How Do We Grow? The Value of Asking for Help

Why It's Okay to Ask for Help | Image via

Raise your hand if you have ever asked for help.

Now, raise your hand if you’ve ever needed to ask for help but talked yourself out of it thinking you can still go at it alone?

Asking for help is sometimes hard, but the most successful people think big and create and execute well-thought out plans because they’ve asked for help. So that is exactly what we decided to do this year.

ECHOtape grew organically from a tiny start-up in a garage — actually a VW Bug in a garage — to a multi-million dollar, multi-country operation over the past 40+ years. We leveraged the skills of our people and added new employees when we reached capacity or needed some new expertise. Fortunately, we have done well, surviving the ups and downs of the economy and contending with growing pains making it through to 2014 which was one of our best years yet!

But we know we could be “more” — more efficient, more productive, more creative, more profitable and better positioned to leverage opportunities both locally and internationally. So we sought advice from the outside, from someone who could provide the “the 30,000-foot view” of ECHOtape and be the guiding voice we needed to hear. Given our strong family culture, bringing help from the outside also meant finding someone who could navigate seamlessly between the C-Suite and the warehouse, and help us grow while keeping the company culture intact.

We invited several firms and individuals to come talk to us, and though many were excellent choices on paper, there were only a handful that truly got us. In the end, we selected a small consulting firm that has lots of small business and family business experience. We are fortunate that the entire management team rallied to the cause, and we’ve already begun making exciting new changes. Changes that will help us become what we are now calling a High Performance Organization — which will be the subject of one of my next posts!

Much work remains to be done, but the whole team is energized in a way we’ve never seen before, and that’s exciting.

So if you’re struggling with a giant leap or even a puddle jump, here’s my one lasting advice:  Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You’ll be so glad you did.