As a person who has been in business for 23 years, I have limits. My time is limited- I set boundaries and leave my office when I say. I take time for myself, for example. This leaves me with limited time to train, speak, coach, prepare, write, network and manage the infrastructure- all the activities that I do to perform in my business. I am good at what I am good at but not good at other things so my skills are limited. These two examples (there are others!) make me ask, “How do I leverage and build, given that I have limits?”

For you, it may be different. You may be in a position in a company. You may be a team member, or you, too, might be entrepreneurial. Regardless, I suspect you have limits too.

I have found that the most effective, efficient way to expand is through leveraging other people, utilizing them to do aspects of your business or get more business or do the things you are not particularly good at doing. As women, and some men, we are not great at asking others for help. There is a myth that we ‘should’ be able to do it all and another common belief that ‘if I ask for something, from someone I will owe them.” The other things that could get in the way are a lack of trust, a lack of willingness to let go of control, or a network that’s too small.

Let’s talk about each of these barriers to expansion and effectiveness:

  • Asking others for help:
    • First, remember people LOVE to contribute. Just look at yourself- don’t you feel good when you have given something that someone else appreciates? Every disaster that happens, people come out in droves to contribute. It is a normal human drive to want to contribute to people. However, if you don’t allow people to contribute by asking for help, you don’t give them the opportunity to be fulfilled in this way.
    • Second, when you don’t give people an opportunity to say yes or no, you are deciding for them. Sometimes you have decided they are too busy or wouldn’t want to or something like that. I invite you to consider that that might be demeaning to them. They are big people who have the capacity to say yes or no.
    • Third, you might be afraid that they will say no and that you will experience rejection.  They may say no; however, it is not YOU they are rejecting. They are simply declining whatever you asked them at this point in time.
  • Myth of do it all or owing/obligation
    • You have gifts and talents. Use them. You, like all of us, are not great at (nor do you love) everything. It is ok. Give others who have different gifts an opportunity to exercise their gifts and talents by having them do what you are not great at doing.
    • The notion that if you do something for me, I owe you is just that- a notion. Most of the time, when I work with people, I discover this is rooted in a young belief. However, this belief/notion leaves you closed, not able to be contributed to. If you continue doing this, you will limit your growth and your joy in relationships. Let it go. You made that up, and it is not true!
  • Lack of trust or lack of willingness to let go of control
    • This most likely stems from having someone in the past not doing what they said or being lied to or betrayed in some way. Then, you decided you had to do it all yourself. If that is the case, and you can identify it, realize it is not happening now, and let go. (Or, contact me and we can do the work to put the past in the past around this issue.)
      • People perform. They step up and develop themselves when given an opportunity to. Consider living by a good philosophy of “There is nothing you can mess up, that we can’t fix” and give up control one thing at a time. You need to retrain yourself that people will not betray you!
  • Too small of a network
    • We all get comfortable. If you want to increase your business or your effectiveness and efficiency, you need people with whom to ask all of the above. Get out of your comfort zone and meet more people. There are a ton of opportunities- professional conferences, meet-ups, and online communities.

Start asking and exploring what is possible when you begin to expand and leverage the world of other people. Everyone wins!