This is the second in a three-part blog series based around the pervasive lie women tell themselves:
You know – the thing we often say when we're drowning and refusing to ask for help? Yeah, that one.
For context, consider this. A group of women was asked, “What gets in the way of you asking for and accepting help?”
“I don’t want to bother people.”
“My issue is not that important.”
“I don’t want to appear like I don’t have it all together.”
“I should be able to figure it out on my own.”
“I feel stupid asking for help.”
This is what we're trying to combat and re-wire with our 'I'm fine' series. So here is how BELAY COO and CFO Lisa Zeeveld would argue her case to a woman denying her need for a bookkeeper – as someone who has learned to lean into help when she's not actually 'fine' – and how they can help her actually be fine.
What is decidedly not 'fine' about trying to do it all?
“You aren’t the expert. You can miss things. You may not know best practices and so what you are doing can create more work for yourself in the long run.
“So ‘I’m fine’ becomes a mask to protect ourselves from the areas of life that we don’t want to talk about and, understandably, bookkeeping is often a subject that plagues so many leaders.
“So the mask is easy. It’s quick and it’s convenient. I mean, there’s sort of a joke about it. Like you get into an elevator with a coworker and they ask, ‘Hey! How are you today?’
“‘I’m fine. I’m fine.’
“But ‘fine’ is not good, and good is not great.”
Why do you think women are so much more prone to trying to do it all, including work better delegated to a bookkeeper?
“We are raised to be more servant-hearted so we think asking for help is failing. We don’t want to dive into the next layer of that vulnerability. And, quite frankly, you may not have the time to do it either. So I think that that’s another aspect of it.
“I think as women, sometimes we don’t share our need for help because we don’t want to be seen as less than because we’re already trying so hard to get to the top and be at the top, and for us not to seem as weak.
“Society says that we need to have it all together. We need to have the perfect smile, the ideal marriage, the solid career, the beautiful kids, and the white picket fence around our house.
“But I say that’s nonsense. It’s brave to admit to yourself and others that things aren’t always OK. That we’re human. We weren’t born or created to be perfect or to do everything on our own.”
What can a woman gain from recognizing she needs help and accepting it?
“Freedom! The time to focus on what they’re great at! Peace of mind that someone is handling the finances of the business so they don’t have to worry.
“In my life, I’ve asked for – and not asked – for help. And let me tell you: For all my kicking and screaming ‘I can do it myself!,’ I am now the choir that preaches that delegation is the cost of my sanity and the lynchpin to the survival of women everywhere.
“Seriously, though. While I understand the mental and societal obstacles that may prevent us from unlocking our full potential by asking – and accepting – help, I’m telling you the journey is so worth the destination.”
How can someone know – really know – it's time to accept help?
“If you’re struggling with understanding the nuances of it. If you’re losing focus on your purpose and goals. If your physical health or relationships are suffering.
“That’s when it’s time. Or, if I’m being really real, probably well before you reach that point.”
Is there a trick or mindset shift that you could suggest to help someone get over the guilt or fear of delegating — and accepting — bookkeeping help?
“If you are anything like most people, then keeping up with the daily tasks of AR, AP, and account reconciliation are not your favorite things, but you also know how necessary and important it is. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be your thing anymore. There is help.
“And by leveraging a bookkeeper, you’re helping your community and other entrepreneurs. Building a network helps you grow!
“So take some time, start with baby steps – start with your close circle that you’re comfortable with – and ask for help.
“I think of it this way: As the proud daughter and granddaughter of a lot of veterans, I grew up asking myself, ‘Who are you going to take into battle?’
“Because you can’t win it alone.”
If you’re ready to actually be fine with the help of a bookkeeper, check out this quiz developed to evaluate how honest you’re being with yourself and others. This 60-second quiz will help you determine if you’re actually fine or if it’s time you give yourself permission to ask for the help you so desperately need – and deserve.
And keep reading the other installments in our ‘I’m fine’ series …