How to Ask for Help and not Look Like a Fraud

November 22, 2019 Brandon Waselnuk 2 min read

In regards to yesterday’s post (on asking for help) a friend asked this on LinkedIn.


I’d like to answer it more fully here in today’s post as it’s a really good question.

In my opinion, it’s based around;

  • Frequency of need — How often are you requesting assistance from the same person? If it gets to be too often then they may start to question your ability.
  • Quality of questions asked — If you’re asking for ‘Basics 101’ you probably could’ve found the answer in a blog post via a DuckDuckGo search. Whereas if it’s a specific challenge with a lot of nuance you’re asking good questions.
  • Strength of relationship — If you’ve known someone for 10 mins at a networking event, it might be a bit odd to ask them how to deploy a headless CMS. If they’ve been a friend for 10 years, you can likely ask them to help you build a deck over the weekend.

Mentors of mine are there to support me so they’d have a high strength of relationship for example, meaning I can more or less reach out with anything, they’ve literally signed up for it and expect it.

Friends on the other hand should be open to you sharing challenges you’re facing and it relates to the first two points — if I’m getting asked for help from a friend 3 times a day and some of those questions are solvable with a google search. Ya, I’m going to start thinking differently about them and likely to tell them directly that they need to seek answers for themselves more often.

For the most part though if you’ve spent the time on a challenge, can’t get somewhere, and reach out to someone with good questions (Generally specific and actionable and depending on the complexity of the problem you can give them context as well to how you’ve tried to solve) no one is going to think poorly of you.

I’d love to hear your opinions on the topic as well so tweet me or message me on any social platform this is posted.