The Friend With The Pick Up Truck

by crystal wilson

We all have them.  They’re the go-to when we have to move, do a dump run, buy lumber, haul a horse trailer…you get the picture.  I have had the opportunity to be both the friend in need, and the friend with the truck (well…the friend with the husband with the truck).  I know that it gets old fast on both sides of that fence.  I am a helper by nature – I want to do whatever I can for other people.  But I cannot stand asking for help. 

Old Pick Up Truck
 
When you start your own business, and as you grow that business, your regular needs tend to stretch substantially further than just a Pickup Truck.  You find yourself needing the assistance of business contacts, friends, family, that guy on the street who looks like he might know about taxes…

This puts one in an awkward spot.  How do you balance the realization (which I hope you have come to) that you simply cannot hold all the balls yourself, with the feeling that you are asking too much of people and becoming a nuisance?  

 
 


Some suggestions:

1.)    Make sure that what you ask people to help you with fits with their gifts.  You know these people.  When thinking about the task you currently need assistance with, think of the talents and skills of your prospective helpers.  Ask them for help with something they are good at or passionate about, and it will be a winning situation for both of you.

2.)    Know how much you can handle solo and what exactly it can be.  You cannot, as one person at the start up of a business, be responsible for every aspect of the creation.  Delegate to professionals what you can afford to (maybe hire a bookkeeper rather than asking a friend to sort through your ten shoeboxes full of receipts), and know your own limitations.  If you refuse to ask for help now, the need will only multiply later as you have to fix the errors made due to burnout.

3.)    Reward your helpers with something.  Even a simple thank you card lets someone know that their efforts were appreciated and acknowledged.  It will make you feel less awkward about having asked for assistance, maybe for the twelfth time, if you know you provided a tangible gesture of thanks and appreciation.

If you are concerned about HOW to ask people for help, here is a great blog post about how to handle that.

Are you a small business owner?  What was the craziest thing you asked a friend of family member to do for you when you were in the creation stage?

How did you manage deciding who to ask for what?

Did you ever feel like you were making one person feel like “The Friend with the Pickup Truck?”

Let us learn from you!