"Do you believe in bartering?" That was the question I received recently from a loyal reader in the community. First she asked me if I believed in the barter system, and if my answer was yes, the second question she asked was around my willingness to barter with her for our respective services.
I found the offer intriguing as the services she offered could really help me professionally. And based on the status of her personal and professional life, she could probably benefit from some business and life coaching. Other than helping some friends and associates out from time to time, or volunteering to do some coaching or a keynote speech for a not-for profit organization, school, or association, I never really considered the concept of bartering before.
Before going down the rationalization exercise, I had to make sure it was in alignment with my belief system. It was.
So I decided to analyze the opportunity and I started with my own question, "Is there truly mutual value and benefit in trading the services we both offer?" after consideration my answer was yes. Next question, "Would I have the time to apply to make sure I could live up to my end of the bargain?" Again the answer was yes. The last question was more about doing my due diligence to make certain that the person I was going to swap services with was legitimate and would also complete the deal. The answer was also yes.
The more I thought about it and socialized the idea with some friends and business mentors, the more I became comfortable with the idea and my willingness to engage grew stronger. I also found out that the barter system is alive and well, and quite possibly thriving in the current economic climate.
Again, I have had inquiries and requests to donate my time and services, and if at all possible I will absolutely do that every time that I can. But the barter concept is something I am going to test a little further. There are certain products and services that I can use or benefit from right now, and I know the companies or people who can offer them to me could probably benefit from or enjoy some business or strategic planning, coaching, mentoring, training, or a keynote speech.
I know, I know, cash is king and we live in a society where paying for products and services is the norm. I am not saying that we should move to a complete barter system, not even close. I am just going to explore this a little more, test the waters a little bit and see if mutual value can actually be gained through the barter process.
I would love to hear your thoughts on the barter system. Especially if you find yourself in need of any of the services I can provide and want to discuss how we might bring value to each other. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and together we can make this a better than good week.
Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of www.candogo.com. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.