Forbes magazine recently posted an amazing essay by Adrienne Graham called “No, You Can’t Pick My Brain. It Costs Too Much”. If you have time, click the link and read it. If not, I’ll summarize for you…
It’s a thorough examination of the phenomenon that occurs when people want to tap into your knowledge, expertise, or connections…but they don’t want to pay for it. It usually goes something like this:
“Can I buy you a cup of coffee? I would like to pick your brain.”
“Can I get 10 minutes of your time on the phone? I just have one quick question.”
“Hey, let’s do lunch, I have something I want to run by you”
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m honored that people respect and trust in me enough to seek out my counsel. I hope it never stops. (And if you are reading this blog post because you made a similar request to me, please don’t be offended. I’m writing this and asking you to read the Forbes article so you will understand where I’m coming from.)
The problem is, if I said yes to every request I get (some weeks it’s 8 or 10!), I would never get any actual work done. Also keep in mind that as a consultant and professional speaker, the product that I sell IS my expertise. So when someone asks to pick my brain, they are essentially asking for free product.
As Ms. Graham points out, “…knowledge has value”. Indeed. I spend a ton of time and money to gain the knowledge and connections I have. I read books and magazines, travel to attend conferences and seminars, listen to speakers on teleseminars and webinars, and much more. It costs a lot of money to stay ahead of the game in today’s information-packed world!
One other point she makes is “I charge my paying clients very good money for my expertise and results. How would they feel to know that I’m giving out free advice? Not too swell I would imagine.” Think about it. If you paid me for my services, but the next guy didn’t, wouldn’t you feel ripped off?
Now, I’m not going to be totally stingy. I do love giving back to people and I love helping people. So I am offering TWO different ways you can “pick my brain” for free:
#1 Every week I hold a live webinar called Midweek Momentum. It’s a 45 minute session where I open up the lines so attendees can ask me any question they want. It’s a great way to get a problem solved, brainstorm, or get some direction for your business. Sign up for free here: http://MidweekMomentum.com
#2 You can post your question to the “Wall” or “Discussion” section of my Facebook business page located HERE. I’ll reply using the same format.
So there you have it. Two great ways to pick my brain for free. And you don’t even have to pay for a cup of coffee. 🙂