« Chat Roulette: The Element of Surprise & Discovery | Main | Social Media Spring Cleaning Tips »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Davina K. Brewer

ITA with this rant. It's like the attorney always asked for legal advice, the nurse or doctor asked about healthcare..for free. For us it's the "Oh just a sounding board" type thing. We get asked about marketing, PR, branding, even executive-level business strategy. I'm happy to help family, friends and colleagues but yes there is big difference between a little help and comprehensive business/marketing plan. FWIW.

Debba / Girlfriendology

Kevin - I get the "Let's have coffee. I need to learn about social media." request quite a bit. (Pick my brain and kill a couple hours in my busy day. - there's my rant!)

Totally agree! (But, you would have a great brain to pick if I were to pick a brain!)

Rock on with your brainy self - Debba

Susan Wenner Jackson

I would like to add to this rant, that I HATE the term "pick your brain." It just feels uncomfortable. Like someone's going to use a sharp object to dig around in my mummified brain until they find something they want.

Plus, the other reasons you said.

Jennifer McClure

Well said Kevin! I like how Jeffrey Gitomer addresses the question in his book "Little Black Book of Connections" http://bit.ly/9CRXoJ. In it, he states that when people contact him and want to take him to lunch to "pick his brain", he says "Sure - for $500 an hour."

I've yet to get up the courage to say that to someone - but someday, I just might do it because it's the perfect answer. :)

Daniel Johnson, Jr.

Ancient Egyptians used a tool to dig up the nose of their dead to pick the brain out. Let's hope no one shows up to a coffee or lunch appointment with a sharp tool...

This post seems like a common thread of thought in my circle today. Got me picking my own brain, actually. :)

Kevin Dugan

It's good to know I struck a chord. Thanks for weighing in everyone!


Can I pick your nose?

Kevin Dugan

Steve: Google tells me the official response to all of this is as follows...

You Can Pick Your Friends
You Can Pick Your Nose
You Can't Pick Your Friend's Nose (that would be weird)
Therefore You Can't Pick My Nose

Mike Boehmer

Great post. Love the comments. Thank you for taking our little talk out for s test run! (Side note/shameless promotion: I've set a goal to get my first paid consulting gig in 2010, something out of the norm of my day job. If anybody is interested....)

Janet Civitelli

"Pick your brain" is one of the most obnoxious phrases in the history of the English language. Using it in a request for free advice is not the most interpersonally savvy way to invite collegiality.

Mike Driehorst

Maybe I use the term "pick your brain" differently than others. I don't expect a two- or three-hour session with anyone, as Debba implied. Whenever I've asked or IM'd anyone for help, it's more of, "Hey, I have an idea and want your perspective."

That's one reason why I find Twitter or any of the PR groups I belong to so valuable.

So, I don't mind whenever someone wants to pick my brain. Sure, our greatest value is from the thinking and processes we develop but sharing that expertise -- even 1:1 -- is a way to seek advice and pay it forward.

Mark Clayson

This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing websites that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. It’s the old what goes around comes around routine.

Sandy Jones-Kaminski

I love to share too Kevin, and as the founder of Pay It Forward Parties, I often help people just for the feel good karma factor alone. However, when it comes to asking me to spend time and brain cells on something other people are actually paying me for, I have to draw the line.

I think the therapy world refers to it as "creating boundaries." ;-)

After a few particularly trying months, I wrote this post on my blog and quoted both you and Nicole Jordan in it - http://belladomain.wordpress.com/2010/04/06/are-you-on-the-national-no-brain-picking-list/

Glad more of us are talking about this! Cheers, Sandy Jones-Kaminski, Bella Domain

Bunny Cage

Cool, there is actually some great ideas on here some of my subscribers may find this relevant. Great post!

frontline plus

hi ... this blog about "“Can I Pick your Brain?”" I find it very interesting .. I am very interested in this subject because I have to submit a report of this in college. The part that catches my attention is "Sending someone a note asking to pick their brain is the equivalent of saying you want them to work for free. Think about it. There's a difference from using other’s experiences and POVs to answer your questions and guide your efforts. Asking someone to essentially do your job is a bit different." thanks for the information.


Ancient Egyptians used a tool to dig up the nose of their dead to pick the brain out. Let's hope no one shows up to a coffee or lunch appointment with a sharp tool...


Kevin, nice post. NOTE: Picking your brain = curbside consult in the medical industry. Too bad they can't blog to save time ;-)

John Hudson

Well Kevin, I am really not interested in your BRAIN, but my B-Day is coming up and was hoping you would give me $100 bucks. Just let me know and we can meet for you to buy me some coffee

Aharon Cagle

Nice post KD. Or...as we designers often get, "Can I talk to you about my ?" Too often, my response is "Sure" rather than "Sure, I can...for $150/hr".

Kevin Dugan

Kristin and Aharon: It is usually a curbside consult. I'm not saying stop doing them. But reconsider overall...yes. Time is fleeting. And sometimes it's usually a well-intended request. But jeesh!

John: I do owe you coffee, birthday or not.


It really helps to know that others have this happen. I swear I am going to say 'Sure, I can...for $150/hr"! I will work on that statement!


Maybe I use the term "take your brain" different. I do not expect a session of two or three hours with someone who Debba implied. When I,ve or asked someone for help, it's more "Hey, I have an idea and want your views." This is one reason why I think Twitter or any of the groups I belong PR so precious. So I do not mind when someone wants to take my brain. Of course, our greatest value to the thinking and processes, we develop, but to share that expertise - even 1-1 - is one way to seek advice and Pay It Forward.

assertion failure failed to create device

Nice answer back in return of this matter with solid arguments and describing all concerning that.


I constantly spent my half an hour to read this weblog's posts all the time along with a mug of coffee.

mature nude Women

Good web site you have got here.. It's hard to find excellent writing like yours these days. I really appreciate people like you! Take care!!

sexy old ladies

It's really a great and helpful piece of info. I'm satisfied that you just shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.


It's an amazing post for all the online users; they will take benefit from it I am sure.

older nude women

I'm not sure exactly why but this blog is loading very slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end? I'll check back later and see if the problem still exists.

older gals

I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an nervousness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again since exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this hike.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Disclaimer: The views expressed on this site are my own and do not reflect those of my employer or its clients. © Copyright Kevin Dugan

My Other Accounts