What do I mean by that? Call it knowedge, training or just plain business know how. We all know doctors, lawyers and other professionals that have spent years earning their credentials. When we use or hire these professionals we expect to be charged for their services. If you met a doctor at a party or event, would you ask them for medical advice on the spot or would you mention your concern about a particular issue you are having and ask if it is something you should make an appointment for? As a general rule, we are respectful of their time and knowledge as we should be.
On the other hand, what if you met an author, business coach, trainer or another professional that has knowledge that was helpful to you? If you have questions for a business coach that you just met , would you ask for an appointment and pay for their time or would you ask as many questions as you could get answers to? From my experience, people will attempt to gain as much information as possible with no respect for that person’s experience. Why do we have a tendency to take advantage of these professionals? For those of us that are not “certified” or “degreed” in our professional fields, does that make what we do any less valuable? Next time you meet someone that is knowledgable in a field that interests you, respect their time and intellect. I’m not saying you can’t have valuable conversations about your businesses; just be respectful of others knowledge.
My challenge to you is this: when you meet a professional and want to pick their brain, tell them you respect their time and knowledge and would like to know if you cross the line from conversation to business. We all want to learn as much as possible to help our businesses that we sometimes forget to set boundaries for ourselves as well as others.