The Four-Letter Word You Should Say More Often

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By: Megan Matijevich - Marketing & Communications Manager, American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics

This article was first featured in the third quarter 2019 issue of Essential Advantage

While there are probably several four-lettered words we’d like to say more often when stressed or frustrated, the one I’m referring to is much cleaner and likely to get you better results. That magic word is HELP. We all need it and sometimes we sure could use more of it, but are you really taking full advantage of its power? As women, we often feel the need to roll up our sleeves and take it all on – in relationships, at home and especially at work. If we want something done right, we’ve got to do it ourselves, right? Well, that mentality may be holding you and your business back from being successful. Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re weak or incompetent, it means you’re smart! Some of the most successful women attribute their success to the support they got from the people around them. In other words, they asked for help.

Help is available in so many places, places you may have never thought to look or even those right under your nose. Here are a few to consider.

The Business Community. Do a quick search on Google and you’ll find that there are tons of resources out there for small business owners, some specifically for women. A lot of these resources are available through trade associations, nonprofits and government agencies, like the U.S. Small Business Administration which provides information, counseling, training, loan assistance, competition analysis tools and much more at no charge. Another great resource is the Association of Women’s Business Centers. This national network of more than 100 educational centers help women start and grow small businesses. Great resources like this do exist; you may just need to do a little digging to find them. Visit SBA.gov and search women-owned businesses for a list of additional resources.

The Prosthetic Community. Why not tap the resources of the people that know your profession best? Like your accrediting organization, for example. They’ve got a lot riding on your success, because without you they don’t exist! You might be surprised what resources they offer, not only to help you with your accreditation, but your business too. Your accreditation surveyor is another great resource. Chances are they’ve heard it all and might have some really great tips for how the most successful businesses do things. As a member of EW, you’re already getting lots of valuable resources, but what about taking it one step further? The next time you attend a conference or networking event, make an effort to find someone who’s already found success and ask to pick their brain. As long as they’re not your direct competition, it’s likely they’ll be happy to help, even flattered.

Your Community. Family, friends and neighbors (customers!). Sometimes the people closest to us can be the toughest to ask for help. We don’t want them to think we don’t know what we’re doing, but they might be some of the most willing. They understand best why you started your business and the passion you have for your customers. They know what you’ve gone through to get there and will want to help you get further.

Now that you have a better idea of where to start, roll down those sleeves, crawl out of your do-it-all trenches and ask for HELP.

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