Do you know what the Trough Cycle is?
Chances are everywhere. You have a lot of ideas. Each one says it will bring you more money and success.
You are excited about each one. If the return is not expected right away, passion and energy drop.
You come out as the endorphins of the next chance make your brain light up with its possibilities. The cycle of troughs begins again.
Some of this work can be turned into knowledge and experience, but a lot of it can be lost over time and distance.
How much time do you still have to waste?
If you had the chance, what would you trade your time for? How about using your work as a way to show what you love doing?
Glen Carlson, who started the Key Person of Influence program**, says, “Influence comes from being a well-known, accessible, and interesting person at the center of your field.”
When I went to this one-day seminar, I was struck by the idea that mastering the art of barter, which is the act of giving and taking, is what makes sure that everyone succeeds.
The main idea of this presentation was that it’s no surprise that powerful people trade with other powerful people. The benefits that are traded may lead to a lot of money, but they do not have to be exchanged for cash.
What is bartering if not the exchange of valuable goods or services for other goods or services of equal value, or for money? At the end of the day, money is just a set of numbers with a predetermined value that you can trade for goods or services with the same value.
The first part of KPI’s five-point plan is the “Pitch.” As the former CEO of George Pattison Advertising Australia and author of Stop Bitching, Start Pitching, Ian Elliot was a natural at this form of trading.
Ian said that the key to a good pitch is to “understand before you start to be understood.” He also said that the process of pitching includes figuring out your value proposition, writing your pitch, making a brand, and finding your hidden helpers, such as your staff and customers, who have all the answers but you have to ask them.
People in marketing say that offline, you only have the time of a short elevator ride to trade your value proposition for a business card or an agreement to take a call.
Not so different online, if you look at how many people leave a landing page right away.
But if you’ve done the work ahead of time, it’s much more likely that you’ll be able to pitch your great free information and ask for permission to stay in touch.
Add to that fantastic service in everything you do. Suddenly, you’re no longer serving to make people happy; you’re trading for their support. And that’s how you build your community both online and in person.
The economy of the idea
Andrew Griffith, the author of the 101 series of business books, says that in the ideas economy of today, we are the “first settlers” who claim the title deeds to our ideas by publishing them. Andrew talked about Publishing, which is the second P in the KPI program.
Put out books, books, books
By writing posts, articles, tweets, and comments regularly, we trade our ideas for attention, authority, and support.
Andrew pushed us to move forward and put out a book. He said that once you have a book published, you become a magnet for opportunities. He said that publishing has never been easier.
If you know your niche and where you stand in it, and if your book stays true to your core values, it can be a great way to get ahead.
And important to the next step, which is making a product.
Assets lead to income.
When you pitch, you open doors, when you publish, you build your credibility, and when you make a product, you turn your skills into an asset. Mark Johnstone kept repeating this as he talked about Product, the third P in the KPI program.
He is the CEO of Shirlaws international, which is a top-notch business consulting firm.
I’d like to suggest that this, too, is a form of barter. A deal between you and your business that says you will both be rewarded for your work up to this point by making assets.
Bartering also includes giving money in exchange for a valuable service or item. How well you do it is the question. If you know how to trade in this way, it means you are good at pitching and publishing. You’ve built a group of people who trust you and can’t get enough of what you have to offer. When you finally ask for money, they give it to you.
Mark ended with a comment that was both interesting and the perfect way to move on to the next presenter.
“Your own Google algorithm is your intellectual property.”
“You must be searchable on Google!”
This is how WebCeleb and social media expert Kylie Bartlett began her presentation on the fourth P, Profile.
Kylie, who is a bit like a human dynamo, had a lot of memorable advice to add:
‘If your not online, you don’t exist.’ “Google says you are who it says you are.” “The new black is microbusiness.” “Don’t write checks on social media that your company can’t cash.” “Don’t look like you’re still working on it; have everything ready to go.” “Your customers are now your best salespeople.” “Repetition makes a name for itself.”
“Google will be the source of the big deal.”
What’s the best deal you can make online?
This means that the best way to trade online is to provide excellent, consistent, and valuable content that builds a community of loyal fans in exchange for Google’s attention.
With Google on your side, you have authority, influence, traffic, and the respect of your peers and the community. Kylie’s last comment, “Content and community is the new currency,” said it all.
Open it up. Pitch it, publish it, turn it into a product, and give it a profile. Then work with other people. There’s no such thing as a millionaire who made it on their own. Daniel Priestly, who wrote the book Key Person of Influence, says it’s a team sport.
Daniel finished the presentation by talking about Partners, the fifth P. “You can’t get rich by adding,” he said. “You can only get rich by multiplying.”
So you have perfected your pitch, written a bunch of books, turned your skills into products, and built a popular online profile.
Do you think you could trade something valuable? You bet.
Daniel talked about “the magic triangle,” which is made up of brands, distributors, and products. Are there other brands, distributors, or products that might want to work with you to expand their reach, raise their profile, improve their brand, and sell more products?
He said that someone got up today with the missing piece for your business.
It was a powerful ending to the presentation.
Acts of kindness in exchange
At the end of the day, we found out that the small price of our tickets had given 137 children access to water that could save their lives through the B1G1.com program. Some of the people who came spent an extra $10,000 on things that day, and that money was given to the Hunger Program. Both of these were acts of kindness.
It made me think of KasCare, the charity my aunt and I started in South Africa with the goal of warming and comforting some of the 1.9 million children who have lost their parents or are at risk because of HIV/AIDS or poverty. How does barter work here I wondered?
So, we asked knitters and crocheters all over the world to knit or crochet an 8-inch square that would be sent to South Africa and turned into blankets for the children there.
In exchange, we would give the blankets, along with their love, to the kids who needed them the most and send them pictures of the kids with their blankets.
There were a lot of responses. So, we made a community where the stitchers could support and teach each other, share patterns and creative ideas, enjoy challenges, and spread the word about this little-known human crisis. In return, the community sent South Africa squares, hats, sweaters, and toys. At last count, there were 306,000 squares and over 40,000 knitted items.
Isn’t this a great example of how to trade? A value exchange that is good for everyone.
Thank you to all of the KPI presenters for giving me ideas for this article on barter.
* Based on The Dip, a book by Seth Godin.
**At the time I wrote and published this article, the only reason I was interested in the KPI program was because I had gone to their one-day seminar and been inspired by how barter and their five-step program worked together. I’ve decided to go to the 30 week Key Person of Influence incubator program as of today. Even though I’m excited to tell you what I learn along the way, this post has nothing to do with making money.