I understand that but I don't have the resources...

This is a highlight or lowlight (if that is a thing) from a conversation I had with the owner of the company about a year and a half ago. 

Maybe this is you saying this to your direct supervisor or maybe you simply repeat this script to yourself.

That was me. Let's get serious, this still is me left unchecked.

I learned two things that day.

Humility, one.

The other, ASK.

Sounds stupid simple right?

It was profound. The whole concept of asking for the things you need instead of assuming they aren't available...

We are a small company so we didn't have a development team, not like I was used to.

I needed development talent in order to get some of my products to market in a more timely manner. But instead of asking for what I needed, I attempted to do everything myself.

This caused a lot of problems.

One, I am only one person and two I am not the best at everything.

There is no way I could be on top of the development arena in web and database development... throw in some API work and oh yea, design. I can do all of those things a little but I can't do them all at the same time or with same degree of efficiency. Therein lied the problem.

You see, I add the most value when I come up with the solution to the client's problem -  the new product idea, the add-on feature, the vision for what we should do and why it should be that way. 

The big-picture stuff.

I don't add value by writing code; I realize that, now more than ever. 

But I couldn’t understand why the higher-ups didn't realize that. 

Couldn’t they see how many hours I’d worked? 

Wasn't my stress level apparent? Couldn’t they read my body language? 

It was obvious I needed help! 


When I finally approached the owner, he said "when have you ever come in here and said, 'I need this'?"

Never, was the answer.

After that conversation I made a deal with myself. I can't use the absence of something as an excuse unless I have asked for it.

If I ask for something and it is denied then I need to clearly articulate the impact (normally in the timeline associated with a deliverable).

Here is an example of an exchange.

Me: In order to meet an August 1 launch for this mobile application I need 3 full time developers for a month.

Admin: We don't have that in the budget right now. We can only bring on one.

Me: Understood. In that case we need to push the launch date back to November. 

It sounds very straightforward, right? 

A lot of time the business side doesn't understand the impact of these decisions. When you speak to them in terms of time to market they understand a little more clearly.

If we want to start selling this April 1 then we need to spend 'X' dollars.

The consequence of us waiting is not selling it until November 1.

Now they can make a decision based on expected sales and timing of said sales.

Everything I talk about in this article is simple. Why is it so hard then?! 
The ability to recognize and ask for help is not a sign of weakness but a sign of maturity. 
We, as professionals, parents, friends... need to disconnect our personal self-image with the things we cannot do at this time. Friends help friends. Parents support kids. Businesses hire people to do work. 

Don't arrive at the collapse - holding firmly onto the fact that if you just had the help you never asked for things would be different.

The next time you find yourself complaining about what you don't have, ask yourself the very simple question: have you asked for it?