This weekend I was at a conference with my mother and I had to take her to the emergency room. It’s always scary when someone you love is in pain. It was even more scary to be away from home and have to go to an unfamiliar hospital.

I’m used to handling emergencies like this on my own. I was sitting with her in the emergency room, scared. I thought if this goes south, I’m going to need help. By then it was the middle of the night, but I pushed aside my normal feeling of not wanting to bother anyone and texted our friends who were at the conference with us. I was so glad I did. This is a group of remarkable women. And they immediately texted back what hospital are you at; can we come?; what do you need? I felt amazing to be surrounded by that much love and support. Thankfully, the doctors could help my mom and she ended up being released early that morning.

Ask For Help

I took a big lesson from that experience – do not be afraid to ask for help. This was a big instance, a genuine emergency. But I still had to push through my inner resistance of thinking I can handle everything by myself.

When you need help, whether it is in a scary situation, or you get stuck in your story, or you can’t figure out the latest business software, do not be afraid to ask for help. Think of yourself as a contestant on Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and phone a friend.

There was a big Hollywood agent who loved mentoring people. And one thing he taught was you are never more than five phone calls away from a solution. If you call someone and they don’t know the answer, they’re going to pass you on to someone who does.

When you come up against a roadblock in your life, look at your family; look at your friends; look at your business colleagues. And don’t be afraid to call them and ask for advice. If you think someone might help you with something you’re struggling with, reach out. Remember, people like being helpful. It makes them feel good to be of service.

Psychologists say that Americans are the most lonely that we have ever been. Most people don’t even have one close friend. If you are feeling alone, my heart goes out to you. I encourage you to start building a community. Even though lots of us are working from home now, ask a colleague out to lunch. Have a potluck and invite your neighbors over. Consider joining a church or a club. Look on Meet Up for activities and groups in your area. You’ll be surprised at the cool things going on in your community.

I know it can feel scary putting yourself out there. But it also feels good to meet new people and make new relationships. The women I was traveling with this past weekend, I only met two years ago. And they were willing to come to the hospital in the middle of the night at the drop of a hat.

Be Helpful

The flip side is be helpful. When you know that a neighbor or a friend is having a hard time, check up on them. Be willing to mentor new people in your industry. Be happy to give advice and support to whoever in your life needs it. Generosity is always rewarded.

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