This isn't just something that I've found to be the case in my life, but I've heard the same thing from many other solopreneurs. Just because someone doesn't have an expensive sign posted outside a high rent commercial property doesn't mean they're hoping to give away all their professional experience for free.
So, why do people always want to "pick my brain"? Am I living in a world of hungry zombies? My noggin' isn't a plate of cheap hors d' oeuvres.
I've spent years honing my skills. I've made sacrifices. I've stayed in to work and to learn, while others have gone out to play. My knowledge is the result of my commitment and discipline. I've worked hard for it.
My words here echo the sentiments of many men and women who have hung up their own shingles and started their own businesses. I hear it all the time. The lack of a fancy lobby doesn't mean we want to give away all our tricks of the trade for a $4 latte.
That said, I provide lots of free guidance to folks in my online networks. Mostly those who are either operating nonprofit enterprises or who are out of work. People who really need a helping hand.
However, those with means, please don't ask to buy me a mochachino so you can pick my brain. It's insulting. My consulting rate is $100 per hour. So, yeah, it sounds perfectly equitable to me that I sit with someone for 60 minutes dispensing free advice in exchange for a warm cup of Joe.
Pick my brain? Forget that. How about paying me my worth? I have bills to pay just like everyone else. More than that, I have skills that the "picker" obviously doesn't have. You want 'em? Pay for them. Is that too much to ask?
Do you run your own business? Ever had someone ask to pick your brain? Eager to give away all your professional knowledge for free? Let me hear your stories. I know you have 'em.