My name is Colin and I am a math confidence coach from Poole, England. I spend much of my life helping people get over their math anxiety and realise that it doesn’t bite, nobody dies if you get it wrong, and that it’s not as bad as you think. I help people through their math stuck, like NaNoWriMo helps me get over my writing stuck and my dad’s needlessly violent shove helped me get over my singing stuck. One thing I still have – and I think most people do – is the “asking for help” stuck. And I have an idea of how to help us all get over it.
To explain it, I am going to enlist the services of a mysterious man called V.
A Cinematic Sidetrack
It is part of the unwritten British constitution that any article written in the first week of November must mention fireworks, Guy Fawkes and/or V for Vendetta. For fear of upsetting our despotic, totalitarian leaders [Censor's note: The UK isn't really a totalitarian state], I must comply with a sidetrack into the plot of V. If you’ve not seen the movie or read the graphic novel, I can spoil the plot for you as follows: V rescues a girl, Evey, from the secret police. Evey then helps V overthrow the government, since one good turn deserves another.
This got me thinking about the original meaning of vendetta. Originally, it’s from the islands of Sicily and Corsica where there was a tradition of honor killing. Any time there was a fight, there would be a vengeful reprisal, followed by retaliation for that, and before long everyone was attempting to murder everyone else.
Not nice, and definitely not very Customer Love.
But there’s a flip side to that. What if, instead of inflicting revenge for bad actions, we over-reacted to good ones? What if we visited more help upon others than we receive? Wouldn’t it be a vendetta of virtue, where instead of the seething hate that comes with a regular vendetta, we all end up blissfully happy?
This is my pay-it-forward, Customer Love challenge for November: For every bit of help I receive, to give out two.
There are several beautiful things about this. First, it makes asking for help an unselfish act. Sure, I’m getting something out of it, but at the same time I’m giving more help than I receive.
Second, there are 107 people (as of November 5th) in the Customer Love Challenge – all with unique talents, skills, resources and styles. If there’s something you find easy, the odds are there’s someone here who finds it hard – and vice versa. I guarantee we’ll get more done working together than we will working individually.
For instance, I put this in the comments the other day:
“This time around, I have a more specific offer for Customer Love people: if there’s something number-related that’s holding you back, I’ll help you out – we can talk over Skype and figure out what’s in the way.
For instance, you might be scared of checking your analytics. You might be struggling to get your pixels to add up. You might be struggling to count up all the new sales you have from your last customer love product. Whatever it is, I’m here to help you out and work through the problem with you. Just drop me a tweet (I’m @icecolbeveridge) and we’ll set something up.”
There are things I could use help with, too: I want to enroll more students and help more people get on top of math. I would love to hear your ideas and enlist your help implementing them.
I invite you to join me in this pay-it-forward scheme, if only to see how much Customer Love we can spread in four short weeks.
So, in the comments below, I’d like you to tell everyone:
- What you find easy and would be happy to help with (it doesn’t have to be big – it could just be listening to someone for a few minutes. It can be big if you want, though!)
- What you find hard and would like help with. Be audacious! Even if someone can’t help you with everything, maybe someone can help you get started.
Ask each other for help. Then help other people. And see how good it feels.
Want more like this?
Only more in depth, with more photos, videos, and audio? Even a real live, snail-mail postcard now and then?
Watch me face my fears. Share my triumphs. Learn with me what it's like to go from a fat, aging, sedentary mouse potato to a lean, not-so-mean, vandwelling adventurer. (Well, that's the plan, at least.) Five Dispatches from La Vanne per month in your inbox --- and once I'm on the road, a monthly actual postcard from wherever I happen to be.