Have you ever swapped one of your toys with a sibling or friend in return for one of their toys? Then you’ve bartered. Two willing kids have what the other wants and by exchange they make each other happier for it.

Bartering empowers you to take control and get what you want, with what you have, regardless of financial means. Bartering has been around since the dawn of time. In the Middle Ages, Europeans travelled the world to exchange their furs and handmade crafts for spices, silks, and perfumes of the East.

Today bartering is all around, the most widely accepted example being Bitcoin. Bitcoin by itself is transforming the monetary landscape.

Bartering very much aligns with the ‘One plus One makes Three’ alchemy  – meaning that after the transaction you have two happy parties as well as an additional new opportunity that arose from all of this.

In today’s environment of financial and business challenges, bartering has become even more of an opportunity. It confirms the value intrinsic to you as a person or brand. Bartering forces you to think way bigger than you are used to.

As bartering realises your goal, your brain gets its share of dopamine that in turn will have you want to barter again and again … Bartering makes you more confident: confident to own the business, career and life you want;  confident to make it work out your way despite your circumstances.

What is more confidence worth to you? To make bartering your new wealth, you’ll have to determine what wealth means to you and use bartering to attain it. To me, wealth means ‘a plentiful supply of a particular desirable thing’. What does wealth mean to you personally? What are your particular desires? What does plentiful mean to you within this wealth?

Having quantified what you are worth and knowing the benefits it brings together with your understanding of personal wealth, how can you use the caveman form of bartering to create this wealth and happiness for yourself? What might happen if you could master bartering daily, monthly, annually? What outcomes will it have to your outlook on life? And business? Or other things? What benefits and opportunities will a ‘less-worry-about-cash’ life look like?

The confident you can use bartering to sail the stormy oceans to your island in the sun despite the real financial challenges you are facing daily. How ready are you for your island life? What about a challenge? Barter for one whole week, not exchanging money at all but having the greatest week of your year? Let me know how much wealthier you are for it.

PS: The taxman still wants what is due to him …


The key lies in ‘need versus want’. Define your needs. Imagine for this week you’re unable to rely on your monetary assets. What would your minimum needs be? Be specific: think food, fuel, entertainment, whatever …

What do you have that is needed or wanted and of value to others? Think your skills, passions, hobbies, unused goods …List these. What about linking a contact to each asset you have to offer? Now try to exchange the two lists. You’re ready. Make a call, send an email and get your ball of bartering on the roll. Go on and empower yourself!

Author: Stanford Payne CA(SA) is an ICF-accredited executive and business coach