andertoons7487 bothBeing fearful of asking others for their help, for information, or for their opinion could be the biggest obstacle in your way of success in life and business.

A 12-year-old Steve Jobs wanted to get some parts to build a frequency counter. He looked up Bill Hewlett’s phone number in the white pages; it was still published in the local Palo Alto phone book which made it easy to make the call. Bill Hewlett answered his own phone if you can imagine that. Steve introduced himself as a middle school student looking for a few parts. [quotes]Bill laughed at Steve’s request but he did provide the parts that Steve had asked for. [/quotes] Bill also gave Steve a summer job putting nuts and bolts together making frequency counters at the Hewlett-Packard Company’s manufacturing plant.

This takes me back to when I was a student in grade school. I was 10 years old and had a science project that required researching resources outside of the school. I decided that I wanted to know more about the oil and gas industry – more than the corner gas station where they pumped gas, checked your oil, washed your windows, and occasionally serviced your vehicle. I wanted to know more about how oil and gas were processed and distributed. This meant I needed to do something that I hadn’t done before: call and talk to strangers. [quotes]I wasn’t even sure how to call or what to ask them.[/quotes]

When school was over at 3:30 in the afternoon, I would head home thinking about having the phone with the yellow pages open in front of me and looking at the gas and oil companies listed. Suddenly, an inner voice would start up, stoking my fears with all the reasons for not making call. In other words, FEAR showed up. [quotesright]That voice would get louder and louder and threaten to paralyze me almost as thoroughly as a stroke. [/quotesright] 

But, I wanted to get a great mark on my science project and that pushed me through my fears. The power of thinking about the desired result increased my emotional need for a successful outcome and that trumped any fears I harbored.

At the time, I had no audio cassettes or CDs to listen to or any books to read and I didn’t know any coaches who could mentor me through my predicament. I had none of today’s great coaches to listen to and teach me how to blast through my fears and anxieties. [quotes]None of that occurred to me at that time in my life; only my goal of being successful drove me and that made me start dialing.[/quotes]

The first call of the afternoon was often the toughest one. Nervousness showed up but once I heard the person on the other end I would do what Steve Jobs did as a 12-year-old and throughout his life. I would ask them if they could help me, and as far as I can remember [quotesright]everyone offered their help. [/quotesright] They would usually ask me, how they could help, which I replied by asking them for information, brochures, and samples that would help me with my science project.

Taking the first action steps would help me quiet down my inner voice and it would add fuel to my emotional gas tank, giving me the strength to keep on dialing. I ended up with far more information, brochures, and samples than I had imagined. I couldn’t wait for the mail to arrive or to go down to their offices to meet the people I had called to get more of my questions answered along with some samples of heavy crude. [quotes]All of this was because I took action and asked for help.[/quotes]

Jobs did a similar thing as a 12-year-old and because he did, he was able to create a company that helped to revolutionize the world and still does even after his death. He asked people to help him…. “I never found anyone that I called that said no or hung up the phone when I called, I just asked. [quotesright]Most people never pick up the phone, most people don’t ask and that’s what separates, sometimes, the people that do things from the people that just dream about them. [/quotesright] You’ve got to Act! You’ve got to be willing to fail! – Be willing to crash and burn! If you’re afraid of failing you won’t get very far! ” – Steve Jobs

As a certified business performance coach, I have met many wonderful people who offer terrific products and services or are great technicians and craftsmen but have a difficult time asking for help or information, or hate the sales process. If they could shift their mindset and apply what Steve Jobs did and focus on the good that can happen when they ask others for help, it would open new opportunities in many areas of their lives.

Who do you plan to ask for help to move your business and life forward?

 – By Coach Phil Gilkes