I'm going to be very clear before we start, I don't know how to do this very well. As we've all come to know, I like to do it all. And I mean everything. All of it. I have a hard time saying no - or perhaps I'm just too ready and willing to say "yes." I live life trying to grasp every opportunity that comes my way, which has been both a good and bad thing!
That being said, I think all of us need a little lesson in stepping aside and being comfortable in saying, "help me, please!!" (Especially me)
So, I recently did that with Darling Authority. When I started in March, I had no idea that my business would grow so large so fast. I'm beyond speechless and blessed to even comprehend the span DA has had in less than half a year.But with that growth, I feel as though I've also come to a bit of a stopping point. Can I do it all? (well, yes, that's how I prefer it), but a more important question soon arose - SHOULD I? This led me to a very honest conversation with myself where I finally had to say the dreaded word: no.
So I hired an intern. I tossed and turned and debated before putting it out there for the world to see: I needed help. Now, I know what you're thinking. What's the big deal? People hire interns every day, Nat! But to me, it was a big deal. It was something I'm not used to doing - something I'm going to continue to learn as I train my intern.
So here's some advice for those of you who also struggle with asking others for help:
Know That Asking For Help Doesn't Make Your Hard Work Anything Less Than
If you remember my last article, "5 Ways to Unlock Your Inner Girl Boss," then you know one of the key things to keep in mind is that asking for help is not a weakness. Stepping aside and admitting you need some assistance is probably the strongest things you can do. Being self aware and knowing when enough is enough is key to a happy, successful life. Asking for help gives you a rare opportunity to share your hard work and skills with someone else, and potentially pick up some new skills along the way!
Identify Exactly What You Need Help With
It's easier to ask for help when you have a solid idea of WHAT you need help with. For me, it wasn't the skills or knowledge of social media I needed help with, but the time and execution of those areas. Once I clearly defined that, it was easy to communicate that with a potential "helper."
Say No to Opportunities That Don't Fit Into Your Long Term Goals
Having leadership roles within 11 different student organizations, it was really hard to prioritize and step down from many of them. Moving into my senior year, I've cut back to only 3: the ones that really fit into my long term goals and will help me grow personally and professionally.
"It's better to be great at a few things, than average at a lot of things."
So, there you have it. Hopefully keeping these few things in mind will help you be able to step back and ask for the support you need in your daily life. No matter what it may be, understand that although you're a boss a** b*tch, you can not, and should not, do it all on your own. After all, what's the fun in that?
Good luck out there!
xx Natalie Konopka
Owner of Darling Authority Boutique
I think a lot of people really struggle with this concept and it is an important thing to be reminded of. I know how difficult this can be, but I am sure it is even harder for you when you start your own business. Good for you to do what was best for you and the business! I will try to have the strength to say “no” next time I take on too much. This post reminded me of a Ron Swanson quote, “Never half-a** two things. Whole-a** one thing.” Read you next week!
When I saw the title of your post this week, it was literally calling my name. With the beginning of a new school year, balancing work, and trying to maintain a social life, saying “no” or “i need help” can be SO challenging. I love that you pointed out that saying no doesn’t mean your hard work is anything less. I finally realized this and decided to cut back on hours at work, so that I could easier balance it with my school work, and I actually felt a lot of relief. Lots of good points that you made to reassure my decisions! Xoxo