My college roommate would always say “life’s better when you say something.”
If you’re sitting in a lecture and something doesn’t make sense to you, say something.
If you like somebody’s outfit, say something.
If you see somebody doing something they shouldn’t be, say something.
If you love somebody, then damnit, say something.
And most importantly, if you need help, say something.
It is really as simple as it sounds. Life is better when you say something.
Throughout my life, I lived by the opposite mantra.
In school, I would pray that the teacher would not call on me to answer a question. If I witnessed bullying, I would pretend I didn’t see it. I wouldn’t compliment someone or share my feelings because I was embarrassed. And I sure as hell would never ask for help.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, I developed some pretty crippling anxiety. It took my already introverted personality and magnified it by one thousand. I was stuck inside my own head, and I didn’t want to share my embarrassment with anybody.
But something amazing happened once I decided to open up. I instantly began to feel better.
In anxiety-provoking situations, if I share how I am feeling with others, I no longer feel like I’m alone. By expressing my feelings, I have instant support that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Tough situations instantly become more manageable, all simply from opening my mouth.
Once I realized how impactful it was to speak my mind, I shifted my entire approach. I began to compliment others. I began to ask questions. I speak up if somebody gets out of line.
It’s true. My life has gotten better, all because I came out of my anxiety-ridden shell.
OK, that all sounds great, but how the hell does it apply to business?
When I decided to quit my job and start this business, I honestly was not sure of how to approach it. I was going to be off on my own for the first time, with no previous entrepreneurial experience. I took a complete leap of faith in myself, but I needed some help.
I reached out to everyone I knew. I posted on social media, reached out to connections I haven’t spoken to in well over five years, and contacted industry experts who owed me absolutely nothing.
To my surprise, the response was incredible. Almost everybody got back to me with more support than I could have imagined.
Asking for help doesn’t mean you are desperate. It means you are diligent.
It often feels like the world is against us and everybody is only acting in their own self-interest. It’s very easy to lose faith in others, and it’s so easy to take for granted the support systems we have.
The moment you ask for help, you’ll quickly put those notions to rest. It will not take long to discover the support you have around you. Often, that support will some from some very unlikely sources, too.
People with whom I am not even close with offered me resources, connections, and advice to get me started. I received countless encouraging messages and comments. It has truly been amazing.
Through this journey of running my own business, I have re-learned the valuable lesson that I first learned when I shared with the world my battle with anxiety.
Life really is better when you say something.
Start speaking your mind. Share a secret. Ask for help. Tell someone you love them.
It’s scary to put yourself out there. Trust me, I know more than anyone. But you’ll be absolutely amazed by how the world repays you when you finally do.
Sit down for one minute and think of what the absolute worst-case scenario is for speaking your mind. In business, you’re going to need to learn to deal with rejection, because it’s going to happen all the time. Most times, rejection is the worst possible outcome. Learn to live with the reality of rejection, and there is absolutely no downside to speaking your mind and spilling your heart out.