By Lori Drzewiecki: The Method to My Madness

Thank you for coming back, my last blog was Cost.  If you missed it, be sure to check it out.

On to Getting Help.

I have to apologize, this one took me a bit longer to put together and is longer than I would have liked it to be.  The truth is I can get emotionally hooked on this topic.  I have been burned to say the very least in all these areas.  We all know that being burned is a very disheartening thing to happen when you are working on a dream of yours.

This blog is an attempt to remind you to keep on the path of your dream despite the obstacles, despite the heartaches, and despite what people say and do. Remember that you are the only one who is truly vested and invested in your dream. The reality is your spouse, your family and your friends won’t care about your dream the way you do, they simply do not have the same vision, passion or investments as you do. This could be a hard concept to grasp or accept but the sooner you get this the better off you will be.  You will better understand where others are coming from, especially when they let you down or outright burn you.

There are really four types of help; None, Free, Bartered and Paid. The type(s) of help you get will probably depends on the budget.  There are pros and cons to all of them. Of course some are obvious and some you may think wouldn’t happen to you. Either way my journey had aspects of all four of them.  Here is what happened.

I would have to say 98% of my help was me, myself and I.  In other words, none.  On the up side, I am in complete control of the product, the hours put into the project(s), and the cost is my time.  Unfortunately, the deadlines, the stress and any failure is also on me.  When you build a business or any aspect of a business on a shoe string, this is the path any entrepreneur will find themselves on, at least until they start bringing in income. This is without a doubt a very stressful way to go about things. Sometimes it is just the only option. If this is the path you need or choose to take it is essential to understand people just won’t understand. They won’t understand the stresses involved, the hours it takes, the toll it will take on you and your family.  I would also suggest you reread the blog “Time for Yourself”. If you start your venture putting yourself first you may be able to avoid the pitfalls I experienced on my journey.

Free help is hard to find.  Quality free help is even harder to find.  For me most of my free help was simply offered.  I am not good at asking for help which is a therapy session of its own. Remember free help is coming from someone other than you, which means they are not vested or invested like you are.  You need to expect to be let down.  It is just really that plain and simple.  I am really not trying to be cynical, however, the sooner you realize this the more realistic your expectation of free help will be.  Be crystal clear on what the task is, how difficult it should be and how long you expect it to take.  Be clear the person is still willing to help and invest their time for free.  I have a 3 strike and you are out motto now, which I discuss below. Some people have recruiting free help mastered and can seem to get anyone to help them for free.  I am most definitely not one of them.  If you are I would strongly recommend you be very careful.  You do not want to wear out your welcome and burn people out or simply burn them.  I never intentionally burn someone; I personally will get burned long before I will burn someone else. Unfortunately, this has happened from the people I least expected it from, which makes it all the more difficult.  Be careful. I do have to say I did have one person who was phenomenal. She came to me, she was willing to do what I asked, was supportive and understanding.  At the same time, I knew she had limited time available for me and that she had other priorities that came first.  Despite the fact that I only got her time and effort one a very few occasions she gave me more quality and quantity help than anyone else in the entire project.

Bartering. I am definitely not opposed to bartering.  However, I would warn anyone who wants to barter for anything is to 1. Know the rules of bartering, 2. Have a contract. I put links for both at the end of this blog.  Before you say you don’t need a contract, consider how much you value your product or service and if you would give it away to the person for free. If you want to give it way for free then do it, that isn’t bartering.  If you want something for it you MUST have a contract, because you are now bartering.  Even if you are bartering with your best friend or another trusted business person. NEVER barter with just a verbal agreement. The bottom line is you only have to be burned once to realize I am right.  So instead of being burned in the first place just fill out the contract.  This way everyone knows going in what the expectations are and both parties can be held accountable for their side of the barter. I used to be afraid of offending the other person.  Now I won’t do the business if the person is offended.

Finally, is paid help.  This can also be very difficult to find quality help. We all know that just because we pay someone to do their job for us we can still be burned.  This is the exact reason we not rate and review businesses we do business with.  The first thing I would recommend is the be sure you know exactly what you are getting from the company/person you are hiring.  Ask plenty of questions and read any contracts completely and thoroughly.  Professionals I would highly recommend you at least speak to are 1. A business coach.  Talk to more than one if you can.  Be sure you understand exactly what they are willing to do and what their expectations of you are.  Be coachable! Coaches have a different perspective on your business then you do.  These perspectives and insights can be extremely valuable, but only to the extent you put the effort into it.  Often a business owner doesn’t see that putting the coaching into action is actually an investment in the business that will pay them back many times more than if they didn’t.  The other thing I would strongly recommend is if you are going to have a website, and EVERY business should, speak to a couple of website developers to get there inputs and possibly hire one to create your website.  This will be part of another blog at one time.  No matter what help you end up paying for be clear on what you are getting for your money and the time frame that is expected to complete it.

I now have the 3 strikes and you are out motto when it comes to help.  Regardless of how I am obtaining my h