Penny was struggling to push her business to the next level. She was still working a part time job to cover expenses. Here she sat an EWomen business networking function with 6 other women business owners looking at her waiting to offer her support in whatever she needed. What she really needed was word of mouth about her fledgling consulting business. She needed clients. But somehow she didn’t want to admit she was struggling. So when her turn came up to make an ask, she paused for a good half minute, shaking, on the verge of tears.  Then she asked if anyone knew a good mechanic to fix her car.
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My turn was next.  I asked for help generating word of mouth for an upcoming event I was in trouble on.  I admitted I had made a mistake and experimented with a new event title that was not catching. These were amazing women, most of whom I was in strong relationship with. Everyone willingly offered support to post it to their social media. Some even offered to personally contact and invite people. Penny approached me later and admitted she had been afraid to make a request similar to mine.
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Here’s the thing that Penny missed, when good and compassionate people are ready and willing to help you and you deny them the opportunity, you are, in fact, insulting them at a very subtle level.  There’s a hidden message in your energy that says “You would judge me for making this ask.”  Or “You’d never understand where I’m at!”  You have missed the gift they are offering. Because the reality is, they have very likely been where you are and could help you easily.  When you don’t show discernment between those who would judge you and those you would help you, you are stopping some powerful relationships from being built.
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Influence is not something you can take or buy for yourself. You can only ever give it to others. And they can give it back to you. So you need to develop trusting relationships with worthy people where you support each other in growing your influence.
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Three key steps:
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1. Choose worthy people to play with. You want trusted people who get how to powerfully be in relationship with others.
2. Offer support first. It builds trust. The single greatest offer of support you can ever make is to publically celebrate someone else’s strengths or work;
3. When others offer support say “hell yes”.  You’ll insult them otherwise.  And make your asks for support something they can do in less than a minute.  Otherwise you’re a big energy drain.