No, You Can't Pick My Brain. It Costs Too Much
I love giving advice. I write blogs, articles and a newsletter. I host a radio show. I tweet, Facebook and share nuggets of advice almost daily.
So what is it in all of that, that would make anyone think they can still have the right to “pick my brain”?
I can’t tell you how flattering it is to be approached by representatives from major companies seeking my wisdom and advice. It shows they are listening, and like what I have to say.
But often I find the road ends when they are just on a fact finding mission. That mission is to pick my brain to gather as much free intel and knowledge they need to make their jobs easier.
Not gonna happen, sorry. My brain costs money to maintain. There’s training, classes to attend, reading (I have to buy books), gaining certifications, costs of memberships so I can network, attending conferences and mastering my skills that all cost me money.
I have to protect my investment. How fair is it to me to give away all the knowledge I have acquired that I use to make my living, pay my bills and eat?
Now, don’t get offended. If you do, maybe you deserve to be offended because you’re one of those aforementioned brain pickers.
There have been many articles written and discussions formed around this very subject. With the Internet being so widely available loaded with free information, people automatically assume that you too have to provide information for free.
My response to that is go ahead and read the free stuff. But when you still find yourself lacking answers, then apparently the FREE stuff doesn’t work. You can’t come to a professional and ask them to work for free. In essence, that is what you’re doing when you ask to pick someone’s brain.
How would you feel if your boss came to you and said, Hey since we can get this done from information from the Internet, I won’t be paying you today. Go ahead, let it sink in. Got that visual yet? Good. That’s exactly how I feel whenever someone wants to take me to lunch or call me to pick my brain.
If you’re like (how I used to be) you’ve given away tons of valuable information. I never once minded helping people out. It’s the ones who keep coming back for more freebies and those who take my ideas, implement them, find success, then never offer to repay me for my time.
And no, a turkey sandwich is not payment for something that helped you overcome an obstacle and either created value or additional revenue for your company. 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. In fact I hope they don’t call me demanding refunds!
The most prevalent question I get is how do you draw the line? Deciding the point where you begin to charge is tough, especially if you’re just starting out.
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Tags: internet, Internet Literacy, Internet Marketing, marketing