Maxine Cunningham, Pick My Brain – InnovaBuzz 306

Maxine Cunningham

Maxine Cunningham, Pick My Brain

In this episode, I’m really excited to have as my guest, Maxine Cunningham, who is the founder and CEO of Pick My Brain, an online platform that helps you package offers and sell your time, knowledge and experience in new and creative ways.

Pick My Brain was born out of Maxine’s vision to make the world’s brains and their knowledge more creatively available, accessible and useful to all. The platform and the philosophy of Pick My Brain is based on the saying by Ikujiro Nonaka that “Without real exchange, you can’t create knowledge.” Maxine has transitioned from a finance and economics career to exchanging value in the new knowledge economy and providing the means of generating and creating pathways of abundance for many.

In our discussion, Maxine and I talked about:

  • The risk of losing knowledge and information in society as people retire and how the new information economy provides both opportunities to plug that knowledge back into society as well as the knowledge holders benefiting from sharing their wisdom
  • The core philosophy and business model of Pick My Brain
  • The power of conversations to change lives

Maxine and I met at Jason Soultan’s No B/S Conference. Jason was our guest on episode 266 of the InnovaBuzz Podcast.

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

Listen to the Podcast

A peer to peer marketplace is the most efficient form of value transfer. @MMCunnin on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

Show Notes from this episode with Maxine Cunningham of Pick My Brain

Key points and takeaways from this episode include:

  • What we spend our money on dictates the future.
  • Economics is the study of why people do what they do and how to distribute resources equitably.
  • A peer to peer marketplace is the most efficient form of value transfer.
  • Studies show that 85% of jobs that are going to exist by 2030 do not exist today.
  • Pick My Brain is a platform where people can combine their personal and professional experiences, passions, and interest, into a hybrid job that didn’t exist before but absolutely has a need.
  • Pick My Brain gives people the opportunity to build a job for themselves. It reduces the amount of energy and effort that it requires to be independent.
  • Pick My Brain offers were carefully curated by people.
  • A knowledge economy is an economy that matches the production of knowledge with the consumption of knowledge.
  • We are going to hit a depression. The production of things that drives the mechanics of our old economy is going to halt. It’s not scary if we all learn together, and if we all learn how to value knowledge, how to buy it, consume it, and trade it.
  • People who are creatives and artists are going to be the highest-paid citizens in 10 years. Time is going to shift and we would all be living in a value-added world.
  • Everyone can come to Pick My Brain for free. With a paid account, you can go deeper and offer packages or one-on-one sessions, and unlock more offers. You can also create a customer profile. Pick My Brain handles all the bookings, admin, scheduling, reviews, and payments.
  • Pick My Brain lists you on their marketplace and introduces you to all other “brains” in the network. It helps you transition into this world.
  • Pick My Brain offers are all value-based products. You get such a good deal on knowledge because they’re all cached and driven, as well as fun and playful.
  • Knowledge commerce is the next commerce.
  • Have the confidence to play and put it out there.
  • You need to consume knowledge to learn how to produce it.
  • Knowledge is power. Community is power. Connection is power.
  • Pick My Brain unlocks abundance. It’s renewable and it doesn’t run out. Nature runs out if we don’t listen to it, but knowledge doesn’t.
  • Driving price down all the time is not a motivation.
  • Sharing ideas and solutions is what we need to distribute because it helps the collective.
  • The new economy is for the collective and by the collective. When you share, the world gets better and therefore you’ll get better.
  • Your boundary, your time, and your experiences are all high-frequency exchange.
  • So often, we don’t know what our most beautiful attributes are because they’re just so normal to us. By sharing what you know, you help people learn with those beautiful things.
  • We all have something to offer. We just need to find it.
  • You can’t learn it all by just doing online courses. Knowledge is not easy to transfer unless you are being in someone’s presence. Be a shadow for a day and really see how these people do what they do. We can all be apprentices.
  • “I’m going to feed you what I want as much as you can feed me what you know” is such a nice relationship.
  • Just like dancing, you learn the steps during the first three levels and then you learn to style. That styling makes it. Take the courses but top-up.
  • Discovering yourself is all about building a relationship with yourself. Invest in that. Lean into who you are. Find it, sample it, and discover it. Make it your life’s mission to know yourself too well.
The new economy is for the collective and by the collective. When you share, the world gets better and therefore you'll get better. @MMCunnin on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round

Here are Maxine’s answers to the questions of our Innovation round. Listen to the interview to get the full scoop.

  1. #1 thing to be more innovative – Download people. Download as many people as you can because they are the most innovative and creative species. All of the answers are out there. You just have to hear it in different ways and different perspectives. Converse and connect with a diverse group of people consistently.
  2. Best thing for new ideas – Having conversations. Stay up to date, relevant, and really ask purposeful questions. Be curious.
  3. Favourite tool for innovation – Instagram stories – curation of feeds. Be so purposeful and go out of your way to follow things that are outside of your biases.
  4. Keep project/client on track – Constant communication. People need motivation and check-ins. People require consistent small pieces of action to make consistently good steps. Set expectations from the beginning and consistently display the vision to them so they all know what to do.
  5. Differentiate – Lean into who you are. Find out what inherently makes you tick. The way to discover that is to sample a lot and be able to talk to yourself. It’s scary, and there’s a lot of fear to breakthrough when you do that, but know that the world will support you, and the more that you can trust it, the more it will lean back to you.

To Be a Leader

You only live once. It’s an incredible time right now. You are granted the opportunity to explore a different part of yourself more than ever before. Don’t shy away from it. Dream of an offer that you might want to play with. Put it out there and see what comes in. When you let people know how you want to receive them, they will come into your arms.

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Maxine through Pick My Brain.


Get a FREE one-on-one coaching session with Maxine on Pick My Brain! Use the code: INNOVABUZZ.

Cool things about Maxine

  • She grew up on an ostrich farm.
  • She loves flowers. Flowers give her life and energy.
  • She took a “year on” and made her own University schedule for an entire year that consisted of driving across Canada, reading books in Maui, interviewing smart people and studying p2p marketplaces.
All of the answers are out there. You just have to hear it in different ways and different perspectives. @MMCunnin on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

Listen to the Podcast

Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is The World's Best Human-Centred Podcasting Coach and the only Podcast Innovator with the signature bright yellow headphones, who masterfully crafts human connection for high-impact achievers in a vibrant community. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Flywheel Nation Community as well as on Innovabiz' InstagramTwitter, Facebook pages and his personal Photography website.  


  1. William Reed on July 20, 2020 at 13:27

    Maxine Cunningham brings a fresh and energetic perspective to how we think about the value of our existence, and how we can all share that in the new Knowledge Economy. Love the idea that the leading edge of this could be as close and accessible as a meaningful conversation! Maxine blends the best of the Idealist and the Activist, and through has created a platform where anyone can join in the process! Jürgen Strauss brings us the best of the best among world class innovators, and thank you for sharing this fine conversation with Maxine!

    • Jürgen Strauss on July 20, 2020 at 13:46

      Thanks, Will. I loved this conversation, as I did the one I recorded with you! It’s such a privilege to speak to talented, creative, awesome people all across the world and to then share those conversations with my audience. As Maxine says, a meaningful conversation can be life changing!

Leave a Comment