Don’t be a Brain Picking Snob

by JR Griggs

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pick-my-brainIt happens quite often, you know, when you see a blog post or someone share on social media about how horrid it is that someone asks to “pick their brain”. This is usually a rant about how someone had the audacity to think they could ask for help without paying a hefty fee. I mean, how dare someone ask for help and not understand that they are soooo important that even the smallest advice must be paid for. Don’t people understand that the free advice this person no doubt got many times when they needed it, should never be returned to someone else?

I honestly think the majority of these rants are just humble brags. If you’re unaware of what a humble brag is, it’s when you brag about yourself by masking it with a complaint or some kind of humble statement. For example: “I hate flying first class, I have to board first and then deal with everyone passing me on the way to their seats and wanting an autograph.” Or, “I hate when people want to pick my brain for free, don’t these people know I charge big money to help people like Donald Trump!”

The More I Give the More I Receive

When I was just starting out, I got plenty of advice from people for free. It might have been at an event or a party, but it happened plenty of times. Still does today. And I have had plenty of opportunities to pay that forward and help others. In fact, one of the best things I have done in my business is to offer free advice. This blog is one big brain picking. I don’t hold anything back and give as much as I can. I’ve done free webinars and seminars. Without fail, that comes back to me in the form of paying clients.

I’ve had lunch with people and offered what I could to help them. This week I auctioned off an hour consultation with me to help a friend with a fundraiser. Regardless of what the final bid is, that is one hour of my time for free. But I was happy to do it to help raise some funds.

I’ve created different opportunities for people to pick my brain for free or cheap. No matter how busy I am, I can find time or create ways for people to get help. Often times after a webinar or seminar, I will offer an opportunity to get some free help. In fact, if you want a free strategy session with me, you can apply here. I certainly won’t let offering some free advice affect my work or family but I enjoy helping people and giving back what I have received and still receive from others.

Doing this is one of the best advertisements I can do. It always ends up making me more money.

So Let Them Pick Your Brain

Helping people out when you can is a great way to not only earn their business but referrals from them. I can promise you that people taking advantage of your kindness will be few and far between. When you expand your network, even if by allowing some brain picking here and there, you will reap rewards from it.

Look, if you truly are too busy to give a little advice here and there, that is understandable. But there certainly isn’t a reason to be snobby about it. And I certainly wouldn’t advise being a doormat for people who are constantly free loading. But lighten up a little, find ways to offer some help to those who need it when you can. There are most likely plenty of times where you can do so. Again, this must fit into your time. Sacrificing work or family for it is not a good idea. But even if you truly do not have the time, there are ways to deal with it better than being a brain picking snob Winking smile.

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