Kelly McCormick's Business Tips

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How to Ask for Advice – When You’re the Expert

At age 21 I had my first business. I was young enough, and naive enough, to think that I knew everything. What a joke that was.

Within thirty days of hanging up the ‘OPEN FOR BUSINESS’ sign, I was almost out of business. To say that I was on a steep learning curve was an understatement. I quickly learned how to reach out and ask for advice, help, and support.  Here are my techniques for asking for help, without appearing needy…

Ego Doesn’t Pay the Bills

Similar to any addict, the first step in asking for help is recognizing that you need it! Over the course of my three businesses, I’ve hired many people to work for me. When I ask for someone’s opinion I don’t want to hear a ‘people pleasing’ answer.  So I give people permission to tell me the truth.

My opening sentence is:

“My ego doesn’t pay the bills. Please give me your honest feedback. It will help me to grow [improve, provide the best service…].” 

 It works! People actually tell me what they think.

Don’t Defend Your Position

When you ask for advice, and don’t like what you hear, the worst thing you can do is defend your position [idea, self…].

Any time you respond with “YES, BUT…” you have closed your mind to receiving new input. Even worse, you are sending out the message that you really don’t want to hear anything other than your point of view.

Give “YES, BUT” a Kick in the BUTT

When I consult with companies or coach people who want to grow their business, the minute I hear, “Yes, but…” I know that my work is only just beginning.

In my private life, when someone asks for my advice and then defends their position, it is game over. I decided a long time ago to not invest my personal time and energy with “right fighters”.

Listen, Assess, Take Action

Life is not a battle. It’s a grand adventure and there is so much that we can learn from each other.

It’s important to really listen, assess what we hear, and then take action!

Hi, I’m Kelly McCormick, a Business Growth and Marketing Strategist. I help entrepreneurs & companies to identify opportunities for growth. Plus, I develop targeted branding, marketing & sales strategies. I can help you too!

2 Responses to “How to Ask for Advice – When You’re the Expert”

  1. Doug Rice says:

    Great post, Kelly! “Ego doesn’t pay the bills.” I love it! Sometimes, the the hardest things to hear are the things we need to hear the most. I’m glad I learned this lesson (before I launch my business). I just hope I have the patience to shut up and listen!

    • Kelly says:

      Hi Doug,

      I'm glad that you liked the post.

      Re: "I just hope I have the patience to shut up and listen!" In my experience, just having the awareness that a habit needs to change makes everything possible!

      All the best with your business and keep checking in, I post lots of biz tips here. – Regards, Kelly

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