Detail image of Tawana Bain for May 2023 Publisher's Blog story.

The Power in the Ask

Written by Tawana Bain

It’s almost cliche to say, but it’s true and bears repeating: Nobody builds anything great all alone.

Watching the Most Admired Woman Awards, I saw woman after woman take their time to give thanks to the people who helped them get to where they are. And not just for the nominations and votes that ultimately won these awards for them, but for everything. Work, life, and the places they intersect, we always need support to do the big work.

Getting that kind of assistance often starts with one simple thing.

We’ve just got to ask.

It’s not always easy to go out on a humble and ask someone for help. Some people go through their whole lives and simply won’t do it. We all know those people. They’re our friends, family…hell, maybe they’re even us. Pride can help us sometimes, but it sure can hurt us, too.

As I look around my life in my professional orbit, I see that so many of the colleagues I work with to do things like make this very magazine happen are people that I brought into the fold because I saw in them abilities that they sometimes don’t always see in themselves. It’s humbling to see them grow in their work, and together, we see concepts become well-considered ideas that then reach fruition as beautiful, shared accomplishments that we can all enjoy. All because I took that chance and asked them. There are also people whom I imagined would turn me down. Who were doing extraordinary things somewhere else that I thought were engaged in their work on a separate lane of life. But here they are, we’re side by side, and what we make, the roads we build, we build them together… And again, all because I took that chance and asked them.

Sometimes it’s just not knowing how much or how little to share when you are in need of major assistance. Will they judge me? Will they turn their backs?

It’s sometimes our anxiety that might keep us from committing to asking. That fear of rejection is natural and understandable. It can put us right back in our feelings, remembering those primal times as children when we felt rejected. But in adulthood? This is rarely that.

Sometimes it’s just not knowing how much or how little to share when you are in need of major assistance. Will they judge me? Will they turn their backs? There is no right or wrong answer here. Those who are interested in being part of the solution will not turn their backs because it’s too much to carry. They will accept the challenge and rise to the occasion, and those who can not, you will have to accept that they now know more than they did before you asked them, and admit that they did little to step in and up for you. So maybe the real fear is unveiling whether someone you’d go to the end of the earth for if they asked you would actually reciprocate in return and having to take the hard truth head on that the love is not mutual may feel catastrophic. Especially if those we are build up enough confidence to ask are also those we look up to or admire.

My observation as of late is those that yield success have many great traits, but one recurring theme in common. They are willing to ask for support. Let’s allow ourselves to be vulnerable for a moment. It can lead to a lifetime of beautiful things. The ask isn’t often a moment of pain… it’s more often a spark of connection that leads to fires of friendship that will keep us warm for years to come.

When we say that sisters are doing it for themselves, what we really mean is that sisters are doing it together… but first, you have to let them.


#TodaysSisters #WeSeeYouSis

Read the April 2023 Publisher’s Blog.