Why Cash Is Not King And Trading Is In!
Recently, I’ve been challenging the very culture I grew up in and wondering why it is the way it is…
Why are we so obsessed with grinding?
Why is money at the forefront of our lives?
Why do we give money the value that we do?
Why are people so easily convinced to claw their way up the corporate ladder regardless of the stress & unhappiness it creates in their lives?
Why is capitalism so glorified?
Why do we have businesses?
Why do we work so hard to buy things that only make us happy for a day, week or month?
Is trading so much of our limited time on earth for cash really a fair trade?
Why is our culture in North America more overweight, stressed out, unhealthy, unhappy & leading a less healthy life than other cultures despite having more “things”?
It’s pretty evident that we have too much access to everything and zero self control. We were taught to work hard & play hard but it’s costing us our happiness. That’s too expensive.
The obesity issue on our side of the world is a (very literal) representation of our overconsumption. Physically, I’ve never met a human being I didn’t think was absolutely beautiful in their own way… but if we’re talking about scientific health, longevity & living a happier longer life then we’ve got to be honest with ourselves and figure out the voids we’re attempting to fill via a closet full of clothing and eating out of stress rather than hunger. I’m not saying this to make you feel bad for overspending or overeating. I’m guilty of both too, I used to be 60 lbs heavier than I am today and at 210 lbs currently, my BMI still considers me to be 'obese' so, believe me- I get it! My own void-filling issues led me to questioning why we just conform to society without questioning who made the rules, where they came from, what purpose they serve, and if there’s a better, healthier & happier way to live?
Something really cool that I’ve been experimenting with is trading my products/services with other businesses in exchange for their products/services. Removing physical money from the equation in as many areas as possible. Afterall, this is how our ancestors survived in the past prior to cash becoming king and here’s what I’ve learned…
It’s a true win-win relationship. You end up giving & receiving way more value than if you just bought something with cash. You build a true connection and trust in each other that you wouldn’t otherwise get when mindlessly tapping your debit card to pay. Think about it, let’s say you’re a hair stylist and you have 3 kids. Every year, you spend physical money to buy them each a cake on their birthday. What if you saved that money and offered your services in exchange for the cake. Would you feel like that’s a fair trade?
If you’re a boutique shop owner who spends $150 at the spa on your personal services every month, would you trade a $150 gift card to your shop in exchange for those services? You save $150 cash and your cost of the gift card to your shop is whatever the raw cost of products are, which we all know is a fraction of what you mark up the products. It’s a great deal for both parties if the spa owner also sees the value in shopping at your store.
This only works when both parties exchange for equal value. Like any relationship, it’s important to make sure that the quality & service is maintained regardless whether it’s a trade or cash transaction.
Just because society has told us that money is the most valuable currency, doesn’t necessarily make it true. It’s only true if you believe it’s true but I like to challenge concepts that have been around for seemingly ever that clearly aren’t serving us as a whole.
How to try this concept in your own life:
Write down all the fixed expense areas in your life (things you can’t really trade your time or service for, such as your mortgage, car payment, gas, taxes etc). You’ll need cash to cover those things. Then make another list of all the extra areas that you currently spend money on such as: clothing, nails, hair, spa, gifts for others, bakery treats, home decor, books, gifts, dinners out, wine, beer etc… Next to each of the extra areas you’ve listed, write down a few local businesses that sell those products or offer those services. After that, make a list of what you can offer them in terms of value. Obviously, if you’re a business owner you could offer a gift card to your business but if you’re not, what else are you good at? Could you start a side business solely for the purpose of exchanging services? What skill could you teach them? Everyone has something to offer, sometimes you just have to think outside the box & get creative!
Imagine all the money you could actually save by partnering with a local business in each area you currently spend cash in. Simply by exchanging your product/service for a gift card for their product/service? You only need to establish a few partnerships in those categories that are important to you that you would normally spend cash on and you end up saving money while still indulging in what matters to you!
You could make a one time trade, or have an ongoing arrangement together. Whichever you decide, always lead with generosity and kindness.
The best part? I’m a huge believer in universal positive energy. The exchange of products and services has a completely different energy attached to it instead of buying something with cash. When you’re trading your time for someone else’s time, you’re inadvertently saying that you appreciate and value what they have to offer as a human being instead of placing a monetary value on them. What’s their time worth? What’s your time worth? In my honest opinion, no one's time is more valuable or important than anyone else’s. I know in our culture, we don’t always see it that way, which is why we have a culture of keeping capitalism, celebrities and fame on a pedestal. But, really at the end of the day can we really say one human’s existence is more valuable than another? I’ll choose to go against our capitalistic culture and agree to disagree. Simply put, there's just more negative energy associated when spending money as opposed to trading products/services with eachother. How do you feel when you spend money? If you don't feel like the richest, most abundant person in the world who has an excess of cash, you probably have some types of scarcity feelings associated with it which translates into negative energy.
We all have something to offer each other, we’re all more or less skilled than each other in different areas of our lives which is why we need to come together to share our skills with each other. It’s why back in the day, the vegetable farmer would trade vegetables with the meat farmer so that everyone has what they need to survive and make a complete meal. Money was once a nonexistent currency once upon a time. It’s interesting how it’s changed & impacted our thoughts, actions & lives for better or for worse.
Another point I’d like to mention is to reflect on the negative & fearful connotation that accompanies physical money. Most people have a hard time parting ways with it and never feel like they have enough of it. It’s much more common to have a scarcity mindset when it comes to cold hard cash than it does with trading products/services. All of a sudden things become much more “affordable” in our minds when we consider trading instead of buying. It’s plausible to believe that in incorporating this non monetary approach into our lives we’d likely increase our happiness, fulfillment & even actually save money in the long run.
Obviously, if we still wish to participate in society, we’ll still need some cash, but I guarantee that you don’t need as much cash as you think you do when you stop spending it on “extras” and start trading for those items instead. Maybe that means you could work less, trade more & enjoy more free time doing what you love?
How will I pay my bills if I keep trading instead of accepting cash?
Don’t come at this from a scarcity mindset… If you’re a business owner, you’re still going to have regular customers who won’t care or want to trade anything. They likely won’t even understand this concept… It’s deep and it goes against the norm. Most average people are too preoccupied with the grind of every day life to even consider alternative means of being. Most of your customers would just rather pay cash and be done with it. If you work at a regular job then great, you have a steady income of cash coming in already. You’ll need to come up with some services or products that you can trade if you want to give this a try.
Final food for thought- I’m just suggesting that if we give money less of a value and priority in our lives and can still have all the things we need and want while building stronger connections together, then what’ve you got to lose?
Interested in trading with me?Here’s an example of some of the things I can offer:
Gift cards to my bakery Chick Boss Cake
Gift cards to Rebecca Hamilton Co.
Photography packages (product, portrait, branding etc)
Mentoring on starting and growing your business
Mentoring on social media, marketing & branding
Mentoring on creating the life of your dreams
Advertising spots on my podcast Scrap The Sweet Talk
Advertising via promoting your business in our orders & via our social media/e-mail lists
Here’s an example of what I would be interested in receiving:
Gift cards to local businesses, markets, barber shops, boutiques, bakeries, coffee shops, wineries, breweries, restaurants etc…
Gift cards to spas or similar services
Photography packages from other photographers
Anything health/energy/healing/meditation/wellness related
Hair, nail or lash services
Marketing & branding services for my business
If you offer something I haven’t listed, send me an e-mail with your proposal: email@example.com! Even if it’s not a service I may need, I may still be interested in doing the trade & gifting the product or service.
You can't put a monetary value on the connections, brand awareness & the sense of community you'll build in the process...