On Not Being a Lonely Island

By Brittni • Updated on 01/15/2013

I’ve mentioned today’s topic on more than one occasion, but it is so important, it bears repeating. So here it goes…

It is super tough to grow your business past a certain point without help from another human being. Period. When you are on an island of one, it can be difficult to step back and make some of the decisions you need to because you are too close to your work.

And then, of course, there are the things that you literally just cannot complete on your own. Maybe the project is too large for one person to possibly complete solo or maybe the timeframe is too tight or maybe…well, you get the point. The worst part of all this is that it can be hard to recognize that you need help with something when you are so used to always working by yourself.Of course I can do this, it will just take me a long time. No problem.” You think to yourself. And then eventually you become a scrunched up stressball and you realize that you might just be headed down the wrong path.

That’s what recently happened to me. Here’s the story…

Right after Christmas break ended and everyone was back to work, I had a moment that involved  a little crying. Okay, a lot of crying. I couldn’t believe the amount of work that had to be done (by little old me) in such a short time period. And somehow, it had all caught up to me in this one moment, sitting on the couch, watching a movie. I cried it out and the next day, I reached out to a couple of my friends to ask if they could help me with one of the big things on my to do list (which may or may not be that secret thing I’ve been working on for Altitude Summit). They agreed and I immediately felt a huge weight off my shoulders. They came over about a week later to help me tackle said project and as we were measuring a very large piece of fabric for what seemed like the 100th time, a million things went through my mind. These were the three main thoughts…

  1. I totally couldn’t have completed this without their help and smiling faces. I would have gone crazy.
  2. I really should have reached out to them sooner.
  3. Why don’t I do this more often?

The “Why didn’t I think of this before / Why don’t I reach out more often” part was a light bulb moment for me.

I cannot do everything on my own. Most things? Yes. All things? No!

Chances are, the exact same thing is true for you. So this is your reminder. You do not have to be on that island alone. Invite people you respect and admire to collaborate with you. Support you. Be your sounding board. Whatever you need.

Do not be afraid to reach out and ask for help. And often.

21 comments | Click here to reply

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Sounds like you have a good friend there Lexy. The garlands turned out amazing!


hahaha, k. This is funny as I read this now. The night before I left for Alt, I still had 70 garlands to make. I was crying. I was a mess. At 8:30 that night, my doorbell rang and my friend Kathryn was on my porch with her sewing machine. She stayed and sewed and stuffed pillow boxes until 3am!!!

Why don’t we reach out to people?! I need to get my butt in gear.

Lexy | The Proper Pinwheel

Are you working on the art of asking for help? http://t.co/SehDpgzP

(@IndieMade) (@IndieMade)

Excellent post from @papernstitch on not being afraid to ask for help (something I’ve been thinking a lot about) http://t.co/BvpyvRTR

Michael Nobbs (@michaelnobbs)

Thanks so much for sharing that. It’s something I need to remember often! Something I have especially been learning right now, as I’m trying to learn about blogging and having a business, so I can start out on the right foot in a few months!


Thank you for sharing this story, it’s a good reminder!


On Not Being a Lonely Island http://t.co/EoKevBou via @sharethis

Leslie Kill (@AuntMatildas)

WHY IS THIS SO DIFFICULT? I know you are right. I have been reminded of this a lot lately, actually. Yet, it always seems to slip my mind about 30 seconds after I am reminded. Why are we SO set on doing everything ourselves? I think I am going to write this on a sticky note and stick it to my door so I see it when I leave the house every morning…

Thanks for sharing! 🙂


Oh, B. Be careful what you wish for… 😉

tiffany han

Yes! Collaborating with the right people is key, Tiffany! P.S. Feel free to send those “Am I crazy” emails my way anytime. 🙂


great reminder B!

Pamela Bates/Bates Mercantile Co.

Yes, yes, yes times A MILLION!!

I’m just starting to learn this too – even just having someone who so getsit to email and ask, “So, am I crazy or…?”

And collaborating *with the right people* is also key.

SO GLAD to have you in my circle 😉 and I cannot wait to hug you at ALT!

tiffany han

This is so true! Besides, having help on big projects can be fun. Sharing and laughing over something that would have otherwise been a huge stress on one person is a fantastic trade off.

Anna Simmonds

Definitely won’t wait next time Caroline. Thanks again for all your help. See you next week.


Enjoyed this Read ♥ http://t.co/j4VQzuyz

Linda Mendible (@LindaMendible)

I second Jordan’s idea! And so glad you are using this lesson to encourage others to do the same. It was a ton of fun and next time don’t wait for the “big cry” to reach out!

Caroline Winegeart

Haha. You’re right. I should. And heading over now to check out that panic post.


convo* hah

Jordan Brantley

RT @papernstitch: The Art of Asking for Help: I’ve mentioned today’s topic on more than one occasion, but it is… http://t.co/cwdFeunZ

(@jordanbrantley) (@jordanbrantley)

🙂 i’m going to make you a poster:
“freaking out?
call j + c, NOW. ”

funny, i just did a post about our “panic” condo too!

Jordan Brantley
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