Failure in business can mean something different to everyone: Not trying, not planning, or not making money. For me, failure is about not asking for help when you need it. It’s not recognizing when you are – or could be — in trouble and not tapping into the resources that are around you. Unfortunately, this is common. Here are three reasons people are resistant to reaching out, and three reasons why they should.
People, especially in business, have a tendency to do the same things over and over – even if they’re not finding success. The inner ego is very cunning and very powerful. Because of this it often doesn’t allow people to change. They keep repeating, “you can do it, you can do it, you can do it.” It consumes their thoughts, and they fear that asking for help will make them appear unknowledgeable or weak. Big mistake!
People don’t bat an eye that athletes have coaches. Or that politicians have advisers. They also accept that great companies have advisory councils or boards. It goes without a lot of thought that these people and organizations must have these advisors. In fact, it’s even believed that if they don’t have that motivational person in their corner, they probably won’t make it going forward. At the same time however, when it comes to having their own motivational advisor, people rule it out, thinking it’s excessive and unnecessary.
Whether you call the advisor a coach, mentor, or board, the service they’re providing is consulting. But in business, the term consultant denotes costs – i.e., spending money, adding expenses. Whereas athletes and politicians may have other organizations invested in their success – and the cost of their advisors – for businesses the cost subtracts from the bottom line. And it’s not always welcome.
Despite these barriers, it is essential to ask for help, and it can be the difference between failing and succeeding. When it comes to reaching out, it helps to keep these factors in mind:
- It’s worth the price.
People will throw money at fancy cars, big homes, lavish vacations, and jewelry, but they will often hesitate to invest in advice and support that will make them be more successful. It’s important to recognize that hiring a consultant is wise. Just like a personal trainer can keep you strong and flexible, or a contractor can help with home improvement projects, a consultant can keep you focused, disciplined, and failure adverse. It has value!
- It can keep your ego in check.
No one is above asking for help. Despite the voice in people’s heads telling them they can do it “on their own,” the reality is that it takes many perspectives and often collective experience to take a company to the next level. A consultant can let you know where you’re not cornering the market, where you stand in the industry, and ways you could get better. You are not in this alone.
- It’s the savvy thing to do.
Finally, businesses don’t run in a vacuum. There are best practices, industry backfires, and tried-and-true experiences. A consultant can help you pursue ways to create more revenue, control spending and build a solid financial base. While a consultant is indeed an added expense, the return on investment quickly adds up.
Succeeding in business takes hard work, a strong work ethic and integrity. It also calls for seeking out good advice. Just like with a coach, a strong consultant will push you harder and further than you believe you are capable of doing. If you’re looking for more success and zero failures, contact Big Change Advisors and ask for help.
Steve Pomeroy is the founder of Big Change Advisors, a Los Angeles M&A advisory firm of business advisors and capital sourcing advisors for startups and middle-market companies. Since 1992, Steve has completed over 38 transactions including M&A, Capital Sourcing, and Public Offerings representing over $800 million in total transaction value. Through Big Change Advisors, Steve donates a percentage of all fees – or invites clients to donate a portion of Big Change Advisors fees – to help serve the homeless through the Los Angeles Mission. To request a free consultant, contact Steve here.