Overcoming a Reluctance to Ask For Help

Overcoming a Reluctance to Ask For Help


I. What Successful People Do 

As an attorney in a large law firm for many years, I worked closely with many colleagues, opposing counsel, and clients.  Since launching Greenhorn Legal (and now Greenhorn Bold), I have encountered entrepreneurs of all kinds, as well.  Across industries, I have noticed a pattern: successful people ask for - and get - help.  

II. Why You Should Ask For Help  

Now, it may not necessarily be in your nature to ask for the assistance of others.  You may not think you are in a position to ask for help.  You are too high up the chain to require help; you are too new to be entitled to help; you don't have the resources to get help.  None of these are true.  The sooner you ask for help, the sooner you will get ahead, no matter where you currently stand.   

III. What Do You Need Help With  

You may need help organizing your day (ask an administrative assistant or an organized friend).  You may need help finding a job (ask a head hunter or practitioner-friend to circulate your resume).  You may need help building a book of business (hire a marketing coach or watch on-line instructional videos - both legal and non-legal - on the most effective contemporary marketing practices).  Whatever your situation, if you are unsure of where to start in asking for help, identify one or two things you are not particularly good at or that you do not enjoy doing and seek help with those things specifically.     

IV. How To Ask For Help  

When you ask for help, do so graciously - and follow up with a sincere thank you and an expression of your willingness to return the favor in the future.  Still, do not be afraid to ask.  By asking for help, you are flattering someone, building a connection with him or her, and demonstrating that you believe in a helping culture.  Worst case, they say no and you are right where you started.  If all goes well, however, you will move forward in your business and in your life with the help and support of a community.   

Desiree Moore is the President and founder of Greenhorn Legal, LLC. Greenhorn Legal offers intensive practical skills training programs for law students and new lawyers as they transition from law school into their legal practices.  Ms. Moore is also an adjunct professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law and was an associate at the law firm of K&L Gates. She can be found on Twitter at @greenhornlegal.