Business Tips and Tricks

Pick My Brain

pick-my-brain1When I saw a blog entitled “No, Don’t Pick My Brain”, I had to laugh. Thank you Adrienne Graham.  See I have always said to people, pick my brain because I am not good at sharing all the stuff in my head. I love writing my blog. I love talking with people and sharing tidbits of information I have learned. I love to share information on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn. Some would think I share too much, right?

The author talked about the cost to maintain my brain. She says “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 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 which I use to make my living, pay my bills and eat?”

Please don’t misunderstand –  I’m am by no means going to stop sharing.  See I love to share information and I know at some point,  I will reap the benefits of helping others.  I have never learned how to put a value on my time and my knowledge.  When I was doing consulting work for non-profits, you know grant writing, program development, etc. I got paid for it – it was my business.  But part of me always “over-shared” or so some believed.  I share with everyone who wants to know how to do things – from writing a blog to fundraising and even some of those old skills like grant writing and program monitoring.

As I move back into being self-employed, someone said “you need to stop giving people information for free”, really?  Being in direct sales and having a small but growing team, I think sharing is invaluable.  I love this quote by Zig Ziglar:images-1

I have lived this way all of my life, so why change now, right?  Yes, I am self-employed. Yes, I need to pay my bills.  But I do believe if I continue to help others, God will provide for me and my family.

Despite the goals or business ideas some think I should follow, they aren’t in my heart.  I am thrilled for those individuals who move into coaching and are getting paid for their time and talents.  As for me, I will be the one who let’s everyone pick my brain – within limits.

So what do I get when someone asks for just an hour of one-on-one time? Or someone asks me to come to lunch so they can run some ideas by me?  Where do I draw the line?  The truth is, I am not sure at the almost ripe old age of 60, if I will ever know where to draw the line.  But based on some suggestions from the author, I may do some things a little different:

  • Believe what you know is valuable. If it wasn’t then why are they coming to you? You’re their chance to solve a problem or find a solution has value.  Believe in myself is a definite YES!
  • Create a fee schedule.  I will never say never BUT as for now, I don’t see this happening.
  • Decline lunch/coffee invitations unless they are strictly non-business. So, this isn’t going to happen for me.  I love to share what I have learned and even more excited I remember things given the MS memory issues.  
  • Keep it light. Give the why and what but never the how. This is definitely not for me.
  • Exchange for equal value.  This is one I can do…If someone asks for help, I need to feel comfortable asking for a referral or a party or a lead to an event.  Assess what they have which can be of equal benefit for you.  Okay so this means stepping out of my comfort zone and ASKING which is one of the steps in being Accountable this year.
  • Ask them for a paying referral.  This is not for me unless of course they know someone who would LOVE to have a party…
  • Don’t back down. It’s hard to say “no” and I am only going to do it when it compromises my core values.  I will not let people push me to do things. “The minute you compromise you devalue yourself and your expertise.”
  • Know your worth, understand your value. 

For those who are coaches (or want to be), these are amazing tips and a good book.  I actually wrote this blog in January 2014 with a much different tone.  I was ready to embrace all of these ideas but life has brought changes.  My focus had changed and I am embracing the “giving back” side of me… the side of me I love…..

Share your thoughts… Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!