Understanding Exchange

barter-10If you want anything in life you have to figure out how to create an exchange between yourself and someone else. It is really that simple.

In order for an exchange to occur, you need to find out what the person or business wants that you can provide and whether they are willing to exchange something with you that you want.

When you truly understand exchange, you have the keys to success as a practitioner, a family member, and as a member of any society. You will be able to create successful products and services in any field of your choice. You will be able to create a business from scratch and control your destiny by understanding and applying the principles of exchange.

Exchange involves valuables for valuables. In life, exchange occurs in many ways. A business generally receives money in exchange for a valuable product or service; however, the principles of exchange apply to friendship, sports, goodwill or church activities as well as business transactions. People exchange with their family, friends and country as well as their business.

First, the common definition: An act of giving one thing and receiving another (esp. of the same type or value) in return.

The next step is the realization that there are different levels of exchange. Here are some of the most common levels of exchange:

Abundant Exchange  – most valuable exchange of all – giving more than expected
Fair Exchange      – desired
Partial Exchange   – not desired
Criminal Exchange  – highly destructive

These have been known and discussed for many years, but I am not sure that many people have understood how fundamental the concept and action of exchange really is. A person or civilization will prosper or fail depending on the level of exchange they support.

Fair exchange is the fundamental principle that makes communication possible. Fair exchange keeps a family together. Fair exchange is the basis of trusted relationships and businesses and communities and nations when properly understood and executed.

Fair Exchange involves selling and collecting money for a specific product or service and delivering exactly what has been sold. Most successful businesses and activities operate on the basis of fair exchange   Fair exchange creates working businesses and communities when it exists and is encouraged.

What about the other kinds of exchange?

Abundant Exchange is the highest condition of exchange. This does not mean one undercharges or gives products or services away. It does mean that one delivers something more valuable than the buyer paid for or expected. You can exchange in abundance with your husband, wife, children, parents and employees, or perhaps you could provide a worthwhile exchange to mankind in general. Truthfully, there is no real limit to the valuable things you can provide. This condition of exchange is not common, but when it is, the person or business who applies this principle stands out from the crowd and the word of mouth for this person or business generates incredible amnount of good will and the person or business prospers.

Partial exchange is the act of delivering less than what was agreed upon or expected. This can involve the delivery of only part of the product, a flawed product, or a product which is not completely functional  Partial exchange is what creates the need for detailed contracts and lawyers to make sure that partial and criminal exchange is detected and handled whenever possible.

Criminal Exchange is taking something for nothing. There is no real exchange involved. An employee that does not carry out his duties but collects a paycheck is an example of criminal exchange. An organization that collects fees for a service or product and never delivers is also criminal exchange.  Criminal exchange is what fuels the drive for police forces and prisons and laws of all kinds.


Nothing is going to happen until you figure out how to create an exchange between yourself and someone else. In order for an exchange to occur, you need to find out what the person or business wants that you can provide and whether they are willing to exchange something with you that you want.

You may have to look around a bit to find people or businesses who want what you can provide but that is the basis of all marketing, finding a need and filling it. If you find someone who needs what you can provide and you provide abundant exchange, you will soon find that you can generate all the business you can handle.

Many people try to work this backwards. They say I have this degree or this certificate in this specialty and I want to work as an project manager or as a foreman, etc.  Or they say to a prospective spouse or partner, I have money and good taste and I like your style, lets spend time together.

You can save a lot of time and heartache by finding people who need what you can provide and then figuring out how to convince them you can deliver what they need.

If you are starting out with few or no resources, your prospects are limited but people have worked their way up from sweeping floors to running corporations in my lifetime because they applied these principles and many of them did not understand English when they started out. In almost all cases, they understood that abundant exchange was the key to eventual success.

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