An overwhelming majority of emails and messages I receive end broadly the same way

What do you think of the idea?

Am I on the right track?

How should I plan my life?

What’s the best advice you can give me?

And my personal favorite

Want to pick your brains on this



This form of help-seeking is lazy, at its best.

When we ask such questions, we may think we are being considerate of someone’s time

But if the opposite person truly values their time, then this approach is frustrating

You expect someone to navigate through your story, your circumstance, your context, and then distill all the thoughts into one or two powerful implementable points?

Because you asked?


Try this the next time

Be. Ruthlessly. Specific

And relevant


That shows you have a problem

And you have taken the effort to narrow down the reasons

And have identified someone who could help

And are respectful of their time

While aware of where they can help and how


If you get a response, you know for a fact that you have a conversation going.

With a sense of purpose.


For all the times you ask for generic advice

Someone who could have helped, chooses not to