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  • Think through your own support system and the extent of your need to stay connected to other people. Although you have chosen to go-it-alone, you will benefit enormously from substantial connections to other people, both peers and mentors. You will need ongoing connections to balance what may be a life of greater solitude than your former existence, and at certain moments all of us need people with whom we can share—and dissect—ideas. Even the simple act of describing your business or activities to someone may, in itself, help you to clarify your own thinking.

  • Never be afraid to ask others for help. Many of us hesitate to ask for assistance, but don’t. There is no shame, loss of honor, or disgrace in asking for a favor. Fundamentally, people like to help other people. And when someone assists you, it can help to cement an ongoing relationship. People who have helped an individual often start to take a proprietary interest in seeing that person succeed. But do make it as easy as possible for people to assist you: Always be specific whenever you ask for aid.

  • Indeed, in his autobiography, Ben Franklin, who was one of the most successful entrepreneurs of his age, makes special note of this aspect of human nature, which remains true today. Franklin cites what he calls “the truth of an old maxim I had learned, which says; ‘He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another than he whom you yourself have obliged.’ ” Franklin recognized that once someone has done something to help you, they are now in the habit of helping you and invested in your ongoing success.

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GO IT ALONE! Copyright 2004 by Bruce Judson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.