An effective way to solve any problem is to your give your way toward a solution. A skill or support swap will omit the currency of money.
Usually, a specific problem is solved through a cash exchange. Young Frankie, for example, comes to mow your lawn every Saturday and you pay for his time to do the job. Hopefully, he does it well. Or, maybe your car suddenly blows a puff of black smoke out of its exhaust pipe whenever you step on the gas peddle. Car trouble, now that’s a problem that needs solving. Likely, you’ll take your car to a mechanic because he has the skills to solve the problem.
Not every problem is solved by a skill. Many problems boil down to physical ability. When you cope with health challenges, and or live on a fixed income, problems can seem insurmountable. Truth be told there will always be problems. The trick is to be curious. Put on a deceptive cap and look for clues. Zero in on one specific problem to identify what exactly is needed to reduce or illuminate it completely. Once you do that, the next step is to identify someone who has a problem that you are able to solve. Next, you pitch your idea and create an exchange offer.
I’ll outline how I solved a problem using the support swap system. It did not involve a skill or money. During the winter, especially when snow arrives, it is difficult for me to get around. Dragging a walker across a snowy parking lot is no fun. I found grocery shopping really hard to do in bad weather. I wanted this task to be less frustrating.
Living in the country did not include delivery service options. On occasion, I’d ask a friend but I did not want to do that all the time. On two separate grocery excursions, I noticed a lady in the store shopping with three young children. She spent a lot of time running after one of them. I stopped and introduced myself to her and we discovered we lived only a few miles apart. I asked her if it was difficult to shop with her children in tow. With a roll of her eyes, she said it was like going to a carnival but without the fun.
I told her I had an idea about how we could help one another with a support swap. She was curious, so I offered this pitch. “How about, you bring your kids to my house for two hours while you grocery shop and you fill my grocery order at the same time?”
Because we did not know one another, I suggested she talk to the grocery store manager, who knew us both. The staff of a small local grocery store knows most people who shop there on a regular basis. I gave her my phone number.
Within a week she called and we made arrangements to try our support swap. It proved to be successful and we did this for an entire winter. I enjoyed the company of children while she enjoyed completing a necessary task distraction free. And, my groceries were delivered right to my kitchen counter.
No money changed hands but we both benefitted from this creative exchange. Put on your detective cap and see what problem you might be able to solve by giving your way toward a solution.