April 3, 2013 / in Blogging, General Information / by Mic Johnson
Post written by Mic Johnson, Blogger|LinkedIn Trainer|WordPress Content Guy|Social Coach|Rational Optimist|Jayhawk Fanatic|Cancer Volunteer
We need help. :)
That was subject line of an email I recently received from a woman I’ve never met before. She’s a nurse in Wichita and went on to say:
“I am contacting you because I have followed your blog for over a year and like your approach. First lesson for me? Yes, blogging works.”
This email, along with recent conversations I’ve had with people that I love and trust in my life, got me thinking about a couple of things that I wanted to share with you:
I was so struck by the simplicity and honesty of that email subject line. It moved me and resonated on so many levels.
We all need help along the way. Anyone that ever tells you they’ve accomplished everything in life by themselves…well, they need help…like professional help from a therapist.
I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about the concept of asking for help. I’ve talked to people close to me and I’ve really been struggling with something that I’m just fully realizing for the first time in my life.
I don’t like asking people for help.
I’m not sure where it came from. Maybe, like a lot of men my age and older, it came from being around men growing up that taught us to “Be tough. Act like a man. Don’t cry. Don’t feel.” or whatever messages of perceived masculinity we were taught or observed growing up.
Or maybe it’s because I spent the majority of my life being raised by my mom, who didn’t go to college, who was divorced and raised two kids, who worked at jobs she never enjoyed so that she could provide for us, who once sold her jewelry so my sister and I could have a Christmas (I still get teary eyed thinking about that), who put everyone and everything before herself…who would drop everything to help someone else, but who wouldn’t take the time to do it for herself for so many years.
Interestingly, someone I trust and respect told me recently that I do the same thing…that I will drop everything to help someone else, yet I have a hard time asking anyone to help me.
One of the main reasons I love what I do for a living is because I LOVE helping people. Why don’t I feel comfortable asking people to help me?
I don’t have all of the answers. Heck, honestly, I don’t have any answers to that question right now. If you think you do and can help me, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Hey, look at that, I just asked for help. I wonder if anyone will answer.
Did you notice what she said in the email?
“I’ve followed your blog for over a year.”
A year. Don’t miss that. I had never met this woman. I had never talked to her. I had never heard her name. She had never left a comment on a blog post. I knew nothing about her or that she even existed.
But she felt like she knew me and she liked our approach. That was solely accomplished through our blog.
We often tell people that blogging and content marketing is a marathon and not a sprint. Her email proves the point. Oh yeah, and I’m meeting with her and her partner soon to do training on LinkedIn, Twitter and blogging.
Great post…and it clearly highlights the benefits of CONSISTENT blogging (which is the hard part for most people) and being authentic…which may be even more difficult.
I’m also with you on the asking for help thing – I’m comfortable being first in line to give help, but I get really uncomfortable with the idea of asking for or receiving help. One thing that’s helped me is an idea from the book the Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann. They list the 5 Laws of Stratospheric Success and the 5th Law is The Law of Receptivity which says:
“The Key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving”.
Just like you can’t breathe out without first breathing in, you need to be able to graciously receive help (and ask for it) if you want to really make a difference and succeed.
Anyway – it’s a great book and a worthwhile idea. Thanks again for the article.
Shawn: Thanks, as always, for reading and taking the time to comment and share your perspective. I appreciate it very much. I like the idea of staying open to receiving. Definitely something that I struggle with and will continue to work on. And perhaps this concept of asking for help would be a good one for our next IA meeting? I mentioned it briefly the last time around, but it might be worthwhile diving a bit deeper. Thanks again. See you soon.
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