I recently adopted the language Hybrid Economy from Christina Baldwin as she offered the question "How might we engage in a hybrid economy of gift and market to take Circle out further into the world?". Circle is an ancient practice. A gift from our distant ancestors who first gathered around fire to communicate and weave themselves into some social order. It is not something we invented, therefore "should we sell it?", is one aspect of the question. Another is that much of the work to be done in the world exists in places with people who simply do not have money.
I learned my work ethic in one part from my father, Jim Hannan, a brilliant small business creator who made fistfulls of cash through creativity and hard work, and whose last business advice to me, three weeks before his death, was to be sure I had an exit plan. The irony was not lost on either of us. The other part was learned from a Brahma Kumari nun seated next to me at one of my mother's dinners, Rita Cleary. She was humbly telling stories of the human rights work she had the privilege of doing in her spiritual life of service. In awe, I was sixteen, I asked how she had gotten to do all of those things in all of those places! She said so simply, "I did the work that came to my hands."
Truthfully, much of my work has been in service to pretty big for-profit-businesses, and I have been paid cash, sometimes handsomely, for my services. The most satisfying work of my life, however, has been the work of helping bring people and ideas together in really small businesses, non-profits, communities and initiatives where money is scarce. I can honestly say that I have always done the work that has come to my hands and been grateful. Now I would like to invite MORE of the work that gives me the most pleasure, in service to a more sustainable world, and deep peace of mind for humankind knowing we are showing up in healthy harmonious relationship, preferably in places where need is abundant and money is not.
Which brings me back around to the Hybrid Economy. I have been working this way for a long time actually, and it seems to work out just fine.
I have two principles in mind.
1. Offer to pay the absolute MOST that you can, that also seems fair and reasonable in your world, as it enables me and my partners to do work for others without. I will work up an actual fee structure based on your needs and we'll go from there.
2. If you have a chicken and I need a chicken, offer to pay me with a chicken. Or however many chickens seem to equal what I am doing for you. Feel free to trade that word for what thing you have to offer. My accountant just loves this part.
I thought of a third.
3. If you are funder, have a few dollars to spare, or more than a few there are many many many worthwhile projects and organizations I am connected to in some way who will gladly help you channel those funds into work you can be proud to say you helped make happen.*
*For example, Kristie McLean is working to rebuild dignity, agency, financial independence and community with a group of women in Ethiopia who have been shunned by their families for a medical condition related to difficult childbirth called Obstetric Fistula.