The Talent Exchange is a place of giving and receiving. In order to receive, you must give. If everyone wants to receive but no one gives, there will be nothing to receive. It is a very simple circular scheme.

Offerings and Wants are two sides of the same coin. To receive what you want, you must first think of what you can give. If we are all giving, based on what we know others want, then there will always be something to satisfy our wants.

How many times have you heard criticism about the Talent Exchange that “there is nothing there that I want”?

Usually those who complain the most have no offerings themselves. If everyone says “I’m not going to advertise anything until there is something worthwhile that I can get” then clearly there will never be anything worthwhile to get!

How do we break out of this Catch 22 situation: everyone withholding their offerings until there are some interesting offerings?

One way to break the cycle is to advertise your offering as both a want and an offering. Say, for example, your offering is computer lessons and you want someone to come and tidy your garden. You could advertise your offering as a swap offering requesting someone to tidy your garden, and as a want requesting garden tidying services for computer lessons.

This way you are likely to get what you want even if no one is offering what you are looking for.

The Wants function tends to get forgotten but it is a useful way of getting what you want even if you do not see an offering for it. So don’t be put off by the lack of “useful offerings”. Advertise a Want to see if someone can provide what you are looking for and use the swap, barter and gifting options for advertising both your wants and offerings.

Above all, make sure that your offerings are up to date. It is very simple to do this. Log into your account and click on the [Offerings] button. Select My Offerings from the drop-down menu. That will list your offerings (if you have any). Simply click Update offer at the bottom of each offering. That will refresh your offerings, sending them to the top of the Offerings List and ensuring that they are listed in the latest Newsletter.

If you have no offerings, please add one now. Log into your account and again click on the [Offerings] button. Select Add Offerings from the drop-down menu and fill in the details. Remember to make your offerings as interesting as possible to ensure good responses.

Money is in short supply, but stop worrying about that. The more offerings there are on the Talent Exchange the less you will need those Rands to get by. ‘Paying’ for what your receive by doing or giving something to others, is far more satisfying than chasing after those rapidly disappearing Rands. In this way we will build our own “economy” immune from the virus known as money.