If you’re a recovering brain-picker (we’ve all done it!) your heart is probably in the right place, and what you’re really saying is “I respect what you’ve built and would love to learn from you.”
However, asking to “pick someone’s brain” for free or for the cost of a cup of coffee can unintentionally come across as disrespectful to the years of hard work it took for that person to achieve their success (and I know that’s so not your intention!)
Here are a few ways to acknowledge someone who you want to learn from, in a way that feels respectful and is more likely to create the connection you’re looking to create:
1️⃣ Do you have any paid programs where I can learn from your expertise in (insert their area of expertise)?
In many cases, the person has already consolidated their knowledge in a form that people can purchase, so when you ask for access to it for free it can feel like an unequal energy exchange. Starting off by offering to pay for their expertise is a way to demonstrate how much you respect the time and energy it took for them to achieve it.
2️⃣ Are there any great podcasts where you’ve shared your story and/or knowledge that I can check out?
You can learn a lot from hearing the story of someone’s journey, and the people you look up to have probably shared it on podcasts or interviews before. Instead of asking to pick their brain so you can hear their entire life story, go the extra mile and research it yourself so that when you DO get the opportunity to connect with that person, you can ask targeted questions that show you’ve done your homework.
3️⃣ Do you offer paid consultations? I’d love to pay for 15 minutes of your time to ask (share your specific questions) if that’s something you offer.
A few key takeaways here! When you offer to pay it demonstrates that you respect the person’s expertise and don’t expect them to give it for free. Go a step further by proposing a specific window of time (and sticking to it) and 1-3 questions to let the person decide whether or not they have the bandwidth or desire to accommodate the request.
4️⃣ What programs, books, or podcasts were most influential for you when you were just starting your journey?
If offering to pay for the person’s time or programs isn’t an option for you at the moment, then look for clues on how they gained the knowledge you would like to learn from. Success always leaves clues!
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