You can’t use money any more in Las Vegas. All of your “winnings” are on your little card. What is the fun of playing a slot machine that you don’t drop coins into? Where is the rush of the jackpot when it just adds numbers to your account? I want to see those quarters rolling down the chute, to fill my plastic tub(s) till they are too heavy to carry, waddle over to the change window and cash out.
This abstraction may seem irrelevant until you consider the current state of our economy. Much of our local business is being transacted on perceived “credits.” I have a bad back, and a good knack for marketing. In exchange for my services building business accounts and profiles on YouTube, FaceBook, LinkedIn and Twitter, I get my back cracked for free. Being that I have my own business, my insurance doesn’t cover Chiropractic, so it’s a good deal all the way around. We have set up a website for his business, optimized social profiles for his business, and an extensive blog for his business. It is fun. There is nothing that gives me more satisfaction than taking someone who is unfamiliar with internet tools and showing them how simple and inexpensive it is to get started creating your own on-line brand.
My boat was in a state of amazing disrepair not too long ago, and is being worked on as we speak. It kind of ended up being one person helping another, but a friend is doing a bunch of work on it. It seemed a bit one sided, as the boat is at his house up in Mariposa and I am three and a half hours away. There was only one thing that came to mind that could be done to reciprocate: help him promote his business. It’s not as if entrepreneurs don’t know how to market. Most of them have had to be pretty good at it to make a living. The problem is that when you are a sole proprietor/contractor you spend half the time working your craft, and the other half of the time out hustling for more business. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to do both effectively. He literally had no time to set up the profiles, re-vamp his website to take advantage of inbound marketing, optimize all of his content to include his keywords, etc. This is all the stuff that comes really easy to me, and is fun to do so here we are again.
Same boat, different project, there is need of upholstery. Strange coincidence, there is an upholsterer we know that is in need of all of the above, and doesn’t even have a website. My boat partner’s wife is a sick graphic designer, I do websites, we smell barter. There are the perceived “chips” to count; how much would we have charged to set him up with a website and accounts on FaceBook, YouTube, Hotmail, WordPress and Google.com? How much would he charge to re-upholster the boat? In the end it looks like it will be close enough that no cash will need to change hands.
I was able to help my good friend and caterer Chef Paul Bataille (Located on the San Francisco Peninsula) http://www.bataillegourmet.com/about-us.php with his business; same set of parameters. He published a very nice review and recommendation for me in his blog.
In ten minutes it will be time for me to go have lunch with my publisher. He and I taught LinkedIn, FaceBook, and Twitter together recently at ProMatch. He is helping me with my business, and I am helping him with his. No cash changes hands.
It would be nice if there was something we could work out with Starbucks for our lunch, but I’m afraid that they already have a fairly decent marketing department.
I guess there is an argument for paying jobs. It would be hard to run around town with NO cash at all.