Here are 9 ways to ensure that you DON’T get good help:
1. You Feel entitled to receive help
This is the number one reason most people go wrong. Nobody is entitled for anything. An exception may be with members of your circle of love but other than that you got to earn your way into getting good help.
2. Your timing is Wrong
Mediocre help is everywhere and good help will ALWAYS be scarce. This means people who can provide good help are busy. Sometimes they are VERY busy. You catch them on those times and your chances will be slim.
3. You are an opportunity cost rather than an opportunity
If someone lends you really good help, they are making an investment in you for the future. If they don’t see you as a good enough investment, you are an opportunity cost rather than an opportunity.
4. You make ridiculous requests
I have heard this from many smart people. The requests they get for help are ridiculous. To fulfill their requests, one has to go through the hoops, doing a reverse somersault and try to fly across a bridge (Not literally.. just trying to make a point here)
5. You don’t even attempt to make a case
Some requests are so poorly constructed that they it takes time to understand what exactly was asked. When you are asking someone to “invest” time on your behalf it would be reasonable to expect that you will “invest” your time to make a case for deserving that help.
6. You direct your requests to the wrong people
If you don’t make a request in the area of their core strengths, you have directed your request to the wrong person. It’s not OK to ask just because you can ask.
7. You are following wrong advice
This will be a controversial one. There is a lot of bad advice about making requests out here. One of the classic ones is, “If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.” Follow this advice at your own peril. In general, if you ask for good help without deserving it, you will be mentally blacklisted AND there is a good chance that your future requests are deeply discounted. In other words, your future requests go a few places back in the queue.
8. You tend to spray and pray
This is the classic model for people like spammers to those blindly dialing for dollars. You think it’s a game of numbers. Getting good help rarely fits into the model, unfortunately.
9. Your willingness to pay twice
You need to be willing to pay twice. First time for the help itself and second time to implement and follow through as an outcome of receiving that good help. Most people are not even willing to pay once and being ready to pay twice is a rarity.
All of us need good help and all of us also need to provide good help. Here are two articles on those topics:
Photo Courtesy: The Tactician on Flickr