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  • Arifah Rahaman-Aronson

    Such a great questions. I've recently thought on this also because after a divorce so many people we to 'move on and get over it'. I know they had good intention however the advice had nothing to do with me and ignored my feelings. I like this sentence "Self- discovery is much more powerful than receiving an answer from someone else." This is so true because it's the seat of empowerment. Considering how I communicate to encourage that is what I try to remember when giving advice. Great post!

  • Thomas Lacôte

    Such a great initiative ! I give me one month to do it (I imagine that the first meeting must be a bit bizarre :)

  • Scott Boggs

    Good point: "that is WHAT is advice?" In 1989 or -90 I did a very short public education experiment across from San Francisco near Hayward State University that I called Corner Teaching. All I did was stopped people outside a store and told them that I was going to "Share with you one---and only one---fun and fabulous fact". Then I pulled out an index card and read something very brief, but interesting, about public health, history, technology. etc. Really great stuff, very ecclectic, off-the-wall and often useful Then I thanked them and put a tally mark on my clipboard record to show my professor how many people allowed me to go all the way through my schtick without either cutting me off or ignoring me. Well, when you prepare the listener by telling them that all you are going to do is read them two lines, maybe three, of a remarkable bit of information before saying "Thanks for Listening" the success rate is astronomically high, But it's NOT A SALES really wasn't anything of high stakes to either the Corner Teacher (me) nor to the pleasantly amused listeners. But it taught me to keep presentations VERY SHORT to garner the highest attention ratio, that long windedness just torpedoes a salesperson's gig!

  • Advice Girl

    Calling all Advice givers: I am creating a collection of images from everyone in the world who is offering advice in nonconventional ways. If you'd like to be a part of this exciting project, please email your picture to Much love and respect! ~free advice girl

  • Kali Orkin

    I am so doing this!

    • Advice Girl

      Yes! I encourage you to do it! Take some pics and sent them to me @freeadvicegirl on FB. Would love to see you in action! :)

  • Susu

    Hello Lisa,
    I love your article, thank you for sharing!
    Just showed it to my colleges as an inspiration, we have a startup and such things are always cool and inspiring! :-)
    Advices, knowledge, feedbacks, POV’s just everything a person can offer is so exciting and coming from a stranger is giving a extra twist to it.
    Sadly all this potential of what a person can offer is not really shared, well with friends and family yes…. but it would be so cool, if advices, knowledge etc. where shared more, especially among strangers.
    Something I know might be very valuable for somebody else.
    Well the fact, that we spent the majority of our time in places with people we don’t know and therefor we don't communicate let to the founding of our startup…. btw. :-) Don’t want to spam here but you should check it out! :-) -  Paatle is the world first social message board for Places and enables us to leave unlimited messages and interact with people at various places around the world. Communication based on places, we don’t have to be friends (yet).
    You can drop-in to a place by entering an address (the App is coming soon - so more option of dropping-in to places), leave messages, feedbacks and your thoughts for others… :-)

    Lisa have a good day, greetings from Switzerland

    • Advice Girl

      Hi Susu! Thanks for your kind words. I look forward to checking out your fantastic startup idea! I invite you to stay in touch @freeadvicegirl via FB! My first greetings from Switzerland! Very exciting :)

  • Cece Chou

    Wonderful story! I do love this part: "Advice is not about adding information, but rather chipping away at our fixed ways of being so that we are exposed to a new perspective." I could help wondering what "connection" really means. Sometimes I feel everyone is connected to each other in certain ways, but sort of disconnected at the same time. Such disconnection might result from the fact that everyone is fixating on looking at things from the same personal angle. While giving advice to others, people tend to offer knowledge from their personal understanding as well. I do agree that everyone needs to learn about how others look at things and try to see things from different angles. Thanks for sharing this!

  • See Saw

    Great way to encourage face-to-face interaction, especially in a world where our face tends to get hidden behind a screen...I sometimes sit in a public space with a sign that says 'Share Knowledge' which has fostered a myriad of conversations and beautiful interactions. Helped me to learn that everyone has a story to share, and we all have this essential dream of doing good/working hard to be happy and share the experience. The sign sitting days definitely shined light on the fact that everyone is the same, and physical appearance rarely accounts for any predictable characteristic of a person. For a brief period I walked around with a sign that said 'FREE' and to whoever would comment or question it, I would say, 'I am free,' and then I would ask if they wanted to be free also, hand them the sign and say, 'Look, now you are free, it is that easy!'...I think the goal of that experiment was to get people to think about their attitudes and the way they talk to themselves. In a conversation with a beautiful girl she said 'just think of how many things we think about during the day and never share with anybody else' and that really got me thinking (pun intended?) about my inner conversation and being more observant of its patterns with the intention of improving the energy I put forth into the world. It was Socrates who said 'the unexamined life is not worth living' and it was my homeboy Rumi who said, 'only the jeweled inner life matters' and I must say I agree wholeheartedly that change only begins when we look within. Keep at it you who are reading this, and put forth the right effort that is needed to share this experience of Life with all those you encounter.

    • Advice Girl

      Beautiful share. I love your Free Knowledge idea. I think, whatever it takes to connect with others without having that ulterior motive is a very powerful and positive action to take. Some people really can't believe it's free. They say, "There must be something that you want. Nothing in life is free." My goal is to offer a truly free experience and hopefully, when they leave the park they will walk around with this newfound perspective that will inspire them to connect with strangers, friends and family in this similar way.

  • Ionut Vlad

    Great article! It is very much related to what i'm doing right now. A startup where you can give or receive advices for free. If you care to check it...
    Have fun!

    • Advice Girl

      Thanks for sharing. I will check it out!

  • Cheri McLeod

    I love this! I am going to try this too!!

    • Advice Girl

      Yes, that's the goal--Free advice in every public space possible!

  • Jane MacIsaac

    I'll work on the Canadian chapter movement as soon as the snow melts!

  • Tyler Batson

    I commend you for do this - and for sharing your experience with all of us. I did a documentary film in Kenya following the post-election violence of 2007-08 about finding peace. I found a similar reaction. There were so many interpretations of what Peace is. Feel free to check it out at if youre interested.

    • Advice Girl

      Thanks for your support! Thanks for sharing your documentary and for bringing voice to an important cause. I will definitely check it out!

  • Benjamin Friesen

    There was one time, when I still lived in Austin, that me and some people would stand on S. Congress with tshirts that said "Free Hugs". We got a lot of people willing to hug us either to amuse us, themselves, or they jut really needed a hug. Will have to try the advise thing.

    • Advice Girl

      I encourage you to try it! It's so rewarding for everyone involved!

  • Tia Reddy

    My neighbor has been trying to get me to do this for months. I hope to run into you in the spring, or at least when spring arrives in Manhattan!

    • Advice Girl

      Yes, come out and join! My goal is to have someone offering free advice in every public space in NYC or in any major city, for that matter! Come join the Free Advice Project!

      • Social Startups

        What a wounderful act. I admire you for what you have shared with us. I will love to follow your steps and try Free Advice here in Melbourne, Australia. Good Luck and Keep us posted :)