We Get By With a Little Help
The greatest purchase I made when I went freelance was my Canadian Oxford English Dictionary, because I may just conquer the world with a dictionary and a red pen. I'm a word nerd, through and through. I obsess about word choice, connotation and denotation, and the evolution of language. I read books like I'm Not Hanging Noodles from Your Ears and Spunk & Bite for fun. I took three of the four potential English electives in high school. I check to see if I should use “like” or “such as” in a sentence. Obsessed with words.
I'm not alone in diving deep into something I love; today's world is full of niche markets, subject matter experts, and nerds that are defined by their slavish devotion to a subject as opposed to the definition that looks for pocket protectors and social awkwardness. And if knowing the two main/competing definitions of nerd doesn't cement my status as a word nerd, I dunno what does.
Everyone is an expert in something (yes, I truly believe that), but no one is an expert in everything. So we need to recognize our limits and ask for help when we need it. Case in point: I'm not going to bother with diving any deeper into the Income Tax Act than I already have (being able to quote the definition of spouse is a terrible party trick). It's much faster for me to call one of the lovely accountants I know with my tax questions than try to wade through and figure it out myself.
I'm sad to say that my obsession with words and how to use them is not universal, and it's not as obvious to call for help with communication as it is with taxes. I wish more people realized how helpful it is to have a great communicator in your corner. I can help you narrow your focus, talk to the right people about the right things, and build a plan to reach your goals (AKA strategy). I can help you answer questions better (AKA media training). I can polish what you already have (editing) or find the right words for you (writing).
Feeling like a novice instead of an expert can be terrifying and overwhelming, and asking for help can be harder than it sounds. Maybe you struggle with admitting that you don’t know about something, or don’t want to bother someone with your questions. I’ve fallen prey to those excuses myself, even though I know better. I know that asking for help is usually the fastest way to success, and I know what a joy it is when someone asks me for my help.
So let me make it abundantly clear: I'm here to help, all you have to do to ask! (And “How can you help me?” is a perfect first question.)