About a year and a half ago I started having a lot tooth aches and pains. These problems were stemming from the fact that I didn’t take care of my teeth for a number of years due to financial problems. I couldn’t afford it and wasn’t able to shell out the money for my dental needs.
Eventually the pain got so bad that I was forced to go to the dentist. Having a job at the time but no insurance I called around and had gotten a few referrals to some really good dentists. Finally, I picked one that was going to allow me to make payments but with no interest. I thought I had struck pay dirt.
After my first visit they were projecting that I needed about $3500 worth of dental work done over the course of the next 1-2 years. At this time I owed several thousand in credit card debt and couldn’t even fathom another $3000 tacked on top of that.
You never know until you ask
After my second visit, I was on my way out and I decided to ask the receptionist if they knew anyone who needed computer work done. (I.T. is my bread and butter and has been for years) I gave her a quick background on my skills and whom I’ve worked for and that I’d be happy to do any sort of work trade. She told me to hold on and that she’d be right back.
After speaking with the dentist she came back to let me know that if they needed anything they would be sure to give me a call. Less than a week later, my phone rang. They need some computer work done.
It has been over a year and I have been able to knock off over $2000 off my bill between I.T. and webpage work for the office and for their employees. I have been able to build a trusted relationship with them and they now call me with any I.T. needs they have. They even go out of their way to make sure that I have a chance to take a job before even getting a second opinion.
Work trade benefits both parties
Work trade does not just benefit you; it benefits the other party as well. Trading time for time in my case saves everyone money on many levels. As an I.T. professional my time and knowledge is very valuable. On the flipside, so is my dentist’s time. This allows us to trade our skills for top dollar.
This can also apply to time for product
I recently did a webpage for a fly fishing shop and was able to pick up a new fly rod, reel, line, and flies in exchange for my work on their site. This worked out because I was able to get much nicer gear since the shop was getting it at a lower price.
If you have a skill that can be utilized by a business (and it looks like they may need your help) never be afraid to ask. Never be scared to ask if they need an I.T. guy or maybe they need a new roof if you happen to be a roofer.
The point is that if you put yourself out there the worst thing that can happen is they say no.
No harm, no foul.