How I Respond to, Can I Pick Your Brain?

#48: How I Respond to, Can I Pick Your Brain?

Since I have started educating in my business, whether that is having a coaching client or talking and giving advice on Instagram or the podcast, I more often get questions that are essentially, “Hey, can I pick your brain?”

Since I have started educating in my business, whether that is having a coaching client or talking and giving advice on Instagram or the podcast, I more often get questions that are essentially, “Hey, can I pick your brain?”

Sometimes that is exactly how it’s asked; sometimes it’s super tactful and addressing the fact that they understand I do this for a living and ask to grab coffee and chat; sometimes they offer to pay; but the question remains the same.

Lately, my clients have started hearing this question as well. We’ve worked to bring education into their personal brand strategy and after a while, they start having the same question asked of them.

So how do you respond when someone messages you, “Can I pick your brain?” How can we be kind and also have respect for the people paying us for education?

That’s what we are talking about today! Here are some things I discuss in this episode:

  • Understanding what you want
  • Figuring out your boundaries
  • Realizing it’s okay to change based on your current season
  • Understanding where people are coming from
  • 3 things I offer to people when they ask me these types of questions
  • Examples of what to say/how to respond
  • My boundary when people have a very specific question for their business (including what I say)
  • Writing out your responses so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time
  • The hardest part of navigating conversations like this
  • Episode 19 and learning to respect people’s time

A few highlights from this episode:

[2:16] –  I think the key here is understanding what you want. Depending on where you are at in your business or your life or your particular season of life, your response might be different, and it might be different throughout the year, for that matter. And that’s okay. 

[6:16] – It’s important, I think with anything, to recognize that these people who are wanting time with you are not evil. They don’t want you to bend over backwards and give them free stuff. I would say 99% of the time, they just simply might not know, and so this is an opportunity to educate them.

[10:03] – Oftentimes when people need more than that, it’s because they have a specific question about their experience and their body, and that’s just not an appropriate thing to answer in DMs. There is so much more information that we need.

[11:17]  – If we wanted to, we could probably spend all day long answering those very, very specific DMs from people who just need a little more information. And if you’re building a business that leads with authenticity and wants to serve people and help people, it’s really easy to do that. But then you’ve got nothing left to give to the people who do want to pay you and work with you in a way that can help you pay your bills. 

[13:29] – Before it becomes emotional and before you have those questions filling your inbox, sit down and figure out how you want to respond. 

We all go through those phases in life where it’s nice to talk with someone who has been there before. Certainly, we need mentors in our lives! I think you become more and more aware of that the more you grow in business. Once you are aware of that, you can learn to respect their time and boundaries. 

Soon enough someone will be coming to you with the “Can I pick your brain?” question. In this episode, you can learn to approach the situation with kindness, while still keeping your boundaries in tact. Episode 19 also discusses this topic from the other side with how to respectfully ask for someone’s time.

Some of the best conversations happen after the show in my private Facebook group, Take It Personally Podcast. Click here to join in!

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Hi! I'm Maddie.

If I’m giving you my elevator pitch, I’m a Sioux Falls, South Dakota, brand photographer and educator for creative women.

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