Help Me Help You

As the publication of MWF Seeking BFF approaches (have I mentioned that it comes out on Tuesday? Or that you can pre-order?) I’ve taken it upon myself to reach out to everyone I know, or have ever known, for help. As I explained to them all via email, selling books is hard for first-time authors, and early sales make a huge difference. So I asked them to considering pre-ordering, or to forward my email to friends who might be interested.

I must say, the outpouring of support has been pretty tremendous. It’s fascinating for a few reasons. First, it’s heartening that people are eager to help out an old friend. All you have to do is ask. I know, asking for help isn’t easy. I’m always hesitant to do so, because I know how busy everyone is. I hate interrupting someone’s day with a sales pitch. But assuming you aren’t someone who emails your whole contact list twice a day with cheesy and/or superstitious forwards or who’s constantly selling your brilliant-invention-of-the-week, it turns out friends like helping friends.

Remember that time you donated to a pal’s fundraising efforts? Or babysat her kid when her sitter bailed? Or bought tickets to her community theater performance? That’s what makes you a good friend. And your pals know it.

So, if you need a little help, go ahead and ask for it.

The other fantastic side effect of requesting help from your network is hearing from old friends. I got an email last night from my childhood BFF. Her note made reference to both our childhood love of The Babysitter’s Club (which it seems only one of us has grown out of) and our constant quest for the perfect Blossom and Six hats. (We used to fight over who got to be Six.)

Not only has all this kindness made me feel loved, but it has inspired me to reach out (via Facebook of course) to a friend I’d lost touch with. I saw she just got married so I sent a note of congratulations. It’s like the friendship version of Pay It Forward, without the Haley Joel Osmont shooting or Helen Hunt-Kevin Spacey sex scenes.

Now that we live in a world where everyone is over-scheduled and exhausted, and loves to talk about it (“Hi! How have you been?” “Busy.” “Great to see you! How are you feeling?” “Good, just tired.”), asking for help can seem taboo. It might appear we’re supposed to do what we do, do it well, and do it alone.

So here’s a cry for help. Or, for asking for help. You’ll get the support you need, and your friends will feel important. Like they contributed to your success. Because they did.

Do you hesitate to ask friends for help? Why? Do you have only specific friends you’re willing to ask when you need a hand? Or are you the friend who’s constantly helping?

MWF Seeking BFF is out on Tuesday! If you want to help this first-time author (and I would be SO very grateful), you can:

Pre-order the book (friendship bracelets to all who do! Just email me your address)
Read the introduction and first chapter
Watch the trailer
Follow me on Facebook or Twitter

Thank you!

4 Comments

Filed under The Search

4 responses to “Help Me Help You

  1. Tiffany

    I happened upon your blog a month or so ago, but this is my first comment. I just pre-ordered your book from Barnes and Noble and am super excited to read it! Enjoy December 20th and good luck!

  2. Karen A.

    Hi Rachel, I think you raise a really good point, the price of your book is less (by a lot!) than a local theater ticket, and I would surely go to see you at the theater. So go pre-order those books my fellow readers!

    If the task is something I really enjoy, I am willing (like organizing stuff and events) to help just about anyone who asks me. I am also willing to ask my husband to help someone if the activity falls into his range of expertise (accounting or music).

    One time I volunteered to work a cross country ski race. Very bad decision for someone who hates to be cold as much as I do, never thought about the fact that I would have to spend 10 hours standing outside in -0 temps, and that was before the wind.

  3. I’m the friend who hates asking for help. In college, I realized that I was always helping other people – classmates, roommates, friends, etc. But I never asked for help myself. My friends could bother me at all hours of the day/night, but I wouldn’t ask for a simple favor. As you pointed out, I paid it forward. All the time. But still, I never cashed in on those favors because I didn’t want anyone to think that I helped them just so they’d repay the favor…a sick cycle…one that I haven’t broken.
    Along the strands of asking for help, comes my issue with networking. I won’t ask to be connected to people for the sole reason that I don’t like asking people to take the time to connect me to their connections.
    This is a flaw I am fighting to fix!
    Way to ASK! Can’t wait to read your book!

  4. Anonymous

    wHEN YOU ASK FOR HELP YOU ARE DEALING FROM STRENGTH…THE ABILITY TO KNOW THAT NO ONE CAN DO IT ALONE!

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