Thursday, August 18th, 2016
Steve Jobs truly believed in the power of asking:
I’ve never found anybody that didn’t want to help me if I asked them for help. I called up Bill Hewlett when I was 12 years old. “Hi, I’m Steve Jobs. I’m 12 years old. I’m a student in high school. I want to build a frequency counter, and I was wondering if you have any spare parts I could have.” He laughed, and he gave me the spare parts, and he gave me a job that summer at Hewlett-Packard … and I was in heaven.
I’ve never found anyone who said no or hung up the phone when I called. I just asked. And when people ask me, I try to be responsive, to pay that debt of gratitude back.
Most people never pick up the phone and call. Most people never ask, and that’s what separates, sometimes, the people who do things from the people who just dream about them.
Granted, it’s often not easy to ask for help. Asking can make you feel insecure. Asking can make you feel vulnerable. But oddly enough, that’s a good thing. When you ask for help, when you just say, “Can you help me?” several powerful things happen, especially for the other person.
By showing you respect and trust other people, and by giving them the latitude to freely share their expertise or knowledge, you don’t just get the help you think you want. You might also get the help you really need. You get more — a lot more.
And so do other people, because they gain a true sense of satisfaction and pride that comes from being shown the respect and trust they — and everyone — deserve. Plus, you make it easier for them to ask you for help when they need it. You’ve shown it’s OK to express vulnerability, to admit a weakness, and to know when you need help.
And then, best of all, you get to say two more incredibly powerful words: “Thank you.”
Summing-up: Ask and you shall receive. You will be amazed how many people want to help you if you just ask!