I have always liked the “it takes a village” idea because I believe giving and receiving support is essential for the success and well-being of us all.

I was reminded of the wisdom of the village idea a few weeks ago when one of my clients fell off the path, literally. Her bike toppled over and she injured her hip. As a result, she couldn’t drive or sit in a chair for longer than a few minutes before being in pain. My client is single and she has a business to run, so she faced a daunting task. How would she meet her work deadlines while being essentially bedridden? And how could she get to the doctor on her own without sitting or driving? All of a sudden she had to completely reconfigure her life and rely on other people for help. What a concept!

It’s hard to ask for help, isn’t it? And yet we all need it from time to time. In business, we can’t possibly know how to do everything. There are lots of times when I’ve needed help to figure something out, like how to use a financial spreadsheet for the first time, or the best way to send large image files, or how to set up a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system.

My injured client realized she, too, needed help to meet one of her project deadlines. So, she temporarily hired a photo researcher and graphic designer—referrals she got through my network. I was happy to assist all involved.

The thing about support is that it must work both ways. We have to be prepared to give it as well as get it. In the workplace, I’ve seen how little support some people give each other. In fact, some go so far as to sabotage others. Rivalry, jealousy, dishonesty, toxic behavior, withholding information—sadly, all that really exists. And for those of you who work solo, don’t think you are immune to these behaviors. Your competition may do the same things. This is not the right way to succeed. Remember the old adage: what goes around comes around.

If we were properly supported, we would collaborate instead of compete and we would welcome everyone’s ideas, regardless of how different they may be from us. Better yet, we would learn from each other and be in even better positions to find our niche and grow our own businesses. Here is a great article from a guest blogger on my site with ideas for supporting people in your business network.

As for my client, I believe that God, the Universe, or Spirit (whatever it is for you) has a way of taking care of business for us. Could it be possible her injury was a not-so-subtle hint that it was time for her to change and learn the value of support?

She is doing better but still cannot sit or drive for very long. Two different friends took her to doctor’s appointments and she has met all her deadlines by working from the couch, lying supine, her legs outstretched, pillows under her neck and back, and her computer balanced on her belly. Quite a set-up. But, she has been even more productive than usual and told me the other day, “So, this is what support is about.” Yes, and it really will make a difference in your life.

My advice for you: try it for yourself before the universe forces it upon you!

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