This week marks my fourth year in business as Jill Helmer Consulting. I decided to write about four lessons I have learned along the way, one for each year of my business. While I share these lessons as a form of celebration, I also share them in case they might help any who read them.
The first lesson is to Go To The People You Trust. If you scroll through this blog tab, you will see this title listed as my first professional writing piece. It was my advice to the Linked In Community on January 1, 2018. In it, I recounted that my business began with the people I trust. From my husband and trusted colleagues who told me “you can do this” to the lawyer who helped me “incorporate” to the printer who created my business cards to my accountant…oh God Bless my accountant, to the first client I pitched my services to...these were all people whom I trusted.
The trust I had in each of these individuals allowed me to ask them for help. And as long as I was direct in asking for what I needed from them, I found that they delivered in abundance. This trust became the foundation of my business. I became so comfortable in extending it to others that I encouraged my clients to do it, too.
This extension of trust is one of the first tricks in my professional playbook. When I begin my work with clients, I ask them what they want to achieve. Inevitably, they will need the help of others to reach their goal. We’ll talk about who those people are and the type of help my client needs from them. This help could come in the form of building a new skill, assisting with advice, connecting to someone in their network, or calling a truce in an adversarial relationship. We’ll make a plan for my client to reach out and ask for the specific assistance they need. My client will often come back to me surprised by how receptive people were to help them when asked.
In the past four years, many new skills have been learned because my clients asked an expert in the field to teach them. In the past four years, many networks have expanded, leading to new career opportunities, because my clients asked for help in making new connections. In the last four years, many barriers have been broken down between colleagues because my clients focused on re-establishing trust in a previously adversarial relationship.
In the past four years, I have expanded the number of people I trust, and the number of people who trust me has expanded along with it.
Happy Anniversary to JHC. I am thankful for everyone who has trusted me to be a part of their journey.