06 Jun Paying to Get the Help You Need is Always a Wise Investment
Lately, I’ve been investing more money in my business. And every time I spend my hard-earned money, I get nervous: my stomach gets all weird and crampy the instant I phone and ask for help. Do I REALLY want to do this? How can I be sure that I will get exactly what I am looking for?
The reality is I can’t That’s why it’s so scary.
I am here to tell you that asking for help can not only be as good as you imagine, it can actually be better!
The only certainty for not-for-profits is that change is a reality. No matter how great your staff, programs, and board are, if you don’t look for ways to improve and change, you will be left behind.
Let me repeat that – you WILL be left behind.
The fear of investing when you are not completely sure of the outcome can be paralyzing. These guidelines on spending money wisely can help keep you from hurling your breakfast:
1) Start small: If you are considering a new service, find a way to break the total offering into smaller pieces. Then commit to just one financially manageable piece to “test drive” the service provider.
2) Be specific: The clearer you can be with the service provider about what you want to achieve, the better service you will get. Make sure he or she knows exactly how you want your organization to be different at the end of the engagement.
3) Be open to suggestions: This is not your core business – that’s why you have hired the job out. If you aren’t willing to consider and usually accept expert advice, you (and the service provider) will be disappointed with your results.
Need some inspiration? Here are a few examples of things that I have hired out in the past few months with great success:
I bought a new computer at Christmas and was completely paralyzed by the process of upgrading, moving over files, and – ack – Windows 7 operating system. I hired an expert who not only did all the things I needed from him for a reasonable price, but he “taught” me the structures behind everything as we went. The unforeseen outcome was that I have a much better understanding of how my computer works – when things go wrong, I have new tools to help me troubleshoot.
Office Improvement help
I broke down and hired a home improvement company to fix a few things around my office. Turns out my wall heater was arcing (so THAT’s what that nasty smell was) and I narrowly averted a very dangerous situation. I think the unforeseen outcomes here are obvious.
My blog had been stuck for months. I couldn’t seem to parcel my ideas. So took a leap of faith and hired a colleague to become my blog coach to help me unify themes, be my therapist/editor and hold my hand through the process. As you can see, I am writing with renewed enthusiasm, and – I think – more clarity. The unforeseen outcome is that I am learning a lot about my style of writing, and I am really connecting with my creative side through my blog posts.
I am still looking for help to fold my laundry – interested persons can apply here.
Look at your to-do list and ask “Am I the best person to accomplish this task, or is there someone out there who could do this better and faster than me?” There’s no obligation in a phone call, and the simple act of picking up the phone will put you further ahead than where you are now.
Drop me a line or leave a comment below to tell me about your experience. Be careful! The process of asking for help really can be addictive. Go for it!
Photo credit: Flikr user indie.ca