Wednesday, April 29, 2015

It is likely not what you think...

If you saw a kid selling pens to fundraise, you wouldn't think of them as a business. You wouldn't tell them there is a Staples down the road, and that there is a lot of competition.

If someone came to you and said they had a friend in need, and that they wanted you to buy something at a bake sale to help that friend, you wouldn't think they were in business. You wouldn't tell them about how hard it is to sell sweets these days.

And, yet, when an individual (like me) tries to help themselves instead of outright asking for help, "you" offer business advice. You tell the individual how hard it is to sell jewelry, or whatever it is they might be offering. You treat that person like "just" another artist, business person, jewelry maker.

If a person can't work a job, it is going to be impossible to work a business. I know what being in business takes. For several years prior to diagnosis, I was in business for myself. It is hard work. It is long hours. It is a lot of detail. It means a lot more than most who have never done it realize. 

It is also a lot more than I am capable of these days.

It sucks having to ask for help. It sucks having to beg for help. It also sucks when people confuse things offered in exchange for help as a business venture. There are times it really feels like a no win situation.

What am I supposed to do? I am not asking the question to have it answered. I am asking it as a way of saying I do not know what to do. I really feel like the way we have come to look at things is less than the empowerment we are led to believe.

I do not want to sell you anything. And, yet, I am told over and over and over about how I need to sell things differently, how to market, how to advertise, how to...

Sales is about creating a problem, a need, and then telling you how great my thing is to fix this hole in you that I just made you aware of. I have hated the whole "sales" thing for quite some time. It is likely a reason I was never very good at it. I hate the idea of being manipulated, so I tend to steer clear of doing it to others. Unfortunately, along with a lack of "sales" comes a certain amount of judgment, and other stuff, most of which is not deemed positive or desirable.

When I offer you stuff, it isn't about the stuff. It isn't about some hole I just created. Do you need it? Probably not. Do you want it? Maybe. Maybe not. Is it something you just have to have? Not likely. But ya never know. But it really isn't about you. I know we interact with the world from a what's in it for us place. It is so much that way that many times when we want someone to do something for us, we are trained to make it about them. 

In some way, we are Grand Enablers that way. And I am not sure that's is a good thing.

There are times others just need help, period. There may be nothing in it for the person who can help. There are times the person who can help can see so much of nothing for themselves, they even get annoyed by the person asking. 

Does that sound like the way the world should be? Really?

I may be making some pretty broad statements, but I would not want it to seem that I feel like they are absolute statements of fact - because they are not. However, as broad strokes they fit quite often in different regards in regard to different people and circumstances. They fit more often than is likely comfortable for someone who would rather not think about it, or has no cause to.

In 3 years I have tried several approaches to asking for help. My least favorite is just asking outright. Oddly, perhaps, the times that I am at my worst, the times I am the most frazzled, the times I have seemingly lost it are the times that get the most attention. None, however, have brought the kind of money that can help me enough to be able to stop talking about my need for any great length of time.

Some may think the hole is rather large, and will never be filled by how I have to keep asking. Well. If you put a drop or two in a bucket, you will have a much greater, and more frequent, need than if someone just came and filled it up. I get a little here, and a little there, but if someone could just come along and really help get some momentum going, I could shut up, AND stop worrying about things for a while. Instead, though, many choose (for various, likely valid, reasons) to continue to be a bystander to what unfolds for me. 

If all those bystanders even contributed $1 it could make a big difference. 

When I ask for help, it is - sorry to say - not about you. A drowning person isn't thinking about the person who may save them. They are only trying to survive. That is all I am doing when I put the stuff I do out into the world, hoping that in some way it sparks something in someone. Maybe they won't pay attention to me drowning (how enticing is that?!), but something sparkly will draw their eye. I would prefer they just want to help a person in need, but I have been assured it just doesn't work that way.

I am not sure I believe that, but I know there are many who do. I am not sure it is something left untouched, either. We really do let ourselves off the hook a lot when it comes to anything that makes us uncomfortable. 

Is it possible, though, to find less discomfort - if we would just stop ourselves from avoiding the things we do? I certainly think it is possible, given what has happened to me. Being immersed in something with zero choice has forever affected how I interact with many things - including cancer. And. You know what? It is a good thing.      

Ps some think I just say words when I say $1 matters. They really are a lot more than letters of the alphabet arranged. $1 means my survival. I would not ask for it if it did not mean something. I do not have energy to waste. If you have valued this, or any, blog post, please become a patron for $1 per month (even for just ine month) and help me financially survive the ramifications of cancer. It really does mean something. What you may think is an insignificant act can be quite significant. Thank you. 

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