on asking for help.
I've never met anyone who says "asking for help is easy." In fact, I believe pretty much all of us feel the opposite. Our culture has us brainwashed into thinking that asking for help shows weakness, or a lack of ability & it makes it tough to reach out.
I don't think anyone on planet earth has started a business and not had to ask for help. A LOT OF HELP. I cannot even begin to mention the people who have helped me. From those who helped create a logo, design this website, help me process flowers, help me move buckets of product, help me with last minute questions on how to open anemones faster, help me by believing in this company and buying our stuff, help me by coming to a pop-up shop in a blizzard, help me by telling their friends about us, the list could go on for days.
When I first started floralizing for fun I was scared to tell people. Don't ask me why, I look back now to that time late last year and I want to slap myself for all the opportunities I missed out on because I was scared to speak up, scared to take the leap.
This tiny company is nowhere near a Fortune 500 mention. My 'studio' is our 1950's basement game room. My 'flower truck' is my well-loved Subaru. My one 'employee' works for French Press Coffee and my 'lead design assistant' and I have the same last name. But you know what? This is fun. All of it. Making mistakes, and being creative and learning what I want to do and not what I want to do.
If you can't reach out for help, you'll fall. Trust me. When I told M that I really wanted to go to Flower School and start doing this as a side gig in the same sentence I told him I couldn't do it, because what if it didn't work and I failed at it and no one liked my flowers because they are 'weird looking.' His response.... "so what?"
It's not just for Stems & Sprigs, the help I receive daily is immeasurable. It truly takes a village to thrive on this planet.
My mom got sick a few weeks ago, the worst flu/bronchitis/pneumonia you can imagine, she was down for the count. My siblings and I all live far away, my dad had to travel for business- so what did I do? I asked for help. I reached out, to her best friends, her tribe, I told them she was bedridden and in need of hot chicken noodle & the troops assembled and the rest is history.
I think often about the people who don't have a tribe. Who don't have a village to call on when they need support. There are millions of people on this planet who if they didn't show up to work tomorrow, or didn't stop in to buy their regular paper & cup of coffee- no one would notice. I get sad about this quite often. The 'forgotten' group of our population. Even if you can't have a village, a tribe, a support group, we at least need to be there for our neighbor, our regular customer, etc. I know I could do a better job of reaching out. Could you?
When I was in college I really struggled with vulnerability. For some reason I couldn't ask for help, I couldn't reach out, and when I finally gave up the ego, the 'I can do it all myself' mentality, the earth seemed to shift beneath my giant size 12 feet. Things get a lot easier when you ask for help.
I know you're reading this and thinking 'but somethings we have to do on our own.' I agree. You can't ask someone to help you fix what's going on in your head. You can't text your friends and ask for them to figure out all your business and personal problems. But you can go talk to someone, and you can ask your friends to open a bottle of wine, sit down, be quiet and listen to you let it all out. Create a tribe that works for you, no matter how small or large it is.
Why are we so embarrassed? I remember how nervous I was to tell Jennifer (my flower mentor) that I wanted to learn from her, I was panicked into thinking she would think this was stupid, or I was insane... and if I hadn't just sent the stupid 3 sentence e-mail I would have missed out on so much.
Throw your ego to the wind. Who cares what people think? If someone dumps you as a friend because you ask for help, you don't need that person in your life. If a business mentor tells you they don't want to help you, they aren't a mentor you want. If someone who you admire doesn't want to give you to the time of day to answer a few questions over a cup of coffee- you aren't missing much. There is a tribe out there for you. A tribe to help you thrive & flourish.
Take my word for it, asking for help does not make you weak, in fact- it makes you a lot stronger.