Asking for directions

on 10:26 PM

Have you ever been on holiday in another country, or for that matter, just been outside your familiar home territory and then realised that you are well and truly lost?

Whether you didn’t have a map with you, or just had no clue as to your position on the map, you finally concede that you need to take that dreaded step and…. ask for directions.

However, if you are like many independent people, you will probably say, “I’ll work it out for myself”, “I’ll tough it out” or “I’ll just drive around for a while and see if anything starts to look familiar”!


When you do finally get around to asking someone, most of the time they are only too happy to help, with some helpers going to great lengths of marking the route, repeating the directions or even offering to show you the way personally. The fact is, people generally like to help other people. And we all know what it is like to have been lost at some point in the past!

Is asking not your strong point? Then you may find that you will continue to have difficulty in your business when you find yourself lost, needing support or information.

We may feel that we are taking liberties if we ask a friend or colleague if they know of anyone who could use our services, and yet we are only too happy to go out of our way to refer business to our friends or help them to get started as a solo business owner.

The reality is that we won’t invite answers until we ask the questions. So…..just ask. Politely, without demand…..ask. Provide someone with the opportunity to be a helper and receive the satisfaction of assisting someone else.

How do you feel when you have helped someone? I recently had the pleasure of helping a friend get started as a soloist – what a buzz! (I was her first client too!)

Struggling with trying to set up that financial software package? …Ask

Wanting to find a contact in a large company in your town?... Ask

Wondering where a good printer can be found?... Ask

Thinking that there must be another way?... Ask

Need a babysitter at short notice?....Ask

Need new business referrals?...Ask

Need some feedback on a written proposal?...Ask

In Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen’s book, “The Aladdin Factor”, they point out that successful people know how to ask for what they want or need. It’s a great read.

Have you ever had a great business or personal break-through that happened simply because you asked? Asked for help, guidance, referral, information, inspiration…whatever. Perhaps you even plucked up the courage…to ask for directions!

About the author

Lois Keay-Smith is a mum, career consultant, counsellor, writer and speaker, living in Perth, Western Australia. Lois is the Principal of Career Wisdom and helps people create a satisfying work life and discover their life’s work. Visit Career Wisdom at www.careerwisdom.com.au

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