A Favor vs. Money

A month or so ago, I took my wife to see the second installment of “The Hunger Games“, a movie called, “Catching Fire“. It shows a (far-fetched) possible future of class warfare, poverty, and government oppression. The wife & I have both read all three of the books in the series, and found the story to be a well rounded, entertaining read. Thankfully, the movie makers have done a rather good job of converting the books into movies. I’d recommend both the books, as well as the movies.

While we settled in to our theater seats, a trailer for an upcoming movie started, American Hustle. The very first scene almost gave me whiplash as I had my head turned talking to my wife. One of the characters says, “Always take a favor over money”.

I was startled by this, because it was something I’ve always believed.

 The trailer:

Now I cannot vouch for any other part of the movie…but that one line, to me, is GOLD.

Several years ago, while watching our daughters play softball together, I was talking to a regional manager about a business idea I had thought up. I wasn’t actually interested in doing it, I simply wanted to know his thoughts on it as a business. Standing with us as I described the idea was a local Deputy Sheriff that we both knew well. The deputy, upon hearing the idea, was rather excited about the concept, and suggested that I go for it and that I would probably do very well with it, making quite a bit of money.

He didn’t know me very well…..

I told him I wasn’t motivated by money, I was motivated by favors. He laughed in my face and told me I was crazy- EVERYONE is motivated by money, and favors don’t get anything done like money can.

I looked him in the eye, and knowing he was an honest officer of the law, asked him if he’s ever pulled someone over, and by breaking out their checkbook or a wad of cash, and had their ticket and legal problems went away.

His response was borderline insulted, as I expected. Calming him, I went on, asking if he has ever pulled someone over,favor over money

and the detainee pulled out a phone, made a call, and the problems went away.

He completely understood what I was saying .

Its not always about how much money you have, rather more about who you know that owes you a favor.

========================================================

I’m a huge fan of favors. Part of the reason is that I love to help people. Growing up in a small, tight-knit community in rural America, cash money was rather scarce. But there was plenty of time and effort available. We grew up understanding that if someone helped you, you were obligated to return that effort, and usually tenfold.

I am constantly trying to gather effort in my favor for this reason. Rare is the time when I actually call them in, but when I do, it almost always pays off.

Conversely, it is a rare moment when I ask a favor of someone. Of the few folks I truly owe favors to, I actually lose sleep some nights, trying to sort out how to pay it back.

Silly, you might say…but that is my nature.

It has been an unofficial part of my business model for as long as I’ve been self-employed. Not many days go by that some aspect of “favors over money” doesn’t come up.A professional referral for a service provider is one such “favor”. I don’t ask for kickbacks, and don’t offer them. I take good care of ALL customers, and expect those few I refer out to do the same. This is simply a favor.

Other times it is simply someone looking to buy or sell an item that I’m know to be able to find or move, such as a firearm. Many of my friends and colleagues understand that I know a lot of folks interested in such things. I rarely ask anything in return for finding a buyer or a seller….other than, “You owe me”.

And most times, if I need a piece of information, or a little assistance in some way, that person that I helped months, or even years ago, is very happy to oblige me.

Favor vs. Money is simply a barter system on credit. Applied properly, both parties benefit, and this only strengthens the relation between them. If this were to become an every day thing, our communities would become stronger places, tighter knit together by the bonds of trust and commerce combined…

…two things that rarely come together these days.

 

So having said all that, let me ask a simple favor of you. In the top right of this page is a banner that says “Vote for Me Top Prepper Sites”. If you will click on this link, or that picure, and vote for me, I’d be in your debt.

This will drive more traffic to my site, helping me to grow. If you do this every day that you read my articles, I’ll be forever grateful to you. And in return, I’ll continue writing as often as I can.

So one minute of your time will be exchanged for two hours of mine, roughly the amount of time I spend writing an article. That is a 120% return on your invested time…. In addition, the link will take you to a list of my blogging associates, many of them personal friends that also write. At the time of this writing, there are 50 linked prepper pages, covering all manner of prepping articles.

Is that a fair exchange? If not, no sweat, I understand…and I’ll probably still keep writing anyway.

 

Just askin’ :)

 

Peace,
db

As always, please “like” FloridaHillbilly on Facebook, subscribe to my feed,  follow me on Twitter, vote for me on “Top Prepper Websites”, add me on Google+, Pinterest, Linkdn, Digg, and/or tell your friends! The more folks that start behaving like ants, the fewer grasshoppers there will be left needing help.

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12 comments:

  1. I think I still owe you after the books and the tomato seeds, not to mention the laughs I get from reading your content…

  2. So does voting for you make us even or do you still owe me? “sar”
    Brian says he wants me to be a contributing writer.

  3. Good write up for a sound business practice.

    A good friend and I each have “owe lists” and we each strive to keep each other on our respective list. It’s an effective bargaining tool if used among friends you trust and, if used conservatively, will identify those friends.

    1. Your statement goes right in line with my response to GoneWithTheWind, I only use favors as currency from those I feel I have a mutual level of trust.

      The non-trustworthy pay cash….and those that don’t trust me, well they must have skewed values from mine.

      I agree that, if eased into, this is a very good way of finding who is on the short list of trusted people in your life.

  4. I can’t really argue with your point but I take an opposite view. When I was a child 60 years ago a family friend was in the Mafia at the time he was a bookie. He owned a store which he used as a front for his gambling. I did small jobs for him and was often at his store. He would give stuff away, small things; food, sodas, sometimes a couple of bucks. I knew he wasn’t a generous man so I asked him why he did it. His answer was simple; once he did a favor for someone they were obligated to return it and he would use them. Now at 70 I have refused favors all my life even to the point of being rude if necessary and I don’t give favors. I owe no one and my decisions are made without outside influence. I am obliged to no one and I like it that way.

    1. One of my grandfathers used to work for an Italian family when he was younger. He was a delivery driver, rarely seemed to deliver anything, but always seemed to have money. Hmmmm….

      Everyone gets used whenever two or more people come together. Everyone. Trust is definitely the key to a continues, healthy, safe relationship for exchanging favors, service, or barter of any kind. How you are treated, and how you treat the others is the key. Abuse the relationship, and you lose trust. No man (or woman) is an island that can exist on it’s own.

      I’m a trusting soul by nature, I suppose. Have I been burnt before? Sure! I make a note of it, and no longer offer the same level of trust to that person again. And if someone holds a favor over me, again, I no longer extend myself to that level with them anymore.

      And from your reply, I suppose you didn’t vote for me….bummer 😛

      No worries, I’ll still be here!
      Peace,
      db

  5. My statement wasn’t intended to be disagreeable or to prove you wrong. In fact I will say again I can’t argue with your point I have seen it work. I don’t do favors but I do give things to others with no strings. You can’t borrow from me but I may give you something if I feel it is the right thing to do. It is a parsonal choice because I can’t bring my self to be like the man in my story. Don’t get me wrong I genuinely liked this man and he did a lot (of favors) for my parents. But he was a ruthless bastard who started his post bookie career by burning businesses for the insurance and breaking legs and graduated to a couple of murders. I am not trusting by nature, possibly the result of growing up in a large and rough city. I am very wary of people and it has been a good thing for me.
    Anyway not my intent to be arguementative, just expressing a opinion.

    1. I didn’t take it as such, sorry it if sounded that way. I’m still working on expressing myself clearly with the written word :)

      And truth be told, I have to try very hard to be trusting…I’m rather paranoid by nature…I tend to expect the worst, but hope for the best.

      And, I appreciate you stopping by long enough to comment. ALL input is welcome…(unless you are a tree-hugging anti-gun, pro Mons@anto, Communist illegal alien). Or someone trying to peddle cheap prescription meds from Canada :)
      db

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