In life, we all strive to be financially free, prosperous, and successful. This may come in different shapes, forms, and varying degrees. To achieve this, we all need fair exchanges in our lives, whether it is in business, relationships, or just interacting with others. When it comes to prosperity in business, this is particularly important, since success and failure are 100% dependent on it. A lack of fair exchange will, 100% of the time, kill a business.
What is a fair exchange?
It's really stupid simple! It means that all parties involved in a transaction should receive something of equal value that benefit both parties. This could be a product or service, money, time, guidance, or any number of other things.
Fair exchange is rooted in the idea that prosperity and success are not zero-sum games. When both or all parties benefit from the exchange, they're more likely to continue working together, building trust and long-term relationships that can lead to further opportunities and success. lack of fair exchange can leave both parties disgruntled, resentful, and out in the cold.
In the world of startups and entrepreneurship, resources and time are limited. Founders, whether they acknowledge it or not, need support and guidance to build and grow their businesses, and advisors and investors are seeking a return on the investment of time, money, and other resources. Fair exchange, agreed upon upfront, helps build strong, sustainable businesses that are able to adapt and thrive in rapidly changing environments.
The same relates to your customers - they need to believe they have received fair exchange for the money they spend with you. They are your first investors and most reliable investors.
There's always a contract
As a founder turned advisor and investor, I have given tons of free advice, time, and other resources to Founders, and have seen both sides of the free advice equation. When I started out, I was really fortunate to have people in my network who supported me and shared their experiences and wisdom. Even though I didn't spend money, I knew there was a psychological contract created, and should the day come, and the tables turn, I would pay back the debt.
As I grew my business, I began to feel the weight of the expectations on me and my ability to execute - the pressure was on - but I didn't mind, because I know what I'm capable of. I became more aware of the strength of relationships and networks, being particularly careful to build bridges with the right people by ensuring there's a fair value of exchange - whether it was my time, payment for their service, or opening up my networks to them.
As time went by, and I confronted my illusion of being an imposter, I began to see the other side of the equation. As an advisor and investor, this same network helped me realize that by valuing my own time and resources and acknowledging my strengths, my time and expertise are valuable commodities. Time is a luxury, and is highly limited, and as where I'm happy to share my knowledge, skills and experience with new Founders, the time to do this is limited to the programs I run or mentor, through organizations like Google for Startups, Founder Institute, and other global accelerators. I need to be sure that I'm fairly compensated for my efforts, after all, I am helping Founders build their businesses and achieve prosperity.
By receiving adequate compensation, I, and other advisors, are able to offer the best support to those who truly value it and we are able to build lasting relationships that are sustainable. Now not all advisors are equal - I know many who are way better than me, and I know a few that Founders shouldn't touch with a barge pole.
So, as a Founder, you need to do your due diligence and invest in yourself and your business by seeking out experienced advisors and compensating them for their time and expertise. By doing so, you'll not only get the best guidance and support, but you'll also be contributing to a sustainable startup ecosystem that benefits everyone.
As a Founder, you also need to make sure that the value you provide matches or exceeds the price charged or money received. An imbalance will ultimately leave you distraught.
Culture of prosperity
When we approach anything with the goal of creating a win-win outcome, we foster a culture of trust, collaboration, and mutual benefit. This not only benefits us an individuals, but it benefits our communities and society as a whole.
To ensure there is a fair exchange, parties need to be clear about their expectations and needs and be open to feedback and suggestions from others. It means valuing the time and resources of our partners and colleagues and compensating them fairly for their efforts. It means being honest and transparent about our own limitations and needs so that others can work with us to achieve our common goals.
Fair exchange is the Principle of Prosperity in all aspects of life. By valuing the time and resources of our customers, partners and colleagues, and working together to create win-win situations, we can build strong, sustainable businesses that benefit everyone involved. So let's embrace the principle of fair exchange, and create a culture of prosperity and abundance that benefits us all.
I've learned a thing or ten about what it takes to build a successful and sustainable business. That's why I'm very selective about the founders I work with and the guidance I offer. If you know me, I'm always on the lookout for those Founders who are truly committed (and this is evidenced through execution), and who are willing to invest in my time and expertise.
Why do I take this approach? Well, it's simple. When founders value the advice/guidance and support they receive, they're more likely to put it into practice and see real results. And when we build a strong and trusting relationship, we're able to work together to overcome challenges and achieve common goals.
So if you're a founder who's serious about building a sustainable and successful business, I'd love to hear from you! Let's connect and see how we can work together to achieve your vision.