You can get paid in so many ways. Money is the most obvious -- it’s a ubiquitous necessity that directly helps us lead healthy, fulfilled lives. Then there’s a barter system, which is much less popular but still has a place when trading work with skilled professionals.
When a new opportunity arises, consider this: Does this professional have a superhero skill you need or a potential barter service that motivates you?
These skills and services become their own kind of currency.
One of my mentors, Dan Sullivan, founder and president of Strategic Coach, says that money isn’t the most valuable asset when it comes to getting paid and growing your business. He calls these motivators the 5 Cs, and says they help him easily remember what is actually helping grow his company -- capability, credibility, confidence, connections, creativity.
“When you're getting paid in these ways for the value you create in the world, you're focusing on the right things — what really creates increasing value for your clientele and what gives you the greatest resources to create increasingly bigger and more satisfying growth opportunities for yourself as an entrepreneur and for your company,” Sullivan writes.
I decided to model a similar mindset.
I took a hard look at my budget over the last 6 months, and discovered that we spend most of our money on experience dining (new foods, luxury meals) and frequent home purchases like coffee. This discovery became a big motivator.
Over the following months, I kept this motivator in mind when presented with new opportunities. I’ve now successfully arranged long-term coaching relationships as trades for things like organic Colombian coffee, squanderable amounts of the world's finest caviar, and cases of biodynamic wine.
These engagements are often more rewarding and fulfilling for me than the ones centered on cash. The reason is that I've chosen to do great work for someone that will truly help them -- intrinsically, this is itself motivating, and basically a gift I get to give. And since a real gift is given without expectation of any return, I do it for the love of that particular human and my commitment to help them grow and flourish.
And each time I receive a desired, fabulous reward like coffee or wine, it feels like a generous gift from a friend.
Through this barter system I’ve created, I can lend my services to people I want to see prosper, nurture my relationships with them, and engage in activities I absolutely love (like treating myself to delicious caviar!).