The key to success in our lives is often something that we cannot accept. In some cases, it comes down to the support we both give and receive. Find the key to success by asking for help when you need it, support others and work hard to be the best version of yourself that you can be.
By Beate Chelette
You may think you can handle everything yourself, but what’s wrong with a little support now and then?
I have always liked the It Takes A Village idea. Getting and giving other women—and men—support when they need it is essential for the success and well being of us all. It is also one of the core principles of The Women’s Code. I was reminded of the wisdom of the village idea two weeks ago, when one of my clients fell off the path, literally, when her bike toppled over and she injured her hip. She couldn’t drive or sit in a chair for longer than a few minutes before feeling pain. Single, with her own business, she faced a daunting task. How to meet her deadlines, keep up her lovely house and garden—and get to the doctor—all without sitting or driving? All of a sudden she had to completely reconfigure her life and rely on other people for help. What a concept!
Key to Success = Asking for help
It’s hard to ask for help, isn’t it, even from our friends. And yet we all need it from time to time. I have seen how support has transformed the personal and professional lives of many women. We tend to take so much on, at work and at home, and often what suffers is us. Giving support is usually easier than asking for it because being in need of something makes us feel vulnerable, but it’s important to understand that by asking for support, you’re actually honoring the other person. You’re not taking away from them. You’re showing that you like and trust them enough to ask for help.
In business, we can’t possibly know how to do everything and occasionally we need help figuring something out. Like how to use a financial spreadsheet for the first time. Or the best way to send large image files. To meet one project deadline, my injured client realized she needed help and she temporarily hired a photo researcher and graphic designer—referrals she got through my network.
The thing about support is that it must work both ways. Be prepared to give it as well as to receive it. And remember to be very specific about what it is that you want. Maybe it’s a ride to your doctor’s appointment, or you need a colleague to cover for you when you’re out of the office. Not a big deal when you think about it. Or maybe you just need to rant about something and need a friendly ear. But put a time limit on that, no more than 10 minutes, otherwise your kind listener becomes your emotional trash can.
Key to Success = Giving and Receiving Support
In the workplace, I’ve seen how little support women give each other. In fact, some sabotage each other. Rivalry, jealousy, dishonesty, toxic behavior, withholding of information, all that really exists. This is not the right way to succeed, and remember that saying: what goes around comes around.
If you were properly supported — if women were properly supported in their personal and professional lives–we wouldn’t need to compete or feel isolated. I love this quote from Tina Fey, she says, “I like women. I support women. I’m like a human bra.”
I believe that God, the Universe or Spirit has a way of taking care of things. It’s said that to break a habit it takes 21 to 30 days. Could it be possible that my client’s injury may have been a not so subtle hint that it was time to change her routine in order to heal and be more productive?
She is doing better, by the way, but still she cannot sit or drive for very long. She has been to the doctor twice—two different friends drove her–and she met her deadlines by working on her couch, lying prone, her legs outstretched, her neck and back supported, and her computer balanced on her belly. Quite a set-up, but she has been even more productive than usual and the other day, she told me: “So, this is what support is about.” Yes, and it really will make a difference in your life. It’s the key to success.
Beate Chelette is a respected career coach, consummate entrepreneur and founder of The Women’s Code, a unique guide to personal and career success that offers a new code of conduct for today’s business, private and digital world. Determined to build a community of women helping each other, after selling one of her companies, BeateWorks, to Bill Gates in 2006 for millions of dollars, Beate created The Women’s Code. In February 2012, to reach women everywhere, Beate launched The Women’s Code Online course. http://beatechelette.com/the-womens-code