Even if you aren’t a geek like me, it hard to have lived in any of the past five decades without picking up some of the notable phrases that came from Star Trek. “Bean me up Scottie”, “Warp Speed”, and “Phasers on stun”, are all part of our global lexicon. One of my favorites though was the Vulcan “Mind Meld”. This was when First Officer Spock would put his hands on someone’s head and their two minds would become one. Thus allowing Spock to transfer and possess all of that person’s knowledge. Unfortunately for the intended, they were rendered helpless and unable to charge for their knowledge.

When you think about it, people of certain knowledge sets, experts, are often getting “Mind Melded”. Tell someone at a party that you are a lawyer, stockbroker, or software engineer and they immediately start telling you about a problem they have and soliciting your advice on how to solve it. Even in business settings where experts and consultants are trying to sell their services, they often pass on valuable information at no cost early on during the engagement process. Shouldn’t this expertise come at a price?

When you consider the cost in education and experience that is required to gain knowledge and expertise, one should be hesitant to give it away for free. But, how do you prevent a “Mind Meld” when it approaches you? What if you could direct someone to your personal website where they schedule a call with you, but they would have to pay for the privilege? It’s possible today and not as expensive or hard to set-up as you might think. 

Services from companies such as Brainsy allow someone with expertise to set up a profile on an ECN (Expert Calling Network) that provides their background, and expertise, along with a simple link that allows someone to schedule a call with them at their convenience. The call is done over a pay-per-interval calling platform, where the information seeker enters a credit card, and the expert receives money (deposited in their bank account) when the call is finished. You can even put a badge on your LinkedIn profile that connects to your ECN.

So whether you have your own business where you are trying to charge for your time, or are just someone who has a wealth of knowledge that people are always trying to tap into, don’t get “Mild Melded”. Get control of the flow, with an ECN profile. That way you can “Live long and prosper”.

(Written by Tom McKeown)