Some days I feel that I need someone experienced to have a top-level discussion of my next business steps. I don't necessarily feel that approaching investors is the right move for that -- I'm not really interested in funding at this stage, but rather advice.
How does one go about something like this? Am I expected to give some ownership in exchange?
Everyone needs input on their startup from time to time. It's really hard especially if you are working by yourself or carrying the majority of the responsibility.
There are a number of things you can do to get good advice:
Look around you and take note of the people you already have around you. The saying "When the student is ready, the teacher appears" is a bit clichéd but true because we prime our minds to notice what we want.
And lastly, you will find some great people around here who are very generous with their advice!!
You can pay for a business coach or mentor, who will charge you by the hour. Alternatively, you can go to various business advising sites (shameless plug here - my site does exactly this - you can find a link on my profile page) which give general advice, but it won't be tailored to your particular situation.
Depending where you are located, there may be local resources such as SCORE which can help you find such a mentor. Alternatively, look to your network or browse online to find a business coach in your area that you can connect to.