On a small business forum I’m on, entrepreneurs have been having a frustration/giggle-sharing thread about the proposals they’ve gotten from potential clients. Some of these proposals are absolutely riotous – even more so because at one point in our careers, many of us actually accepted these proposals – product trades, ridiculous retainers, free babysitting, jars of marijuana (disclaimer: I live in a place where this is okay)… these are some of the more gentle ones, honestly, and on surface-level, they sound more like sweet community barter than business exchange. But what’s really being said here, in many cases is, “I need what you do but I don’t want to pay you for it,” and it comes as an insult – especially when you literally witness a client spending lots and lots and lots of money elsewhere. Eventually this process smooths itself out and clients come to you with a-game in place; but it can be a bumpy little road getting there.
For a moment I got swept up in the fervor. I probably opted-in to someone’s mailing list for a second, and I did run out and get myself a Chromebook (because honestly – the places I like to travel, I’d rather someone stole my Chromebook), envisioning that eventually I, too, would be traveling with my wife somewhere even more awesome than where we already live, and in the mornings my wife would go for a run and grab something fun for breakfast and my daughter would have some super cool local nanny person a few hours every day so I could work my entrepreneurial magic via Chromebook and she could learn Spanish (or Portuguese or French or Croatian or Samoan or…) by immersion.