I was watching the Biography channel the other day and it happened to be on Paula Abdul. There were a lot of interesting things that she had to say, but one thing in particular caught my attention.
She was told over and over again how she would never become who she wanted to be, it was impossible. Many famous people tell you this, but rarely do they tell you how they got to where they got anyway. Well, not only did she work hard but she got creative, and this part is interesting. After she worked her way to the top of the Lakers girls, which helped to jump start her choreographing career, she finally got her first record deal. But there was a little snag, the record label gave her next to no money to make the record itself. You need money for record producers, songwriters, etc. This could have went very badly for her, but she got creative. Paula wanted to produce a quality record and she had no doubt in her mind that she could do it. She immediately started calling people like Prince, and offering to trade choreographing their next tour if they wrote songs for her. Done! She did this with about 4-5 other people, trading her skills for theirs. She said that she was not going to let money stand in way of her making a great album.
Now this got me thinking, many, many businesses do this and you never even know about it. When I was the General Manager for a football team we traded for everything, advertising, food for the players, housing, you name it! It saves the company money. I have traded for many things no matter what career I was in at the time, web design, pr work, headshots, etc. When we owned a business my husband traded concrete work for my son’s braces. I have a friend who’s parents trade many things from their business to other businesses, in fact, they are a member of a group that puts businesses together who want to trade products or services. I am sure that you have all heard of the couple that traded enough to furnish their dream wedding. The couple got engaged, but when they got ready to tie the knot, they faced the challenge of an expensive wedding in a shrinking economy. However, the future bride was determined that a bad economy was not going to stop her from her dream wedding.
She decided to trade their skills and time for what they wanted. They went to every vendor that they wanted a product or service from and told them that they would trade them their product or service. It was a huge success!
It wasn’t that long ago that people were trading beads and feathers for food and clothing or vice versa. Get back to that mentality, what skills do you have? Are you starting a business? Do you want to start a business? Trade, trade, trade!!! Don’t be scared to ask people to trade either. I have done a lot of trading in work whether I was working for myself or someone else and I have rarely been turned down. I would say 95% of the time they say yes and if they are not willing to trade for the whole thing they will usually do a partial trade. Trading is a win win for everyone!
So try it, I think that if it is something you have never done before you will be surprised!