Cash Flow In Business: It’s OK to Admit You Don’t KnowIan McManus
Do you find it impossible or difficult to ask for help? Do you worry that, by asking questions, you’ll look incompetent, uninformed, maybe even stupid? Problem is, if you don’t ask questions, your worst fears will eventually be realised.
When I started out, I was convinced I had to have all the answers – it was my business after all! I found it difficult to admit I didn’t have the answers to every challenge that came my way especially when it comes to cash flow in business. Because of this, I’d procrastinate while chewing down a few fingernails.
Famous astronomer, astrophysicist and cosmologist, Carl Sagan once said, “There are naive questions, tedious questions, ill-phrased questions, questions put after inadequate self-criticism. But … there is no such thing as a dumb question.”
We need to stop pretending we’ve got it all figured out, and start admitting the limits of our knowledge. Feigning knowledge cuts us off from the most valuable (and free) resource we have: the experiences, knowledge and ideas of others. Sure, it’s scary to reveal vulnerabilities, but the most effective business people know their survival depends on admitting what they don’t know.
I’ve listened to many a small business owner over the years regaling how their business was powering along. A short time later, I’ve sadly learned that their business folded. I always wonder if they asked for help. Pride is useless when the bank forecloses, you’re bankrupt, or broke and can’t pay the bills.
Remember the old adage: “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? Over the years, I’ve learned that my network is my biggest asset and secret weapon to not knowing it all. I often tap the shoulders of experts in my network, talking through the many challenges presented to me. Sometimes they can’t help but know someone who can. Of course, networking works both ways – I also get tapped on the shoulder as an expert in my own field of business.
Admitting the limits of your knowledge will take a huge weight off your shoulders. You’ll find, as I did, that most people are only too willing to share and help.
So, don’t be afraid – join me today in admitting we don’t know it all, and start tapping on a few shoulders.
(I’ll be talking about the value of networking in future blogs.)