In today's audio, I discuss one of the most common reasons why people refuse to help you when you ask for their help and I give you two questions you need to consider before you ask.
You can listen to the audio by clicking on the play button below. Beneath the audio, I have provided a general transcription. There will be some small differences between the audio and the transcription.
It's Carthage Buckley here from Coaching Positive Performance with a quick tip for you.
Today I want to discuss asking for help and the need to have realistic expectations. Now, before I give the example I'm going to use today, I do want to make clear that I have often had unrealistic expectations myself and I'm not free from sin in this area; but I want to demonstrate how having unrealistic expectations prevents you from getting what you really want and how it's often unnecessary.
So, I want to give an example that happened earlier this week. I produced an article, a rather long article on the topic of (click the link for the article: Passive Aggressive Behavior) one of the many topics I discuss. In the article I talked about five experts and their viewpoints on what Passive Aggressive Behavior is. They all wrote articles that are in various places on the Internet. I linked to those articles and; I gave quotes from them. That's how I was trying to add value to my readership. Then later that day, I got an email from one of my readers and his email started:
I'm always wary when somebody starts off by telling me I'm wonderful because I don't believe it and you usually know there is something fake coming afterwards.
But what I got then was
'Really enjoyed the article. Can you please forward the five books the quotes are taken, from, free of charge.'
First of all they weren't actually books. This person had mistakenly assumed they were books. They were articles. I had linked to the articles in my own article but what really struck me was the sheer 'gall' (a word we would use here in Ireland); the nerve to ask for so much from somebody in the sense that if these were actually books, I was going to have to track him down a copy of each of the five books and forward them to him at no charge so, any expenditure of my time or my money, I was going to have to absorb that so that he could have these books. And, I was thinking that's completely unrealistic to expect somebody to do that; but not just that.
Don't forget these books, if they existed, if they were actually books, belonged to somebody else. Most books are copyrighted material. I was going to have to be completely immoral and unethical and give away somebody else's copyrighted material for free to help this person. That to me is insane.
There was no way I was ever going to do that to somebody else because they're like me. They're working hard trying to earn a living. They don't want everything given away for free. Some stuff they charge for or, at a minimum, if they offer a free ebook or a free webinar, maybe they want you to opt in for that so that they can keep communicating with you. They can offer you great value and if you need help further down the line maybe you'll hire them to deliver the help, You hire them to get you through a rough spot. But this guy just wanted me to send him a whole lot of material for free as if everybody else should be doing his work for him.
I'm sure he didn't mean any harm but it's completely unrealistic and if you want people to help you; you need to have some form of realism so, a couple of questions I'd like to give you to think about when you're asking for help from somebody else:
1. Are you making it easy for them to help you?
Well, if these were actually books and I had to go to the effort of tracking them all down for him and getting a copy of each for him, before sending them on to him, whether it incurred any financial costs or not; that's a lot of effort on my part .
2. Is offering this help within their remit? Can they actually offer his help?
Technically speaking, yes I could send you somebody else's book. Am I supposed to do that? I don't think so. I think it's unethical, I think it's immoral and, I think it's hurting somebody else's business and I'm not prepared to do it. So in my viewpoint that's not in my remit.
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So, if you're asking for help from somebody else, make it as easy as possible to help you and make sure it's something they can do because most people, me included, are happy to help where we can but if I was to give that type of time and effort to everyonone; bear in mind that I have thousands of people who read my website everyday and thousands more on an email list who communicate with me on a regular basis. If I was to give each and every one of them that level of time and effort, with no payment, how would I ever have a business? How would I ever be able to pursue my goals? How would I ever be able to do the things I need to be able to do?
I do want to help other people as much as possible but I can't do it at my own expense and I would say the same for yourself. If somebody else asks for your help; if it's easy to do it and you'd want to do it; go ahead and help. But you can't put their needs before your own and you can't be giving them so much of your time, your energy, your money or any other resource that you have none left to pursue your own goals. Because you are here to live your own life, not somebody else's.
That's my tip for today. When asking somebody else for help, make sure your expectations are realistic.
Thank you for listening. I'll talk to you again soon.