Sunday, August 12, 2007

It's OK to ask for help

Five O'Clock Shadow 57

Originally uploaded by evo_terra

Celebration time. I just turned in my last chapter of Expert Podcasting Practices for Dummies, due out from Wiley Press in November of this year. But unlike the first book Tee and I penned (Podcasting for Dummies), this one wasn't spit 50/50.

About two months ago, I did something I don't normally do: I asked for help.

I'm very much a self-sufficient kind of guy. Sure, I know my limitations (for instance -- no one would every call me "handy"), but when I take on a project, I see it through to the end. But all sorts of things were piling up in my life --some of which many of you are aware of and much which your are not -- and it quickly reached the point where something had to give.

So I called up my editor and explained the situation in brutally honest terms. To my shock and utter amazement, they were incredibly cool about the whole thing. I wound up with only around 35% of the book -- much of which was completed. They found another experienced author to step in and handle the rest. So no extra stress (well, not much) on Tee.

Which brings me to the point of today's post. It's OK to ask for help. When it feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders -- raise your hand and call 'UNLCLE'. The world as you know it will not cease to be. Your reputation will probably not be irreparably damaged. There likely are legions of people (or at least one) who can step in and take some pressure off.

Take it from me, the type-A guy who hated to ask for help and kept it piling on. You know what? I like this way better. I think I'll stick with it. How can you help?


  1. You know, i hadn't met you, or Mike Mennenga, or your family, prior to Balticon. i was pleasantly surprised at how human and inviting you [all] were, and quite frankly, i was dismayed to hear of your abrupt departure from FarPoint Media.

    i am thrilled to pieces that you are still doing your thang, still part of this new media crapshoot, and i am looking forward to your newest incarnation. FWIW, my podcasting co-host was the guy with the extraordinarily loud bag at Balticon. Oh, yeah, and even though you guys totally GAVE IT to me, apparently i am technically smarter than a podcaster. But i think that's really just because you guys were getting tired. Thanks for the katana, regardless. :D

    i sincerely hope that i can see you and your lovely wife soon-

    Susan Z

  2. Evo

    I was glad to find this site of yours..... since your departure from Slice and Wingin it i found that those two show's are not entertaining. I am not writing this to bag on them but the older show's were allot better, now it's like they have five or more people in th studio ....anyone who drops by the fed-ex guy the mail man. Any -how what happened that you left it seems like it wasn't a friendly break and can what are your future plans in podcasting? Look forward to hearing from you.


  3. I am SO bad about this. I would say just in the past few weeks, a tiny ember of an idea has been forming that maybe its ok to ask for help and maybe its ok if things aren't done EXACTLY the way I need them as long as they get done. I think we take on so much more stress than we need to. I'm always happy to help my friends so why wouldn't they be willing to help me? They are but I just have to learn to ask.

  4. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was to see someone actually GETS IT!!

    There are so many of us who can't ask for help, do everything all by ourselves, can't delegate because no one else can do it as well and we're headed for burnout or worse!! This is a near-epidemic!

    We've grown up in a culture that says asking for help is a weakness and those of us with trust problems find self-sufficiency a safe place to hide out!

    All this is the subject of my book Help Is Not a Four-Letter Word: Why Doing It All Is Doing You In published by McGraw Hill.

    You're a great inspiration and it's a wonderful, valuable article!!
    Peggy Collins


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