I used to say this phrase. This is, until I had it asked of me hundreds times over the last five years.
Three things about this phrase make it one of my biggest pet peeves:
First, it’s lazy. It skips the part where you think-through and specify exactly why you’d like to meet with your target. Most folks are busy but can make time to give relevant, helpful advice. Do you have 10 minutes for me to ask you a few questions about how you structured your first commission-based sales agreement? I’d love to ask you a few questions about your M&A process, particularly how involved your board was during that period. With more specificity your target may be able to answer quickly via email, bring a few constructed thoughts on the topic, or recommend someone else on their team or in their network to talk to instead.
Second, it sounds incredibly one-sided. What do I get out of the 20-60 minutes? My brain picked? What about learning what you’re excited about and planning to do? Or the last two experiments you’ve tried? Or your impression of the opportunities in the current market environment?
Third, the mental image of a brain being picked grosses me out for some reason.
I know this post sounds probably sounds like a mean, old curmudgeon. I’m fine with that. I like to think I’ve only collected a few pet peeves in the business world. Don’t get me started on lunch meetings (that’s for another post)...