Guest Post: If You Don't Ask... Getting the Business Help You Need

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My sweet little grandmother used to advise me all the time, 'Judy darling, remember: If you don't ask, you don't get.'   For too many years I did not take Grandma's sage advice. Building my business, I was busy being all things to a small group of people (clients, family, friends) and some things to a larger group of people (everyone else), with little left for myself. Admitting that I couldn't handle everything myself? Not this juggling fool. I especially didn't think to ask other women business owners for help. I was too used to going to the boys, not the girls.  

That said, my business was stuck. I had gotten to a certain plateau and was no longer growing. I had a staff, but I could not stop micromanaging them, which meant that they were not happy and that I had much too much on my plate. Nonetheless, I had no idea how to effectively let go, sure that if I did, it would all fall apart. As a result, I was exhausted, and depleted. The work I had always loved was no longer fun.

Then one of my friends, bless her heart, insisted I attend my first Women's Leadership Exchange conference.   At the opening of what for me was a daylong miracle that ushered in a Tsunami of positive change, I listened to the opening remarks by the charming, dynamic WLE co-founders, Leslie Grossman and Andrea March. What they said set the tone for the day. They earnestly exhorted all of us to keep an open mind, if just for today. They also gave us an assignment: to ask for help from at least three other women, and offer it to at least three other women.  

Shortly thereafter, sitting at a big round table in the hotel ballroom, sharing breakfast with a group of interesting women, each a business owner, I thought about that assignment, to ask for help and to offer it. Suddenly I heard the echo of those words I had not heeded: 'If you don't ask, you don't get.'  We went around the table, taking turns answering the question, 'What do you do, and what do you need' When it was my turn, I said, 'I am a ghostwriter and have a public relations company. My passion is to help people birth their inner book and then promote it. What I need is...' I looked at the open, eager faces of the other women, all sincerely intent on my next words, and felt something open inside. 'Okay, what I need is...a lot. I need to learn how to not have to be in control all the time. I need to learn how to trust other people to do their jobs. I also need to know how to find more good people to work with me, and then how to keep them fulfilled and productive. I also need to put better systems in place so that I am better organized, use my funds more intelligently, and grow my business beyond the point it is at now. And most of all, what I am beginning to see today is that I need to get out more and network with other women, like all of you.'   The day just kept getting better.

I can't wait for the next New York Women's Leadership Exchange Conference - -   on July 21st, with 150 incredible women expected, and a Who's Who of incredible speakers, honorees, Growth Gurus,  and SpeedCoaches, each sharing her special wisdom.   My Grandmother will be with me that day, and she will be very proud of all of us fabulous women, asking -- and getting!.....Judy Katz, Katz Creative, Public Relations, Book Collaboration and Ghostwriting Services --

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