That simple tenet is perhaps the most powerful act of relationship-building, knowledge accumulation, and finding job prospects evar.
I remember when Matthew Leskow first came out with his Information USA tome. His reputation has been sullied a bit since then, but I still think his basic premise is true: Somebody somewhere is an expert of something — be it the Bark Beetle, or how to get mildew smells out of towels –and that "somebody" is more than happy to share their knowledge, usually for free…if someone would just ask.
Excluding the occasional terminal capitalist who always has an angle for making a buck, the vast majority of friends, acquaintances, even perfect strangers are usually willing to give up a golden nugget of experience, knowledge, job-lead, referral, or contact information IFF you ask…
The asking is an art in itself. The humble approach is usually best. A little self-deprecation is good for the soul.
…and choosing the RIGHT person to ask may require a little asking around… 6-degrees of separation.
The psychology of it includes just a little bit of pride that elevates the askee to the level of "expert" if only for a second. That feels good, and it's not actually disingenuous either. Most of us really ARE believable experts at something, and it DOES feel good to be able to share a little.
[NOTE: This ubiquitous rule does NOT apply to men who are seeking directions in a strange part of town. That is still an off-limits area of general query for the male gender.]
How 'bout it?
Need to know if XYZ Corp. needs a voice actor for its next project? ASK.
What really IS the best mic for my voice? ASK.
Should I form a Sub-S Corp, or a Sole Propietorship for my voiceover business? ASK.
How can I best find an agent in Atlanta? ASK.
Is it really smart for me to join AFTRA or SAG right now? ASK.
How do I get started in the AudioBook business? ASK.
Need I go on?