a community in person, if that’s something available in your area, or you could choose to jump into an online community group. The benefit of a community is that you get to connect with other people who are working toward the same or similar goal as yours, These are people who are likely asking questions that you might need answers to as well, who are growing in their knowledge, and who will jump in to hold you accountable and troubleshoot with you when things aren’t going as well as they could be. You’ll have the opportunity to hear stories of successes and failures and learn from other’s mistakes. Plus, if you are someone who has a bit to offer, you can jump in there and help others out as well. That’s always an amazing feeling. So, definitely consider a group. And if you are growing your Mama Business, then I highly recommend jumping into the Mama Business Community to connect with myself and other likeminded mamas growing their businesses. You can find that at sarahbrumley.com/community.
- You can create your own group or reach out to someone specifically. I’ve talked a bit in the past about my accountability group that I had when I first started out in business. Those ladies were all in my local area and we met once per week. It was super low-key but each person walked away feeling seen, celebrated and challenged in their growth trajectory. So valuable and I highly recommend that. If you can’t find that locally, you can also connect with people in whatever community you are part of online and see if there are individuals that might want to meet occasionally over Zoom or something like that.
- You can engage the help of a professional. Sometimes we need a little more direction in business or otherwise, so if you are feeling that way, it might be time to engage a professional for help. This could be someone to help you with a tech issue you’re having or maybe coach you through creating a marketing strategy that will work for you, or whatever it might be. The benefit to this is that you get the accountability piece, but you also don’t have to guess as to what to do next or HOW to get it done. You’ll have exactly what you need, without wasting valuable time. And that investment will go far when you are just that much further ahead of where you would have been if you didn’t make it. Right? For example, you could spend a year doing all the things and getting no client leads, or you could make an investment in someone who has a plan that works and supercharge your growth.
Each of these options is necessary at one point in time or another. I have all three of them for my business at this time. I’m engaged in community groups, I have accountability with other women in business, and I am involved in a mastermind led by a professional that has more experience than I do. And I say all of that because the need to ask for help doesn’t go away just because your business grows. In fact, the bigger it gets, the more support you may need.
Take Action: Grow Your Business by Asking for Help
And that brings us to the action part of this episode. And you know we love action because action is where the dreams turn into the reality. Ideally you’ll take action on all of the things we’ve discussed today, but if you only have time for one, it’s this:
ACTION: If you’ve been trying to muddle through growing your business on your own, today’s the day to make a change. Take a few moments to determine where you need to ask for help and then do just that. It might seem scary at first, but it’ll be totally worth it, I’m sure of it.
I know from personal experience that I am more likely to accomplish what I set out to do if I am accountable to someone. So jump into the Mama Business Community at sarahbrumley.com/community and tell us how we can help you on your business growth journey so that we can cheer you on throughout the process. And you know, mama, I am cheering you on.
Have an amazing day and I’ll chat with you next time.