From the caveman trading his wife for a flint to the chubby kindergartener trading treats across the lunch table, bartering is one of the oldest methods of salesmanship in the book.
When Andrew Schiestel (of tbk creative) asked the question “How can you be more generous in your business than you already are?” to his Facebook friends, I was the first to respond. I explained how someone whose puppies I looked after wanted to exchange services and offered me private yoga sessions rather than money for the next time I was to look after her dogs. Many would say nowadays that it’s not a business exchange because I’m not getting any monetary gain from it. I beg to differ, non-believers, and here’s why:
Bartering adds a dynamic to a transaction that, with the now overwhelmingly common goods/services for money exchange, is rarely achieved: A relationship. Think about it… you go to a store, buy something, have a quick two minute chat (if that) with the teller, and stroll on out of there gaining nothing but your purchase and losing time that you could be spending building relationships with your clients. With the barter system, you negotiate terms with the other party, plan when to exchange services, and then spend time together as you exchange them. That’s a whole lot of time to talk about your goals and what you’re up to right now (networking) that you’re missing in the… I guess what people would call, the traditional way of doing things. But as I said to open, bartering is one of the oldest methods ever, maybe it should be coined the traditional way of doing business.
Someone commented on my post on Andrew’s facebook that it’s not a wonder why bartering works… there’s a reason why it’s been around forever! (If you’d like, take a look at this guy who started with one red paper clip and ended up with a house
I opt for a hybrid between the two types of transactions – because, let’s face it, I do need money to achieve the things I want to (like the Personal Training Course). But when I can, you can bet your bottom dolla that I’ll be swapping.
Tagged bartering, business, career, community, dog sitting, dog walking, dogs, job, journey, London, marketing, personal training, pet care, pets, trading
Its odd how one word once used to determine something so critical in history is now – at least in my world – a word that eliminates the very thing it stood for.
It’s a funny little word nowadays because its meaning has completely turned around and become almost contradictory to what it meant before. The Truth used to determine who was right and who was wrong. It was a way of separating the morally and intellectually lacking from those who excel. Now, it seems that the Truth is subjective. When there is a disagreement, rather than finding who was right and wrong, I opt for a use of the word that makes the most sense to me: Everybody has their own Truth. My step father always says “That’s your truth, what’s theirs?” It’s easy to live in the Truth of your world all of the time and completely ignore other peoples. Hmm… maybe an example would fit well here. You see, just because I don’t eat meat because of my moral compass, that does not make it a wrong choice for everyone. It just makes it different. My truth is that eating animals is not favorable to either your health… and obviously the animals. But yours may be that it gives you protein and that animals are meant to be eaten. Neither is right or wrong, they just are. I like to stay in the space of “it just is”.
I find that this mentality diffuses situations that would otherwise explode. When you are in disagreement with another, give it a try. Rather than defending your point by gathering ammo on the reasons why, think about where they’re at: They are a completely different person than you with a completely different life. Your values differ from theirs, and theirs from yours. Because you choose to live one way does not make their way wrong. (In fact, they probably think you’re wrong too). It is absolutely, one hundred thousand percent subjective.
So, the next time you’re being rubbed the wrong way… Put down the TNT. (That stuff is terribly dangerous and highly destructive when you’re handling it). And think.
How will you choose to react?
Taking off the Thinking Cap now and replacing with the much more sophisticated Dog Ears (to become one with the hounds at the park today),
I’ve been reading snip-its of a book (Max Lenderman’s Experience the Message), and although I find the topic of business strategy exhausting (see Business Woman Stigma), this book is definitely on to something. Experiential Marketing is the term he uses. It blends the concept of running a business to make substantial profit with compassion and attention to the clients needs. Being one who doesn’t even use the word client – I prefer friend – this concept strikes me as one I could really put into practice… seeing as that’s exactly what Max is suggesting: being friends with your supporters. It complies with the Universal rule of good… personship?…
Treat others the way you’d like to be treated.
As I mentioned the other day, I really would like to spend more time with dogs (something I’ve discovered as this experiment runs on). I’ve been barking up the wrong tree! So, if I think about what dogs need and want rather than their people, I can come up with 3 things: Love, treats and water. Thus, a new plan is hatched. In order to befriend my cherished puppy friends, I need to treat them to these 3 things in a way that connects us. So, tomorrow I am going to head to both the Dog Park on Adelaide Street N and the Springbank trail with a basket of doggy snacks, a water dispenser and a sign, and wait for my beloved clientele to walk by with their people. I know I’d love a little lick o’ water and a snack for the walk if I were a dog. Wouldn’t you?
In fact, let’s create a TREATY
How do you want to be treated [as followers and friends of my services and blog]?
After all, how can I expect you to want to be around me and support me if I am not supporting you with what you need.
Right now I feel like I don’t know you… How could I? I write and you read. With the exception of comments on here, I have no idea who you are and what you need/want. Fill me in. Pretty please? Shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or comment on here and:
- Introduce yourself
- Tell me a little about who you are
- Let me know how I can treat you
I absolutely cannot WAIT to hear from you!
Anticipating your friendship,
Tagged animals, business, career, community, dog sitting, dog walking, dogs, exercise, experiential marketing, job, journey, marketing, pet care, pets
I took the opportunity – during my last early morning walk with the puppies I looked after this wknd – to do some multitasking and think about what it is that I want. As my brain was turning and soul was fluttering at the excitement of such a broad, dreamy question, Panda (one of the cuties on a leash) stopped to pee on a rock.
This is a perfectly normal thing for a dog to do, but the thing that struck me about Panda’s rock choice is that it is the very same rock she had marked the morning before, and the night before that. She really wants people to know where she stands with the rock. It’s hers. She wants that rock to be hers and she wants everyone to know it.
To me, her redundant peeing represents determination to get what she wants. She takes the time to scout out and pee on the rock every morning, so she darn well deserves to be known as Panda the RockPeeing Pup.
What territory do you want to claim?
How do you want people to know you?
My advice (and I’m sure Panda would concur) is that whatever it is that you want… And I mean really, really want – that “can’t-eat, can’t-sleep, reach-for-the-stars, over- the-fence, world-series kind of stuff” (in the magnificent words of Diane Barrows from It Takes Two) – go for it wholeheartedly. Claim your rock. Shout it from the rooftops. Cry out loud. Sing at the top of your lungs. Have your cake and eat it too. Use any cliché you’d like, just do it and do it with conviction. I’ll start so you don’t have to:
I want to be a super fab blogger who earns friends, money and community abundantly through offering services out of love and passion.
WahBAM. Your turn… Pee on it.
Tagged community, creative, dog sitting, dog walking, dogs, exercise, fitness, inspiring, job, journey, passion, pee, pet care, pets, power, puppies, territory
Greetings from Puppyland! I am writing to you from my FIRST DIG SITTING GIG!
So far, things are going splendidly. I’m sitting here with a gorgeous puppy’s head in my lap. These dogs are so affectionate. That’s the thing about pets – they bring such good, loving energy to your home and life. I also walked a dog yesterday (not these ones, but another woman’s), and thoroughly enjoyed spending time with him as well. I’m thinking’ I definitely need to do this more.
As far as things are going right now, I’ve got a couple people whose pups I walk and sit, but it’s not enough… the loving happiness has made me crave more dog-time. So, I live by the concept that everything is energy: Every thought you have, breath you breathe, time you move, hug you share, money you make. I also believe that services should be valued. After all, you are giving your time/energy to the person who has hired you, so you should get some energy back. Most of the time what you receive back comes in the form of money. But, in light of this concept, I am hereby offering an alternate means of paying for my services:
You may either pay the full amount that is priced out on my site or the SERVICES tab of this blog, or you may spend your resources/energy you already have rather than your money, and refer me to two of your connections in London for my services, and receive 40% off yours.
This is going to be put in place for all services from now on unless I say otherwise! I think this is such a fab idea and am SO excited to see how it goes! (I’ll post said option on my site when I get home today).
The more time I spend with pups, the more this career is becoming a necessity in my life. Could Doggy Care be a permanent (well, as permanent as it gets in my books) addition to my career? I’m heavily considering how important this has become. Who knew that the start-up profession I picked would become an integral part of my career bliss? You never know what you’re going to find at the end – or in this case, the beginning - of the rainbow.
Till tmrw, friends! (I am off to walk ‘em now),
P.S. I got RECOGNIZED yesterday as AMY-of-all-trades!!! Things are really starting to pick up. FUN!
Tagged animals, business, career, community, dog sitting, dog walking, dogs, exercise, job, journey, London, money, pet care, pets
So, relaxing wknd at the cottage with family antidote I gave myself after my alarming bout of playing Let Everyone Mop the Floor with Amy should have come with a warning label that reads:
TAKE ONLY WHEN READY TO EXPERIENCE INDULGENT AMOUNTS BLISS (and marshmellows) & MAKE CERTAIN TO BRING YOUR NOTEBOOK READY TO BE FILLED WITH INSPIRATION
A quick recap of my weekend to surely make you uber jealous:
- Went shoeless for 4 days straight (highly recommended, your toes will love the wind)
- Meditated sitting on a rock facing the lake (delicious!)
- Ate lots of yummy stuff (that may not all have necessarily been healthy, but as my Mama says “If it’s made with love, all is good”… Of course, in moderation.)
- Did some super good thinking/planning (as much as I can) for this career project I’ve got on the go.
Apparently, when you stop and listen to what your soul has to say, you end up with infinite amounts of brilliance. Said brilliance – and pictures of my amazing trip – will be shared tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn as the Internet Guy is having a little dispute with the signal in my place and I must post from the studio.
I do, however, have news that I cannot wait until tomorrow to share: I GOT A DOG SITTING CLIENT. Therefore, stay tuned for the weekend of the 18th because it will be something to write about! This will tip the Piggy Bank in my favor. Yippee!!!
I’ll leave you with a juicy question for your tasting:
What does indulgent bliss look like for you? Are you willing to do what it takes to get yourself that little slice of heaven you so deserve?
Headed home now to take a nap (my relaxing weekend took a lot outta me),
Today is the day, folks! Today is the day when AMY-of-all-trades morphs from a cool idea to a tangible business venture! … I got my first dog walking client!
She comes in the form of a stuuupendous woman who pioneered a program for women who cannot afford a full time Life Coach (view her sit here). Fabulous program; fabulous lady. The women who partake in the program are, I’m sure, grateful to have her heading it as she is a walking billboard for why you should follow your authentic passion.
More on the subject of how today is a day to celebrate, here is a clip of a pup that I stumbled upon on Facebook who also has a reason to rejoice:
It’s people like those at Handicapped Pets and Two Hands, Four Paws that make miracles an everyday occurrence. Bless them.
Hope you go about your day bouncin’ merrily along (I know I will be!),
I got a lead on a Dog Sitting gig!
This is super exciting! All through word of mouth, my mom was forwarded an ad looking for an occasional dog sitter. I just called and left a message – hopefully I hear back soon! I will most definitely keep you posted.
This got me thinking about how to spread the news of my little career experiment I’m conducting. Obviously, I enjoy blogging about it and plan to blog until the cows come home, but what other powerful ways are there for me to spread the news of my project? I really need to put the peddle to the metal and get going on this because the date of the Personal Training course is fast approaching, and I need to be able to fund it. Of course, I trust that the Universe is going to provide for me… but I am also a firm believer that if you ask, and then proceed to sit on your rump and wait, you shall not recieve. If you act, you shall.
Please help me!!! I need some brilliant ideas! Email me (email@example.com), or post a comment on here. There is no such thing as an idea I won’t consider!
Thank you muchly,
Alright – I’m gunna do it!
I looked into what is involved in becoming a Personal Trainer, and I am going to go for it. With this all being said, remember that this is one thing that is going to go besides “Dog Walking” on my website. This is not the end of the journey. I want to do lots of cool stuff, not just stumble upon one and assume I’m going to love it forever. The fact of the matter is, I bore easily.
So how awesome would it be if I could have four or five different things to do each week? You know, one day I walk dogs in the morning and then have some personal training clients after lunch? Or, sew some clothes in the morning and then run a mandala workshop that night? Oh, the joy!!!!
The Personal Training program I plan to take will be in October, I believe. Right before my due date, in fact. So, here’s what I am asking of you:
Please spread the word about my Dog Walking services to everyone you can. Let’s deem you my Ambassadors of Bliss (LOL)! I need your help because the PT program is $500 and I plan on using nothing but Dog Walking money for that. Let’s start a Piggy Bank at the bottom of this page. It will display how much money I’ve earned, and the goal (500 big ones).
Let’s get movin, folks!
GOAL: $500 – EARNED: $7 – NEED: $493
Tagged animals, business, dog walking, dogs, earning, exercise, fitness, fundraising, monetary, money, personal training, pets
As promised, this is the list of things that I’m going to try first! (In no particular order, as the order depends on time and money):
- Dog walker
- Yoga teacher
- Fashion Designer
Also on the list were Life Coach and Visual Artist, but I have tried those two before I began this blog. Neither turned out to be for me for various reasons… mainly that I just wasn’t feelin’ it.
Which should I conquer first? I plan to get as many Dog Walking clients as possible so that I can use the money I earn to finance my next adventure… So please, email the link to your friends, family and anyone you think may be interested in following my journey! Who knows what service I will provide next, maybe they will want to take part!
Which one of these should I do next?!
Tagged animals, art, beauty, career, clothing, create, design, dog walker, dogs, fashion, fashion designer, florist, flowers, job, life coach, making clothing, nature, painting, pets, photographer, photography, pictures, spirituality, visual artist, yoga, yoga teacher