Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Please Don’t Ask To Pick My Brain

Written by Gina Rubel

Amanda Walsh from our office shared a great article with me from Forbes.com. No, You Can’t Pick My Brain. It Costs Too Much by Adrienne Graham hits the nail on the head. (That’s two clichés in one sentence – I’m on a roll.)

My office mates have heard me say time and time again how much I dislike when people ask if they can “pick my brain.” It is by far one of the most unappealing requests one can make. Think about the visuals: a monkey grooming its young, a chicken pecking for grub, or a surgeon performing a cranial exam. The images are endless – none of which are pleasant.

But the truth of the matter is that it does cost money when someone wants to “pick your brain.” Time is money.

Graham provides a few tips for maintaining boundaries so as to not give it all away for free. In a nutshell, she advises:

• Believe that what you know is valuable.
• Create a fee schedule
• Decline lunch/coffee invitations unless they are strictly non-business.
• Keep it light.
• Prominently post that there are no freebies.
• Exchange for equal value.
• Refer them to your “free” resources (referring to blogs, articles, podcasts, etc.).
• Don’t be afraid to send them to Google.
• Ask them for a paying referral.
• Don’t back down.

If you are an expert at what you do: a lawyer, accountant, financial advisor, doctor, marketer, publicist, and the list goes on, remember, your knowledge has value. Be sure to read Graham’s article and remember that people know that they get what they pay for (there’s another cliché) – and will usually ante-up.

Images courtesy of Gina Rubel.

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