Self-professed Brain Pickers Aren’t Looking to Cut Checks

Unpaid brain picking is not a business model

Anyone ask to pick your brain lately?

This might be a better question:

Solopreneurs, are you in the habit of giving away advice for free?

Then again, maybe this would be the very BEST question:

Are you being too nice, too sweet, too generous, too open, too kind, too selfless, too afraid to say no, and giving away the farm at no charge?

Let’s fix that.

Love this from Norma Doiron of Savvy BIZ Solutions:

Avoid the Sneak Attacks: Beware of the brain-picking sneak attacks — the seemingly innocent questions that turn into a full-on interrogation. Chances are the brain picker has unknowingly crossed the line. Often the sneak attacks start with a simple request for an opinion or an answer to a “quick” question.

Norma says, “My success did not fall in my lap; it is the fruit of my hard labor.”

Sean Wes offers this bit of wisdom:

Call It What It Is — Consulting: It feels weird when a brain picker asks to buy you coffee. While they may not be saying they don’t value your time with their words, their actions are saying your time is worth a $4.78 latte.

OUCH.

Sean goes on to say, “People who don’t pay for your advice won’t value your advice. Yes, that includes family. Yes, that includes friends.”

Alexis Grant gets down to the nitty gritty:

Just Say No: For most of us, it should probably be the default option. You can’t help others if you’re not making enough money to sustain yourself. And you can’t earn a decent living if you don’t spend meaningful chunks of time on your own business or career.

Unpaid brain picking is not a business model

Here’s how Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer responds to the pick-your-brain request:

“Sounds like we could work together on this. My work schedule is tight so lunch/coffee is typically not do-able. Why don’t we get a deliverables or hours need from you, I can wrap some thought around an estimate and we can schedule a working session?”

Jason adds, “That response seems to work. It’s polite, professional, and directs them to the understanding that you don’t work for free without you coming off as a money-grubbing scum bag.”

If you’ve guessed that I’ve fallen into the trap of selling myself short in the past, you’re right.

But I’ve learned to stand firm, set my boundaries, and guard my treasure (all that magical and valuable knowledge housed in my brain).

Remember this the next time someone wants to buy you coffee and pick your brain:

Unpaid brain picking is not a business model, it won’t keep a roof over your head, and it won’t put food on your table.

Where do YOU draw the hard lines in the sand? How have you determined what you’re willing to give away and how much of it?

Makeness Media Bravery Blogging Project

I am Not a Rebel, Radical, or Revolutionary — Just Your Garden Variety Rule Breaker

#braveblogging | Sometimes it's okay to burn the rule book

Some rules beg to be broken.

People like me go out on a limb and break them — not to be cantankerous or confrontational but to simply navigate life differently.

I’m a gal who likes to write my own ticket, make my own rules, freelance my talents, and do a bit of messing with tradition.

Breaking away from the norm is my kind of fun.

I’m a small-town girl at heart, a recovering perfectionist, and a poster child for the introverted. I always cheer the loudest and proudest for the underdog and I love going against the grain.

Yeah, that’s about as radical as I get.

By the way, totally ignore that memo about introverts. We’re NOT anti-social and we’re great at organizing events, closets, presentations, projects, and groups of people.

We just happen to be most creative and do our best work flying solo.

And after we’ve been surrounded by large crowds of people, we need to decompress in a quiet, soothing, safe environment … alone. (With a stiff drink)

So now that I’ve hopefully cleared up some misconceptions, let’s take a stroll down my rule-breaking lane.

Sometimes it's okay to burn the rule book | #braveblogging

I Opted for a Ringless Engagement.

No flowers, no photos, no engagement dinner party, no formal announcements — no hoopla whatsoever and no ring.

What? Huh?! Yep, it’s true.

This summer my sweetie asked me to marry him. I said “Yes” … but “No, thank you” to the whole ring thing.

I’m not a jewelry person, for starters, and I think getting engaged is more about the heart-centered commitment and togetherness factor than a piece of jewelry.

When people ask to see my engagement ring (and they always do!), I tell them it’s really quite extraordinary — it’s invisible.

They usually giggle kinda nervously and respond with, “Oh, that’s different.” And they’re right. It’s different in that a ringless engagement is non-traditional and totally unexpected.

The dough my guy would have spent on an engagement ring could be much better utilized for everyday living and household expenses. You guessed it. I’m a practical-minded individual.

I Don’t Write Long Blog Posts.

GASP!

This is another area I’ve chosen to break a rule and travel off the beaten [blogging] path.

I know, I know. Posts that are 2000+ words get more social shares. If I read any more stats, facts, advice, and analytics about it, I’m going to vomit.

But guess what?

I don’t write for Mr. Google or for shares, I write to add value to my readers’ lives and to their businesses.

I’ve worked hard to develop my personal writing style over the past decade of blogging.

Short, sharp posts are my signature style.

I like to call them “Pigeon Hole” posts. I zero in and get to the punchline, quickly, and people appreciate the obvious absence of frivolous fluff and filler.

My beautiful readers are busy people. They don’t have time for 2000 words! I respect them by keeping my posts short, averaging 450 – 750 words which, as a matter of interest, they generously share.

I Charge an Hourly Rate for my Copy Editing Services.

OMG!! A unicorn just died.

Nobody in my industry charges by the hour, right?!

All the well-meaning, experienced biz coaches and mentors out there are probably rolling their eyes or heading for my contact form to offer their help and set me straight.

Don’t bother contacting me, coaches and mentors. Your colleagues have already knocked on my door with their pearls of pricing wisdom.

Here’s the thing …

I have happy clients that happily pay my standard fee, which makes me do the happy dance.

And so far, the sky hasn’t fallen because I’m charging an hourly rate.

I’m more than aware I’m breaking a cardinal rule of most freelance copy editors — those who would NEVER trade hours for dollars, not even if hell freezes over!

But it works for me.

And that, my friends, is all that matters.

Please don’t think of me as off-the-wall cuckoo or pig-headed. Just think of me as your garden variety rule breaker.

Break any rules lately? Spill the beans and give me the scoop. I’m all ears. (Introverts are really good listeners.)

Makeness Media Bravery Blogging Project