When I first started my business I thought bartering would be a great way to get my business off the ground without having loads of cash available up front. But in reality it was a disaster, I ended up wasting time with untalented logo designers and websites that I didn’t love and it made me feel very unprofessional.
Before the invention of currency, it made sense to trade and barter. In fact, that was the only way to do business!
But even after currency existed, in many parts of the world women did not have access to currency. Women weren’t able to own property, didn’t have bank accounts or even pockets and often weren’t allowed to take paid work. As a result, much of women’s work (like being a doula) has traditionally been unpaid, but (hopefully) the village looked after these women in return.
Now, of course, women can work for money, but there still seems to be a lot of money blocks, especially in women-dominated professions. We often romanticise the good old days and wish we could avoid the whole money thing altogether.
But now it’s likely you need to pay rent? Bills? School fees? Me too!!
This is the world we live in.
Plus I bet you have bigger philanthropic dreams too? Women typically do!
So it’s time to begin a love affair with money, as a force that can change the world for good. According to the World Bank, women currently only hold 1% of the world's wealth, imagine what a difference we could make if we had more money!?!?
So start with boundaries around trading and bartering your work. Start by getting paid.
Trading and bartering can prevent you from thinking and behaving like a professional.
It sends a message to the universe that you are willing to work for free. It makes your work feel more like a hobby and often restricts you to using sub-standard products and services yourself since you don’t have the money to choose.
Clients who don’t PAY you often don’t VALUE you.
I’ve experienced this myself and dozens of times through my students. Your clients need to have some skin in the game, or they won’t be truly engaged and they won’t get results.
We sometimes hide behind trading and bartering because we are terrified of asking for money, or even just talking about it.
Maybe you have trouble saying no or having boundaries. Maybe you secretly believe that no one would actually want to pay for your services. It’s time to stop hiding and start facing your money blocks.
Trading and bartering are messy!
Sometimes we think we are doing someone a favour, when in fact we are not! My friend who is a hairdresser was offered to trade her haircuts for yoga classes. I’m sure the yoga teacher thought she was being generous, but my friend, who was a single mum at the time, really needed cold hard cash and came to me asking how she could politely decline. Trading can cause resentment. Respect each other and pay each other!
Of course there are always exceptions to every rule, and maybe you have situation when a trade has really worked well for you, but in general I would love to see more of the world's money in the hands of women, and I would love to see more women lifting each other up by paying beautifully for each other's services.
Money is simply an energy exchange like any other.
And you know what I’ve found?
Women love seeing boundaries modelled because it gives them permission to implement boundaries in their lives too.