As I was going through my running transformation I thought of all the very successful people we know personally and as a society and how they all seek help. When you think of it, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates are billionaires who have always sought the help of others to overcome challenges. Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky are all very successful athletes who have been helped by coaches and team mates to excel in their chosen endeavours whether it be sports or business.   

Successful people see help as a way to get to the next level of success, not as a sign of weakness. The key is to ask those that are qualified for their help and reward their assistance by using their time graciously. Nobody wants to help if they feel you are wasting their time. Asking for help deepens relationships. Successful people feel emotionally invested in seeing you succeed and overcome your obstacles if they help you. They become active cheerleaders in your quest as they see it as a reflection of their time and efforts as well. 

For many of us, asking for favors brings up deep-seated fears and feelings of awkwardness. We fear rejection, appearing weak, being an inconvenience, appearing like we’re using the other person, owing someone else, and finally losing our social capital, which could have been used for something really important. As a result, many of us never ask for help, even when we’re metaphorically drowning. When we do, we’re often indirect, hoping that the other person will somehow sense our need and proactively step in, or we wait until we’ve built up an abundance of goodwill.   

Not everyone will say yes to your request for help. Do not take this negatively as most times it is not a reflection on you personally. When we open ourselves up to the world by asking for a favor from those around us, whether they be strangers or friends, we may not only receive what we ask for, build deeper relationships, and conquer our fears; we might also take our lives down new, exciting and meaningful paths that create impact in ways we never could have imagined.   

Three weeks ago I participated in an extreme trail run in Whistler, BC, as part of a 7 person relay team. I made some new friends and entered a world I never thought I would. In October, I will be participating in running/hiking from one side of the Grand Canyon to the other - another experience I never dreamed of. More still, I am now thinking of being part of a 3-person Triathlon relay team.   

As a Certified Financial Planner I have helped many people over the last 20 years. I have been their cheerleader bringing my network to bear to help them overcome their obstacles and become more satisfied with their lives. However it always amazes me how wonderful and interesting life can become when I ask for help.



Four months ago I decided to take up running and challenge myself physically and mentally. The last time I ran on a consistent basis was when I played soccer as a teenager. I realized very quickly I needed help to learn to run properly. I needed a coach. Even though I had mastered gym workouts I found that getting help was very instrumental in overcoming certain obstacles.  When I started, I could barely run 5 minutes without a 1 minute break to recharge; today, I can go 65 minutes without stopping and can complete a 10 km run.