Barter: A Path to Copy Writing Success

People are golden. They are unpolished gems.  They have kindness, talent, time, history and nooks and crannies in them with hidden valuable qualities not immediately obvious to others or themselves.  In fact, many people undervalue themselves. I have a great marketing, advertising and copy writing staff and no one gets paid in cash.


Years ago, I read the Autobiography of T. Boone Pickens, a well-known financier and corporate takeover expert.  I don’t remember much about the book other than Pickens description of how and why he took over certain companies. Pickens spoke about companies being valued at a certain level on the stock exchange but being much more valuable than the stock price might indicate.  By reading corporate reports carefully and by doing research on a company he might find, for instance, that an oil company might have huge reserves that were not being accurately noted in valuations of the company.  These companies were undervalued.  I remembered this and began to think of how this idea of an undervalued commodity might be applied to people and their talents.  Barter and Reciprocal Trade was the perfect process to which to apply these ideas.  Since then, I have used this information, not to take over people’s lives, but rather to create an opportunity they would not have considered themselves.  In order for this combination- People Farming and Reciprocal Trade agreement- to function effectively, you must have a charitable nature and possess an honest desire to help people to grow and expand their horizons. It requires that you seek out people with gifts and talents that are not only undervalued by others but by themselves.  The key is to create a Reciprocal Trade arrangement so that a person can obtain goods and services while building up credits with you. These credits can be used by them or others of their choosing at a later date.

Here is an example of how I apply the process: An individual sees an advertisement for my copy writing servics, classes, seminars, trainings and coaching services. Some of these seminars cost $6,300 per year. They will call to inquire about these programs or services.  As I describe them and the cost, it is casually mentioned that no one is ever turned away because they cannot afford the cost.  I mention that payment can be made in traditional currency- money, checks, credit card etc. or with work-study credits or barter and Reciprocal Trade. They will sometimes ask, “What is a work study credit?”  I respond that if a person wishes, they are welcome to come into our center and work to pay for classes.  The rate of pay? Ten dollars per hour in exchange for the class.  If a two hour class is $40, then they work for four hours to accumulate the $40 of credit they need to pay for the class.

They can type telemarket, stuff envelopes, or cook lunch for all of our staff as a means of paying for their tuition.  Some individuals may have highly developed skills or are in the midst of a career change.  Work exchange can give them the opportunity to use skills they invested in the past to create future opportunities.




In the system I work with, there are no financial limitations.  I know I am working with gifted people who may not have business skills equal to their talents.  One of my skills is the ability to see natural skills and gifts that others have that they might not recognize themselves.  I see people as wonderful seeds.  You plant, fertilize, water and nurture them.  Cut the weeds.  In the end, they are fulfilled and you harvest a rich crop.  It’s all a matter of self-esteem, marketing skills effectively and developing self-knowledge.  It is a way, to paraphrase the biblical parable, to teach someone to fish rather than just giving them a fish.


Lewis Harrison is an author, practical philosopher, motivational speaker, mentor and coach. He hosts a weekly talk show on NPR affiliated WIOX 91.3 FM (Streaming at

You can reach him at

Lewis offers stress management programs throughout the United States that combine the great spiritual principles with applied game theory.

His corporate chair massage company, provides seated and chair massage for stress management seminars and trainings as well to special events for meeting planners and meeting professionals in New York City, New Jersey Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Greensboro NC, Miami and Orlando Florida and other major meeting and conventions venues.

His book “Spiritual, Not Religious: Sacred Tools for Modern Time” addresses important issues on human potential and personal development

Here is a short interview with Lewis Harrison on unnecessary struggle and visionary thinking