I was raised to “go figure it out”.
This DIY mindset was reinforced through years of education and employment in traditional, corporate environments. If there was a problem that I didn’t have the answer to, I would naturally slide into problem solving mode to independently determine different ways to ensure progress. By and large, this mindset has served me well. It has taught me to be resilient in the face of challenges, even when it’s not the popular path forward. It’s left me with an open, achievement-oriented approach with less limitations, because I am a DIY business woman.
This caffeinated contribution was written by Laurie Brown. I had the pleasure of collaborating with this operational savant through her work inside the Kauffman Foundation and with 1 Million Cups. Laurie is now helping fellow founders optimize their own business operations, so let me know if you’d like a warm introduction.
Lately, I’ve been re-thinking this approach. Perhaps my DIY mindset should include more asking for help?
Within a recent career transition, I’ve been exploring this new attitude through an experiment. On numerous occasions, I’ve encountered unknowns. In these moments of uncertainty, I’ve resisted my life-long instinct to figure out every answer on my own. Instead, I have started asking myself, who in my network might be able to help me learn? As this experiment has unfolded, I have three key takeaways.
- Asking for help drives results. I can learn from others who have pioneered effective solutions, which saves me time (and pain) along the way.
- The collaboration from these exchanges go beyond the problem at hand. Many times it strengthens relationships, the fun of helping each other forms friendships, and mutual professional growth is a welcomed side effect.
- By leading the way to ask for help, I serve as a role model to my peers and open the door from them to ask me for help in return.
My DIY ways will continue to serve me well, but I’ve learned that an added dose of curiosity and willingness to listen can add fresh layers of potential. I’ll continue to carry forward my resilient, solution-driven approach, but plan to incorporate more inclusive problem solving and an “AFH attitude” within my engaged network. This will keep problems from staying problems, while also creating a new catalyst for prosperity.