If you’ve achieved a measure of success in your career, you’ve probably gotten requests from others to "pick your brain." These may range from earnest invitations for coffee meet-ups or phone sessions, to ongoing appeals to pump you for your hard-won experience and contacts.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with professional generosity and mentoring. However, time is a valuable resource and you don’t want to waste it on someone who isn’t serious, or who is just going to ask for short cuts you don’t want to give. But these savvy professionals have found smart ways to manage brain-picking requests—and even make money from them—without alienating prospective clients and contacts.