During my recent trip to Philadelphia while on vacation, I lost my sunglasses case. It wasn’t very special, but it was light and soft and did a good job of protecting my sunglasses from scratches.
I hate losing things. Don’t we all?
So when I went to a shopping mall on the way back to NY, I decided to get a new case.
I asked in one department store and they showed me heavy, big cases that would take almost all free space in my bag. They cost only $2 but I wouldn’t take them for free. That’s definitely what I didn’t need in my purse – something heavy and bulky.
In the next store, I asked the same question and the answer was: We don’t have any cases that we can sell you. So I asked, jokingly: Do you have any that you can give me? And I told him the story of me being on vacation from Europe and losing my case.
To my surprise the salesman asked me what brand of sunglasses I had and then reached into a drawer and pulled out a soft, light case, similar to my lost one.
And he just handed it to me.
His kind gesture made my day. My sunglasses were back in a case, happy to be protected and enclosed. I felt grateful and he probably had a bit of a helper’s high. Such a small gesture of kindness made several people happier. Not just the salesman and me, but also my family since I no longer complained about losing my case.
As an expat mom and wife, I’ve learned that I often have to rely on kindness of strangers. To make friends in a new country, to ask for directions in the new supermarket, or to find out where to take my sick child in the new city. And I also learned about the importance of having the courage to ask others for help. The worst thing is being ignored or getting a No. Most of the time, people are happy to help.
The lessons I learn in my life as an expat partner often prove useful in my business. When I started my coaching business in Germany, I asked a lot of questions and often asked for help. Sometimes the reaction wasn’t that friendly, but in most cases people were helpful and at least directed me to someone else or some other service.
So my challenge for you is to have my sunglasses case story in mind and ask someone for help in your business.
Don’t let the fear stop you. Actually, embrace the rejection.
Don’t be afraid of being laughed at, ignored or spurned. Just go for it and ask for any help or guidance that you need to move your expat life and/or business forward.
And let us know what the result was and what you learned. One thing is certain: making that request will make you bolder and more confident. And that alone is worth the effort.
P.S. What if I told you that you need only 20 minutes to entirely reverse the way you think about your business and finally get going? What if I told you that you only need to address questions you’ve never asked yourself, because you were too afraid to hear the answers? *** Book a complimentary Business Brainstorming call with me via Skype to finally get the ball rolling.
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