I must confess…it’s hard for me to ask for help.
I am a DIY kind of gal and what I have learned over the years is that if you want something done, do it yourself. But that can only go so far.
I have spent the last 13+ years helping others find their voice, master their message, and create an online presence that highlights their unique value. I work as much as I do because of the referrals from one client to another. However, I knew that I needed to master my own message in order to elevate and scale my business, but doing it for myself was way more challenging than I had ever expected.
It’s so easy for me to rattle off what you should do, how you should do it, and when you should do it! Putting myself in some sort of box was one of the biggest challenges of my life. I can have an easy conversation about what I do and why I do it, but when it came time for me to organize it and practice what I preach, I knew I couldn’t do it alone.
And if I can guess, you are much the same. Doing, creating, and implementing is hard when you are a one-woman show
So, the first thing I did was I got clear on what kind of help I needed. Then I worked backward from there. Truly no different from how I show others to chart their plan, in Stage 1 of my 5 Stage Framework™. Instead of being about the life plan, this was about the “hire someone to help you” plan. And I realized that that formula, in stage 1, can work in many different ways. That’s a win-win and because of that, showing you how to work in reverse is my mission.
I learned a lot not only about myself but what I needed in a collaborator, and here are 5 tips that helped me and I know they are going to help you too:
#1: Chemistry – you gotta feel something.
Working with someone else is a relationship. And if you have set time aside then it might be a good idea to treat this call as your first of many. This conversation is a sneak peek into what it might be like to work with this person for the duration of your commitment. Whether something feels off or on, this is where it starts.
It’s no different than dating. Although it’s been centuries since I have done traditional dating, I have started that same kind of dance each time I hire someone new to my team. You’re going to know really early on if this is a good match or not. Pay attention to the signals. Tap into your gut. Please, whatever you do, don’t talk to your gut, instead…listen. A few things I want you to pay super close attention to:
Do their values align with your own?
Was there something, somewhere in the first conversation that made you a bit uncomfortable? Not the bad kind of uncomfortable. The kind that made you ponder or think a little bit harder than you are used to? If that is the case then this person will challenge you. And if you are paying someone to move your needle, you want them to challenge you. You don’t want a yes person or someone who tiptoes around your ideas. You want someone who is going to hold up the mirror and force you to face your obstacles.
Did they listen more than they talked?
Were they more interested in you? Truly interested in getting to know you and understand what you are mostly struggling with? If they told you their whole life story and weren’t really interested in you, then I say run for the hills. At the end of the day, this relationship is about finding the help that you are seeking. You are coming to them to help solve some of your problems. Don’t get me wrong, the back and forth verbal volley is important. But at the end of the day, this is about your growth and where you want to go and not so much about where these people have been.
At times, did you feel like you may have shared the same brain?
I love when this happens. Almost as if this person was inside your head and they are saying exactly what you want to hear. This is a great thing, but try to understand the difference between telling you what you want to hear and actually telling you what you want to hear. There’s a difference. One is honesty and clarity the other is blowing smoke up your butt. Try to read between the lines. I have been conned a few times and after a few too many, I knew what was real and what was bullshit.
#2: Do Your Research.
There are a lot of storytellers out there and not in the best way. I am embarrassed to share how many people promised me the world only to deliver nothing or ghost me. Stalk them. Everyone has an online presence. Instagram is a great place to get their aesthetic. It’s important that you both see things in similar ways. Design and details matter and if they are going to be helping you, you want to make sure you are aligned. Aligned creatively, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. LinkedIn is another great place to seek information. Their roadmap and how they got here will be outlined on that platform. It’s also a great place to see who they are connected with. Who is supporting them or commenting on their content? If you have people in common, that is a good sign.
Are they offering value that highlights their expertise?
Do they have a blog or links to online publications that they have guest written for? Stuff like this will show you that this person not only has something to say, but others are paying attention and if that is the case, you will want someone like this in your corner.
#3: Is there a proven formula or framework?
Why this is important is because when someone works from a formula, it’s easier to measure. Those measurements could be the cornerstone of your success. Look, we all like to talk. For me, there is nothing more stimulating than a delicious conversation. One where you go back and forth and an idea or spark has transpired through that dialogue. Being able to measure where someone began to where they end up is best accomplished when there is some kind of step-by-step method. I have a proven blueprint that has evolved over time, but I know it works. And I know that because I first developed it for myself – in the most organic way. And when I saw how it worked with me, I started using it with my clients. Now, I can honestly sit here and tell you that not all parts work for all people. But, just like anything else, you are only ready for certain things at certain times. The beauty of formula is you can always revisit it and when you do, you will get something new every time.
#4: Do they have resources?
A good mentor or teacher leads you to greater values. If they are well versed with data and resources to back up their theories, then you know they have done their work. For example, I have a vast list of podcasts, books, authors, articles, digital platforms, and tools that validate every stage of my framework. It’s important to provide other resources to back up what you might be working on. Perspective is key and there are many ways to say the same thing. It’s important to show other people’s views because it gives you a greater understanding of the thing we are trying to accomplish.
For example, my Stage 1 is all about the plan. This is where how to reverse engineer your roadmap comes to life. In reading various books and listening to a selection of podcasts, I was better able to help develop this stage of my program. I share all that info in my resource guide for this stage. No one is reinventing the wheel here – not even me. Inspiration and ideas come in many ways. It’s important to share other ways to look at the same thing.
#5: Know the features, the benefits, and the outcomes!
Expectations are important. You want to know how this all works. The features are the perks The benefits are how you are going to overcome while gaining the confidence to move forward. And the outcomes are the results. In addition to all of that, know the timeline. Early on in pivoting to my online journey, I hired a copywriter. She gave me the assignments and we went back and forth a few times. Then one day, out of the blue, I got an email from her telling me our time together had “expired!” EXPIRED? I dug through our emails and the scope of work and nowhere in our correspondence did I see an end date.
End dates are important, but she didn’t clarify. Had she done so, I would have known the expectation in advance and would have been respectful to the process. If you are buying a “package” ask about the beginning, middle, and end. It will make your relationship that much stronger because you will both know what to expect.
I know this sounds like a way bigger conversation than a 20-minute discovery call. But if you are strategic (there’s my favorite word again) in that short conversation, you should be able to get what you need. If you are at all curious about how I work, you can check out how I do it over here. If you’ve got questions or something to discuss, leave a comment below or feel free to find me on Instagram and send me a DM. I promise to respond!
I hope this helped you find some clarity. And if you found value in this, feel free to share it. Here at POP, we are striving to activate curiosity, stimulate conversation, inspire action, and move the needle forward. You can help us by sharing this email with a friend as well as share our podcast; The Power of the Pivot here.