Why people don't *let you know how you can help*
How will I get people to notice me?
That’s what I obsessed with when I was just starting with this entrepreneurship thing. Every guru I listened to, every book I read… said one thing: Provide value. Help people.
So I’d end emails and comments I’d leave on blogs and basically every conversation with:
Let me know how I can help!
I must’ve posted at least 100 of those. They all said thanks, but… Nobody took my offer.
I felt bad. How the hell am I ever going to provide value if no one would accept my help? Why don’t they want it??
Fast forward 10 months later. I have a fair number of people ask me for help and advice.
- How did I “snag” working with Sebastian Marshall?
- Can she get from Cebu to Chiang Mai without flying through Manila?
- How did I win the scholarship for the Damn Fine Words copywriting course for business owners?
Am I an uber successful guru expert now?
Then why are people suddenly asking me for help?
1. Because I’ve been putting myself out there.
I put out a TON of bad stuff. Bad posts. Bad emails. Got on calls that went HORRIBLY bad. It wasn’t that bad, really. In the sense that people didn’t insult me or hate me. In fact, nobody cared. They just ignored me.
But on the way, I learned a few things. Got a few wins. Learned how to write landing pages that get people to opt-in and buy.
And because of putting myself out there, now I have:
2. Specific skills sets I can offer to help you with
The key word to note is SPECIFIC.
How-to is easy. What-to-do in the first place? Now that’s the real bitch.
Sure, it’s a nice thought… But what would someone reply to your plea to let her know how you can help? Think about it. What would you reply? If you knew what you need help with, you’d google how to do it!
But the willingness to clarify her problems and objectives for her, then offering to help solve it? Ah, now we’re talking.
Sebastian Marshall wrote in The Strength of Character to be Wicked,
To be praiseworthy, you have to cultivate your ability to do things — which lets you do things both good and evil. Then, and only then, does directing yourself on a path of avoiding wrongdoing become praiseworthy.
In the same vein, you have to hustle you way into having a choice: To ignore or help advice-seekers? Only then does your willingness to help become praiseworthy.
The advice that you *have* to help is wrong.
If you want to help (and I know you do)… It’s nice, but the willingness to do so is not enough. You have to know what you’re talking about. You need to hustle in order to *get* to help.
In the attention economy, helping people is not a privilege. It’s a right. You have to earn it.