Being smart doesn’t mean you have to know everything. It means you know what you know, and you definitely know what you don’t know, but you can figure out a way to find the answers to things you don’t know about.

In short, be resourceful and know where you need help. And get help from a reliable source.

Don’t Struggle Alone, Get Help Before It’s Too Late

Knowing when you need help is super important. Some people keep struggling on their own and before they know it, it is too late to ask for help.

As a manager I can say that I want people who immediately tell me when something is wrong . It gives me a chance to gather resources to respond to the situation.

It is terrible when people paint a rosy picture, thinking it will make you happy, and then one day you find out it was all fake and there is a big problem. Staying silent about your problems don’t solve it. The problem gets bigger and eventually explodes with little or no options for fixing.

In short it smashes your credibility and annoys everyone involved.

Fear of Asking for Help

Yes, it is an admission that you aren’t perfect. Let’s face it – perfection only exists in God and sometimes in movie characters.

But it takes courage and intelligence to accept that we have a lot of room for improvement in every aspect of our lives. It is an obstacle for many, but overcoming it leads to an easier life enriched with the contributions of other people.

Generally the biggest fear is the fear of rejection or judgment – “What if she says no?”, “Maybe he doesn’t know I’m absolutely clueless and will think that I’m dumb or unmotivated.”

The Game of No’s

Professional negotiator Moshe Cohen used this game to teach a class about how most people are prone to comply with your ask.

The audience was given the task to get random people to say “no” to their request/ask (no sales involved). Each student had to get 10 people to say no to his/her request in a given period of time. To everyone’s surprise, it was a very difficult task!

Most people are willing to comply with a reasonable request. So if we genuinely need help, all we need to do is ask nicely with a “please” and a smile. It is very likely that we will get the help we need.

Collaborate With People Who Excel At What You Lack

I always do things in collaboration with people who have skills that I lack.

My best friend Edward and I are very different individuals, but in a good way – my strengths are his weaknesses and vice versa. So from business to blogging, we always team up.


I trust him and appreciate our difference of perspective on things. Our joint efforts almost always yield a far superior quality of work than it would have on our individual strengths.

Know that you have a dynamite team when you can collaborate with people who excel at what you lack. These are the people you can call upon when you need help, even if it is something that just needs a second look.

They will appreciate you for being an open and honest person who is comfortable with himself/herself and whom they can also ask for help when they need it.

Prepare to Ask

‘Relationship’ means give and take. There is pleasure in both giving and receiving. Most people are generally willing to help knowing that they might need your help someday.

I have seen people from certain cultures who are very shy to ask for help, while there are others who can keep asking and asking to the point of annoyance. Let’s not be either.

The mental set up before asking for help should be, “I don’t know, but I want to know”, followed by “what can I give back in return?”.

This takes off our defensive nature, humbles us and puts us in an attitude of reciprocity. Your body language, tone and words should convey this.


Now you are ready to ask. But what if the answer is no? Will that ruin the relationship?

Try the “No Pressure” Ask

If you can truly convey that there’s no pressure on them saying “yes” or “no” then you preserve the relationship if they say “no”.

In fact, the relationship is strengthened because you convey that you respect the person’s right to say “no”.

One way to do a no-pressure ask is to keep the ask open ended.

Example 1: “Would you be open to a visit this weekend? Please don’t feel pressured. I understand if you have other commitments.”

Example 2:  “If you are available and willing, could you please pick me up from the airport? I know you have a long day, so I completely understand if you aren’t able to.”

You see how it releases the burden off the person’s shoulder and puts him at ease? Research shows that people are more likely to say, “yes” when they feel they have been given a choice to deny without pressure.

Always Offer to Reciprocate

Whether you ask for a favor directly or indirectly, it is always a good practice to ask if you can do something to reciprocate. Reciprocate with what? Well, if they are giving you their time you can say, “I am very grateful for your time. Is there anything I can do for you?”

Reciprocation or even the mood of wanting to reciprocate is powerful. This conveys the quality of gratitude – a quality that brings people together and maintains a healthy balance of give and take in a relationship.

Don’t fake or overdo these things. Be genuine – it’s attractive.

Build “Favor Karma” for the Future

Prepare for the next time you need help and build up your “favor karma” or “favor credit”.

Always be helpful whenever possible, without an agenda. Be the first to help without expecting reciprocation.

Even if you are not able to help someone, at least point them in the right direction where they can get help. It is a good attitude. Trust me, people notice these traits even when you think no one is watching.

Helpful people gain a reputation over time and get favored by even those whom he has never met before. Would you say no to Mother Teresa if she asked you for a donation? That’s an extreme example, but you get the point.

So give, give and give without expecting a return. Generosity breeds more generosity. People will beg you to allow them to reciprocate when you need help.



No one is perfect, everyone needs help and knowing this most people are willing to help.  So instead of struggling alone, be resourceful and ask for help. Be sure to reciprocate with gratitude and you will collaborate your way to a happier and more successful life.

Do you want to share your story or ask any questions