The Four Most Dangerous Words an Entrepreneur Can Say

I_already_know_2I’ve met so many people who come to my workshops and, at breaks, speak to me in overly familiar terms about how they already know this stuff and how many books they’ve read and marketing courses they’ve gone to.

Everything they’re saying gestures to my flip chart notes covering the walls towards the end of the weekend workshops and says, without always saying it directly, “I already know that.”

And there they stand in front of me, struggling.

I usually don’t comment on this because struggling is a hard enough place to be without shame being piled on top of it.

But I see this all the time, the unwillingness to not know, the deep resistance to asking for help, the fear of humiliation preventing them from ever reaching humility and thus the utter inability to be vulnerable.

But if you’re dedicated to the culturally endorsed story of the virtues of self sufficiency you’ll never ask for help. You’ll be too proud. Your desire to be seen as having it all together is the very thing that guarantees you will, eventually, fall apart.

If you want to succeed in business, it’s going to ask you to learn some new things. That means admitting you don’t know. It means admitting you’re a disaster. It means turning to your friends. It might mean hiring a coach.

It means asking for a lot of help.

How much?

If I had to give you a specific quantity of help you need to ask for here’s what I’d tell you, “Ask for an embarrassing amount of support.” Meaning, if you don’t feel slightly mortified for all the help you’re requesting, then it’s likely not enough.

And you might be shocked by how fast things start to move when you stop pretending you have all the answers already, when you stop trying to impress your teachers and colleagues, when you admit that your business practices and marketing are a total disaster.

If you already knew it, you’d already be doing it.

Growing your business asks a lot of you and one of the first things it asks is your humility.

Something very beautiful happens to people when their world has fallen apart: a humility, a nobility, a higher intelligence emerges at just the point when our knees hit the floor. Perhaps, in a way, that’s where humanity is now: about to discover we’re not as smart as we thought we were, will be forced by life to surrender our attacks and defenses which avail us of nothing, and finally break through into the collective beauty of who we really are.” – Marianne Williamson

 Recommended Reading:

Are You Humble Enough – Mark Silver

About Tad

  • Brian Parsons

    Traditional definition of word “humility” is when someone is able to perceive themselves as the right size in relation to everyone else… neither too big or too small. When we don’t feel good about ourselves, we either shrink down or puff ourselves up… but when we come back to our right size, is actually when things can start to flow again.

  • Tracey Tief

    For me there is such a big time and energy gap between hearing about it, then considering it, then getting it, then getting the time and energy together to try it… I am still feeding on the things you taught me years ago.

  • Amen. Totally.

  • I love that.

  • This is such a constant spiral process. I don’t know,, then I do know, then I don’t know once again. Thank you for your wise words once again.

  • i like that

  • Iris P. Weaver

    Thank you for this. I can ask for help, but I don’t have a mortifying amount, so I guess I need more. It’s so good to know that it’s okay to ask for help and that I don’t have to know it all.