Asking For Help


Almost everyone I’ve ever asked for help has helped me. 8 years ago I read the book All You Have is Hope. It’s a biography about a man that went from being an alcoholic homeless person to founding Second Cup, a successful chain of coffee shops.

At the end of the book it was written “Now resides in Ottawa”. I was shocked, because that’s my hometown and I couldn’t believe through all my business connections I had never heard of this guy Frank O’Dea. This was pre Linkedin days so I had no way of seeing who could be connected to him. But I started asking around.

Every time I ran into a business person at the gym I would ask them “Do you know Frank O’Dea?” But no one seemed to know him. One day I was at my lawyers office and my lawyer was trying to explain what a “shotgun clause” is to me and I asked “Isn’t that’s what the founder of Second cup used to exit his company?” Sure enough, my lawyer says Frank is a client of another partner at his firm. I asked him if he could put me in contact with his partner. Thirty minutes later I was on the phone asking his partner to connect me with Frank. I told his partner that Frank’s story inspired me and that I simply wanted to meet him to tell him that. He took my number down and told me he would send him a message. Ten minutes later, I got a text message: “It’s Frank, give me call.” I met up with Frank for lunch and we talked for two hours straight. He told me all the inner workings of how he built Second Cup, he gave me insight on what he would have done differently and told me what he was up too now. I loved it.

Most people are afraid to pick up the phone, to call someone you may not know very well and ask for help. That’s often the only difference from someone who accomplishes their dreams and someone who doesn’t.

Also published on Medium.

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