Monday, September 5, 2016

Where Everything Old is New Again.

For those of you in the US, Happy Labor Day!  Nothing like a day off (assuming you do not work in retail, food, emergency services, news....the list is just about endless of people who did not get the day off!) to bring an end to summer fun.

As all three of my kids had the day off from school, we did what any reasonable family would do and went to the zoo.  In hindsight, we should have stayed home.  I swear everyone within a 40 mile radius of the place was there at nine this morning to say goodbye to Nora!  It was certainly a people zoo today.

After walking around half the zoo, taking what James Herriot referred to as "big steps and little 'uns" we came home and I started work on a few things that needed editing and testing.  Which brings me to the point of this particular post.

A long time ago, in a world we think of romantically, but which probably was not so very much different from today's (apart from the lack of modern medicine, roads, convenience and especially hygiene!) if you wanted something that you were not capable of doing for yourself, you would trade, or barter, with someone who could do it.  In my opinion, money is really just an evolved form of bartering, with my trading my time for money and then using the money to buy the things I cannot or will not do for myself, without having to trade directly with the person offering the item or service I need.

I think that in today's world, we severely underestimate the value of a good barter exchange!  Or maybe that is just me because I have been bartering up a storm lately!

Did you notice how beautiful some of the photo's for Sufficient were?  In particular this one:

Let me walk you through the evolution of that photo as it was given to me...we start with my so-so photo...

The person I was bartering with then did some magic with cropping and changing the contrast and brightness.

Then she rotated it slightly and that ok photo that I took at the park became a photo that the editor of Knotions really liked!

I really like it too, but, I probably wouldn't have seen it the same way she did and you would never have seen that slightly rotated, edited picture.

There are things that I am very good at. (Seriously, don't laugh like that!)  I have been told by many people over the course of the last 20 or so years that I am the person that asked the next question and got them thinking about what they really want to be doing.  That I put things into a good perspective and helped them work through going from "I wish" to "I want" to "Here is my plan for how to make my dream a reality." 

There are things that I am not so good at, the photography for one!  Editing my own work for a second, so that was the next thing to barter for.  (Tech editors are not necessarily an expense that a newbie designer is able to pay for, but let's talk that one through a little here...) Everyone has something they are good at, or can offer in exchange for what they need.  The trick is to look for the person who has the skills you need and needs the skills you have!

Sounds simple, right?

Yeah, it isn't as simple as it sounds, but...if you are determined and willing to trust in other people you can do it.

As it is college tuition season, and I had patterns that needed editing, and the person who had been my "second set of eyes" kinda thought that looking after her brand new, slightly premature baby was important*, I went looking for someone I could trade with.  Life sometimes just works out really well for me, and at the same time I was looking for a barter, a brand new tech editor was looking for feedback!

So we bartered!

I would give her something she couldn't do for herself, namely help her refine her style, find what she missed and give feedback and a testimonial (if it was warranted!) and she would tech edit my next pattern. Win-win as far as I am concerned, remember that I am good at helping people cut through the stuff that gets in the way and change I wish to I have a plan?

Tomorrow you can tell me what you think....the shawl pattern she tech edited goes live tomorrow and I think that my bartering has made this pattern even better and more streamlined than anything I have offered before.

Because just in everything else in life, change is hard, but sometimes worth it!  And, everything old (bartering) is new again!


*I wish her all the best, having a new baby, under any circumstances is a life changing event! And I agree, babies are only babies for such a short time.  Plenty of time to pick back up that career later, looking back and saying I should have spent more time with my child has to be the saddest statement I ever heard!

**the new tech editor?  She can be found here!  So far, I like her.  Very pleasant voice to work with, and we did work through a few things to make her style her own and even better than what I had been working with before.   If you design, give her a few weeks to be more sure of her own voice and I am sure she will be a great tech editor for you.  You can even say I sent you over there!

So long as there is a value exchange, I don't really see that there is anything wrong with bartering your way to getting what you need!

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