When You Need To Ask For Help
If you want to build and grow, you have to ask for help. You can’t do it all on your own.
This article is for you if you want to deliver a project that becomes ongoing. It could be an in-person event or any occasion that brings people together. Recognising you need a helping hand and asking for help is ok.
The whole goal is to know that you have to keep on playing, not to finish, and bank the money so you win in the short term. This is why there are going to be times to ask for help.
The Proof & What’s Happening
The YATM Creator Day is our annual occasion that brings people together to one place (in my town of Poole). It’s a celebration that we’re all still here digging deep and fighting our corners, no matter how unsettled the world is around us.
It’s Thursday 27th April at Lighthouse, Poole.
Creator Day is centred around presentations that connect to a central topic (this year is ‘standing for something’). The day has a workbook for attendees to work through and come back to afterward.
Around 3pm the magic happens. We all come together and in small groups, work on a piece of content and publish something we haven’t done before.
It could be a blog article, it could be a LinkedIn post, it could be a story behind a photo, it could be an intro video for your new series. Something you have perhaps thought about and wanted to share, but haven’t progressed or made happen, yet! It’s about motivation, accountability and knowing others are cheering you on.
The main annual events have all been priced at £200 (since we started the YATM Conference in 2018). However, when your audience predominantly represents small businesses, you have to read the room to what is happening around us all at the moment.
There are so many costs to take into consideration. For anyone who has to make that journey from their county to Poole. Travel, stay, time away from work and food, mean that the price to attend an event is heightened. At the same time, everyone is taking a beating at the moment with getting through each week, the winter fuel bills, paying the corporation tax and still trying to come out smiling on the other side.
I recognise I can’t treat everything as business as usual.
There are two options:
1) people pay £200 (and all the costs associated to stay and travel) as that’s what we’ve always done. I might win the battle, but perhaps not deliver for people who feel the squeeze but want to join in (and have fun).
2) Find a way to contribute to the community and pay it forward for everyone.
Companies have more money than people. This process has been tough, we’re now there. By partners effectively covering the costs associated with putting on a great occasion (and making no compromises), it means that others are helping everyone out.
The rising tide lifts all boats approach has been put it into action.
The kindness and generosity of Foundry, Magic Digits and SAFI Valves are opening the doors for everyone. In particular, the goodwill of Rachael Marshall, Adam Walker and Matt King means a lot. It’s them who have made the occasion happen for everyone else. All people who are a part of the wider You Are The Media community.
I received a lot of knockbacks from asking institutions and businesses (at one point I was going to cancel the event, even though I had signed a contract with the venue). It now makes me recognise that asking for help is not about benevolence but becomes a form of collaboration.
Asking For Help
Here is how to frame the process of asking for help.
It could mean reaching out for a sponsor for an initiative you want to deliver or finding partners to make a whole experience stronger.
This is something I haven’t done before where I stepped up and asked for help. The reason is because of the fear of being rejected and being undeserving of help.
When you build something for others to join in with, you can look at it to figure out ways to make something better, for everyone. The kindness of your community is a powerful thing. It works like this:
— Building something people become familiar with
— Be of service to a group of people
— Deliver continually so people can see a track record (a newsletter helps as it’s continuous)
— The foundation of people grows over time
— Build and nurture with the people around you (and not be reliant on strangers)
— Change your mindset from asking to coaction
It all comes down to attaching value to what you are offering. For instance, partners being seen on a screen or on a website are fine, that ticks the sponsorship box, but can there be a way where gratitude is much stronger? It could be partners are along for the whole journey and not just the delivery? It could be putting those who have agreed to help out visible, so others can reach out, connect and even say ‘thanks.’
For everyone who books, they receive a visual if they would like to share it on social media with a thanks to one of the partners.
We all want to offer help where the content we create (and even our nature) takes an advisory and helpful stance, it’s a compassionate thing to do. However, so is asking for help. We don’t just have to give help all the time, there are going to be times when we need it.
The biggest relief to realise is that you don’t have to go through everything on your own. It helps you to become at ease when others are willing to stand beside you. Never be afraid to ask for help, when you know there is so much more waiting to happen.
Asking For Help, Allows You To Keep Going and Growing
We deliver, create and play because we can, not because we want to win all the time.
Asking for a supporting arm means you are playing for a better reason.
Let me explain. I could go for the short-term win, which would be charging £200 per person, I pay the in-costs and I bank the money. However, making the whole day affordable with a focus on everyone coming out smiling after winter and ready for summer means you get past the shortcuts. I want people to enjoy it so much, they want to attend in 2024 and it becomes a part of their calendar.
What if the game is not about treating everything as business as usual, but to look at the bigger picture. What if the goal is to behave in a way that brings together the community, looks to make a difference for others, is accessible and helps people learn and connect with each other.
That’s the more rewarding game to play where people are all on the same journey, not just the intentions of an organiser.
My goal is to keep going with YATM Creator Day. I believe it’s a format that not many people/events deliver where the stars of the show are the attendees who work together, share and have something to show for their attendance that they made with their own hands. They also get to meet new friends. There has to be a payoff for the commitment.
We play because we want to play and discover new ways to keep going. It can be a slog a lot of the time, but if you want to have longevity in what you do, there will be times to reach out for help.
The support from a community feels completely different than hoping for kindness from strangers. It means there are creative ways to put the spotlight on those who are helping out, beyond sponsorship-related nods.
When you look at an initiative for the long term, the whole point is the ability for you to keep going, not to be the winner.
All you have in front of you is the path to go down and it’s recognising you’re lucky enough to have that opportunity that becomes the realisation. The path is all there is. You keep on giving, so at some point, you need to reach out.