How Asking For Help Transformed My Entire Career by Angela Mastrogiacomo of Muddy Paw PR
photo by Ryan VanDrie
There is nothing I have done in my career or in my life that has not been made better by the help of others. As someone who is extremely stubborn and a little bit proud, saying that out loud takes work. But it’s true. I have spent a lot of time willfully avoiding the help of others, even apologizing for asking for help, insisting that I do things 100% on my own. The problem with that is that most of our visions are made better, not worse, by the input of others, and by insisting that I do everything on my own, I have literally wasted years of my life that I can never get back.
When I finally found the courage to start asking for help, I knew that the first place I’d have to start was building a team. When I did that, my entire world shifted. It had been a scary prospect, bringing other people into my vision, relying on them for my success, and trusting them not to burn it all down, but when I fought through that fear, I found that what I got was nothing short of amazing, and if I’m being honest, it took a huge weight off my shoulders. You don’t realize how much stress you’re carrying when you’re all on your own, until you find people to help carry it with you.
Suddenly I had built in visionaries, people who believed in what I believed in, and who brought me their own concepts and visualizations—things I never would have thought of on my own, yet can’t imagine the company existing without today. I found friends, companions, people I trusted to help move my vision forward, and there is simply no value you can place on that kind of trust. Safe to say that my company simply could not have grown as it has, if I had continued along stubbornly on my own.
The second way I began asking for help was through mentorships. This was a word and a concept that up until about 2 years ago was completely foreign to me. The idea that you could just straight-up ask someone for their advice—even a so-called “competitor”—and have them actually be willing to talk to you (for free!!!), blew my mind. The music industry is cut-throat in so many ways that I never believed anyone successful would want to talk to me, would want to help me succeed, especially if we were both in the same line of work. But I took a chance, reached out to a successful publicist whose city I was visiting, and when she agreed to meet I couldn’t believe it. Nervous doesn’t begin to describe how I felt, but those nerves told me that I was doing something right. That one meeting alone helped me to make some major adjustments in my company and in my life, and even more importantly, it opened me to the idea of future mentorships. Since that first meeting, I’ve spoken with and taken the advice of several mentors, some publicists like me, others in different fields within the industry, and most days, I still can’t believe they said yes. But what’s much scarier to think about is what may have happened had I never asked for help in the first place.
When it comes down to it, we all need each other, and I truly believe I could not have made my company as successful as it is without the help I’ve had along the way. If we stay alone in our endeavors too long, we’re bound to fail, if only from exhaustion. I know it’s a scary step to begin to ask for help, but I promise you, it can change your world if only you let it.