“How Can I Help?” Bringing Value & Empowering Others

John ZozzaroAdvocacy, Engagement, Opportunity

We have all been at fault at some point in our careers when someone reached out for help or advice, and we were so caught up in what we needed we pushed an opportunity aside to stay in our “bubble”.

Too often we forget what it was like when we moved to a new city, or started a new venture, or we were simply seeking advice about something completely unrelated to business, we’ve all been there and chances are it will happen again. It takes a great deal of courage and humility for anyone to reach out and ask for help, the nervous and anxious feeling paired with a sense of hopelessness and confusion is a large part of why people typically don’t even ask. So when someone reaches out, reach back, take 5-10 minutes of your time to see how you can help because you never know the potentially massive impact you can have on someone’s life and yours until you do.

Some of the best relationships and opportunities I’ve come across over the years have been the direct result of simply asking “how can I help?” Some of the hardest opportunities I’ve worked my ass off to materialize was because someone responded to my request for help and asked, “how can I help?”

When my family and I moved to Austin in October of 2015, I knew my sister in law, and that was it.

I left my network I spent my whole life building in IL and started from scratch. Outside of having my family, the best thing I had going for me at that time was knowing I was never going to purchase a snow shovel again, trust me if you’ve ever lived in the Midwest that goes a long way.

Connecting with Paul O’Brien was a reflection of how this works, he’s from Michigan. When we shared our alignment over his Vision for Austin, it was clear there was incredible potential all of us working together through a place like Austin, “An experience that distinguished what Austin is, and could be. I found myself at Starbucks (yes, I realize, not supporting our local coffee), there because I was up the road from Concordia University where the new Incubator for Innovation and Impact was just announced. This part of town is what you might think of as my Austin. Austin is easily conceived of as your experience downtown, what you see in skyline photos and the news of it being the best place for startups, or when you’re here for SXSW, ACL, Voice & Exit, or in THIS photo of East Austin. And in some respects, those images are accurate: a concerted collision of talent, growth, and excitement. But Austin is so much more, from the tech corridor of the NW, to the creative spirit evident in East Austin, the city is diverse, metropolitan, and thriving.”

Half way into 2016 I started attending networking events and meeting people, finding out very quickly Austin was an incredible city full of passionate people open to new ideas and “grabbing coffee.”

Great leaders empower others. Choose to be great. That’s not my thought, I just read Jake Wilder’s encouragement to bring value and empower others.

Most recognize the need to make sacrifices as we work our way up the leadership ranks. Yet too often we fall into the trap of thinking that once we’ve achieved these elevated positions, we’re through making sacrifices. We think we’ve taken our turn and now it’s the job of those below us to sacrifice on our behalf.

“How Can I Help?”