Curation, Gamificaiton & Stuff We Love

Fear, Shame & Asking For Help

Martin's Ride To Cure Cancer Summer 2010 imageMarty’s Favorite Link

When @Kontentapp’s founder Ed Rhys asked me to share my favorite link I was a bit overwhelmed. I share several hundred links a day across this blog and six social networks, so there was a lot to choose from. Then I thought of our co-founder Phil Buckley’s post about having the courage to ask for help and my favorite link was easy to select.

See My Favorite link (this post by Phil) and use the form on the bottom to let Ed know you would like to contribute yours. Think of how cool this will be when we have several hundred marketers and curators sharing their favorite single link on the web.

Email your favorite link to Martin(at) Free Curagami tee if we feature your favorite.

Fear, Shame, Asking for Help

Imagine if you could get control of the part of your brain that throws the switch on fear. You would lose 25 pounds, smile more and make more money. Online means you make mistakes in public. That takes courage and so does reading the rest of Fear, Shame and Asking for Help.

What are you afraid of?

Imagine the freedom you could get over your life, in every aspect. You could stop worrying that you’re going to get fired. You could stop worrying that your spouse doesn’t find you attractive anymore. You could stop worrying that you’re business is going to fail and all your friends and family will consider you a failure.


Most of the time, our fears have grown out of something that we are ashamed of. You put on an act for people so they think you’re better at your job than you feel you actually are, so you become terrified that someone will find out.

Since you need to keep up that facade, you end up being dismissive of new ideas and try to grab for any small scraps of glory that roll by.

Asking for Help

One of the most difficult barriers to get past is asking for help. When you ask for help, you are telling someone you can’t do it yourself. Asking for help is something we all struggle with.

The upside of asking for help is the good feeling you are giving to the person you’re asking. Even small asks can have a powerful effect. When the old man in the grocery store asks you to reach something on the top shelf for him – it makes you feel good to help him. When a co-worker asks you to look over a proposal – you know they trust your judgment. When the boss turns towards you and asks your opinion – you have an opportunity to really shine.

So why do we hate asking for help?

Asking for Help at Scale

When Martin and I started laying the plans for a new tool/service/app that would help businesses harvest the most interesting discussion happening around their niche, we knew we would need a lot of help.

Luckily for me, Martin is an expert at asking for help. Asking for help becomes easier every time you do it, and Martin has just spent the last year asking cancer centers all over the country for help with his Cure Cancer Starter non-profit.

We started asking businesses that we knew needed our help to partner with us to test out this new idea. It was actually a terrible pitch when you boil it down – “we have an idea, it won’t be available for 3 months, want to be a beta partner?” Because Martin and I have some credibility with these ideas and certainly with those business owners, ever single one of them agreed right away. The energy that came our way was overwhelming.

Next we had to ask for help curating the best content on the web for the new beta partners. More asking and feedback, and more energy flowed into our startup.

roller coaster

Life in a start-up

The last few months have been exciting, depressing, exciting and boring. It’s also been scary. Telling your family that you’re going to ditch “normal” life and work long days (and nights) at unproven company that has no paying customers can create some fear.

Move Forward

There’s a scene from Mad Men in season 2 when Peggy has just had an illegitimate child and is in the hospital conflicted and fearful of what lies ahead for her. Don Draper comes to visit and gives her straight-forward advice about what to do.

Move forward” is great advice for anyone who is at a point in their life where they are fearful. Sitting still is never an answer.

Curagami is moving forward. Come join us and come curate for us, we’re hiring.

Share Your Favorite COURAGE Picture

Loved Phil’s post and thought we should ask for our community to share their favorite COURAGE pictures. Here are two of my favorites (my sister Caroline climbing a monster mountain in Colorado and me riding to chemo after Martin’s ride and yes I am SICK then but doing much better now thanks to great docs, friends and family :).

Email your pictures to martin(at) or post them to Curagami’s Facebook page. Soldier pics are from John E. Michel we follow each other on Twitter.

Caroline Smith Courage Picture Martin Courage PictureSoldiers from John E Michel

Highest Point of Martin's Ride To Cure Cancer

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