The BEST Things Come to Those Who Ask

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In the time it will have taken you to watch that video, Bill Gates will have made over $500,000.

How, you ask?

The same way that Steve Jobs was given a job at Hewlett-Packard at 12-years-old. By the CEO.

By getting off his ass and creating opportunity for himself #JFDI. And because of that, he has wealth, power, and an empire bigger than most of us can even conceive of.

Before you read any further, I have one question for you: Are you ready to hear the simplest, but most important piece of advice an entrepreneur can receive?


Here it is: Ask for help. Get out of your head, swallow your fear – and go for it.

It is hardly a revolutionary concept. It does not require you to have millions in the bank, years of experience, or a product loved by thousands. Just a backbone and some guts.

Pull a Gretzky

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky

The great one was great for a reason. He was a man of action. But you don’t need to turn to the world of pro sports to find hard-working, high-scoring legends. Take Harley Finkelstein, CPO of Shopify, for example. Harley is a hardcore hustler. His bio reads like a novel, but the one constant is that he has relentlessly created opportunity and pursued it to fruition.

Harley’s success hinged on the fact that he did not wait. Like Gretzky, he is a man of action.

Whether you’re hitting pucks at a net or launching an apparel company, one thing’s for sure: it is impossible to win without taking a shot.

Fear Will Keep You Poor

You will never achieve the financial success, freedom, and independence that you dream of without taking direct steps to advance those dreams. By remaining fearful of failure, you will never move beyond your current status. Dave McClure talks openly on his blog about his own struggles early on in his career, explaining that “it would have been easy at any point in this journey to rationalize my limited success, and accept being a small cog in a bigger wheel.”

But the thing with entrepreneurial types like you (and Dave McClure), is that you aren’t satisfied with being that small cog. You grow, and you get better. You chase the dream until it’s yours.

And the only way that you will turn your abstract dreams into realities is by overcoming your fear. Fear paralyzes, it stops you dead in your tracks. Giving into your fear means accepting mediocrity and settling for less.

F%$k Your Pride

If you are scared of making a mistake or looking foolish, then I’m afraid entrepreneurship might not be for you. You have to be ready to swallow your pride and ask for help. You will not be the best at everything, and the sooner you accept that, the better. In the immortal words of Dan Waldschmidt, “You need to stop pretending you have it all figured out and start purposefully asking other people to help you figure it out together” (Psst: let Dan help you).

By opening yourself up to the fact that maybe – just maybe – you don’t have it all sorted out, you are opening yourself up to incredible opportunities for growth. Steve Jobs was known for surrounding himself with A+ people at Apple, and you need to do the same.

If you look carefully through your networks, you will likely find several talented, experienced players who can guide you through the (many) rough patches of entrepreneurship. Accepting help from these people does not make you weak – it makes you smart.

No Need for Clammy Hands

If there is one thing that I have learned through Clarity, it’s that your fellow entrepreneurs want to see you succeed. There is a lot of support in the startup ecosystem, and people want to help you.

Don’t take my word for it, just ask Brian Wong – one of the youngest people ever to be funded by a VC. He credits his hustler attitude and his army of mentors for much of his success.

Think about it. These are people who have been in the trenches, who have been kicked while they were down, yet overcame the harsh entrepreneurial odds. And out of these trials and tribulations comes an unspoken bond with others who are living through the same struggles. I’ve heard countless entrepreneurs talk about the importance of giving back, and quite frankly, you would be foolish not to take them up on the offer.

Cliff Diving for Beginners

Leo Widrich got it right – you need to pounce. And the good news is there are plenty of resources to make it happen. Beyond the thousands of experts on Clarity, there are a multitude of ways to access the people and the expertise that you need to take your business to the next level.

There are people like Cheryl Draper in major cities around the world who are organizing community events that bring together experienced vets and entrepreneurial newbies to make magic happen. If you’re ready to pounce, they’re ready to meet you.

Good The BEST Things Come to Those Who Ask

Case in point: Payroll Hero (a small, relatively-unknown startup) decided that they wanted Eric Ries to be their mentor. Did they sit around fantasizing what his mentorship could do for their business?

No. They hopped in the car, drove to Whistler and made it happen.

And here’s the best part: they are not the exception. If you want the proverbial Eric Ries to be your mentor – just ask. As corny as it sounds, the world is out there waiting for you. What separates those who dream from those who do is deliberate, consistent action.

Whether your goal is to make $500,000 every 1.5 minutes, to disrupt an entire industry, or you just want the freedom to work from home – none of it will happen while you’re sitting on the couch watching The Social Network. I can guarantee it.

So, are you going to reach out and make shit happen? Steve Jobs agrees, you need to ask to receive.

What have you asked for lately?

P.S. Now that you’re ready to go charging out into the great entrepreneurial beyond, check out this post on how to ask for advice. Asking for help is essential, but it’s how you do it that counts.

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  • Experts.AI

    Great post. It’s amazing to think how much harder it was for people back in the days of Andrew Carnegie and Napoleon Hill. I love those stories of people who risked everything, hopped on a train and went to pitch Thomas Edison for a mailroom job. We have it a little easier today, especially with Clarity. 😉 Fear of failure or rejection really is one of the greatest stumbling blocks to success. I keep a couple of things close to remind me not to fall prey to that thinking, the most important of which (for me) are the words of my hero Arnold Schwarzenegger, “You can’t always win, but don’t be afraid of making decisions. You can’t be paralyzed by fear or you will never push yourself. You keep pushing because you believe in yourself and in your vision, and success will come. So don’t be afraid to fail.”

    • Dan Martell

      We definitely have it easier but we still have cultural and fear issues holding folks back.

  • Pingback: The BEST Things Come to Those Who Ask | @getmoreclarity | itsyourbiz |

  • griffinthomson

    Awesome post. Inspiring, good advice, and nice pitch for Clarity 🙂

    • Dan Martell

      Thanks Griffin!

  • mony1