If you want something done right, do it yourself. That’s what we’re taught anyway. So we hone our self-reliance over a lifetime of hardship. We convince ourselves of others’ inadequacy and marvel in our own superiority. Everyone else is simply incapable of doing things just as we would, so why let them try? We grin and bear it, we refuse the hand, we say “no thank you” more than we know. All because the burden is ours and we aren’t supposed to share it.I have run a business by myself for nine years. Aside from the once-a-year guidance of my accountant and attorney, I have done it all alone. Not only do I do all the client work, I do all the billing, the marketing, and the business development, too. I’ve been at the end of my rope dozens of times and each time begged for mercy, wanting so desperately to be rescued. And I’ve come close to hiring someone to share the load — but I chickened out every time.That was until March of this year, after I had taken the beginning of the year off from client work to focus on personal projects and suddenly found myself buried under unexpectedly enormous tax bill. Apparently I had spent too little last year, and now I had to pay for it. Big time.After being in business all these years, it turned out I couldn’t take any time off without threatening my entire livelihood. The truth hurts.I finally realized the way I’ve been running my business just wasn’t working. I needed a way to make passive income when I wasn’t actively busting my butt. I needed a way to sell future business while I was busy with what I had last sold. What I really needed was a clone. But with no way to create one, I only had one other option: I had to ask for help.I emailed a friend of a friend who helps business owners make their businesses work for them rather than the other way around. In just a few sessions, she completely flipped the way I see my business and manage my time. With her help, I created a whole new business model and in no time, new clients were flooding in. And yet again I was faced with the sad reality of only being able to grow to my own maximum capacity. When you realize you are the limiting factor of your business, it’s time to make a serious change.For the first time probably ever, I started tracking how I spend my time. I needed to know what I was actually doing all day every day and how much of it was utilizing the best of my talents. It was less than a week later when the facts slapped me in the face — more than 75% of my time was on menial tasks that have nothing to do with the gifts I have to give to the world. I was at capacity, yet doing things I had no business doing. I had stunted my business with my own stubbornness. So I asked for help again. I put together a list of all those ongoing tasks and asked my friends to help me find a dedicated assistant. I readied myself to go through lots of résumés, conduct several interviews, do a bunch of things I’ve never done before and have no idea how to do.But to my complete surprise, the help was much closer than I expected. A former coworker from many moons ago, who I’ve loosely kept in touch with on Facebook, was contemplating her next move when she saw my post. With experience as an executive assistant, project manager and marketer, her skill set is exactly what I wanted but never dreamed I could have. It was serendipity for the both of us. All the fears I had about getting to know someone new, letting someone in, making myself vulnerable, allowing someone to support me, it all suddenly vanished because I knew I could trust her. She knows how to help. That’s her gift.In less than a week since we made it official, I’m already amazed at how easy it has been. So much more is possible now. Swaths of free time have suddenly opened up for me. Side projects I’d long abandoned are now getting the attention they deserve. All the systems I’ve needed to put in place but never had the energy to create — because I was too busy keeping myself afloat — can now be implemented. And the growth will be exponential, for my bottom line and my well-being.Yes, it will be some time before I can truly measure the impact of these decisions. But I already know with certainty I will never feel the same about who I am, who I’m supposed to be, and what potential lies ahead for my business and for me.It’s nothing short of a revelation: I need help. I’m not ashamed to admit it, and I’m no longer afraid to ask.