Resourced During Covid: Frames and Tools for Your Business

Young person standing in a cement frame. To feel resourced we look at new frameworks for our assets.
Sometimes we need a change of frames to recognize we are resourced!  Sonora Ortiz ©2013

Need to get resourced?

Short on money?

Simple barter solutions during the Covid crisis may move your small business forward while engaging your community.

Barter is one answer, an exchange taxable by the US government.

Time banking another, (an hour for an hour) is not.

While we need money, growing an awareness of alternative stores of value can make us feel resourced and engaged. With a nod to newly minted homeschool teachers otherwise known as parents, without commutes, likely, our time and talent buckets are currently a little fuller than our money bucket right now.

Why not find a new framework to move things forward for your small business?

Reframing Money

Systems change is at the heart of many of the movements and communities I belong to and we share.

Slow Money, Slow Food, social justice movements like Solidarity LA, all of them work at the level of structural change.

Often, these structures are invisible. Capitalism, with its roots in Judaeo-Christian society, is especially difficult for us to uncover.

We’re just too close.

Many of us need to look more deeply at our assumptions around abundance and our relationship to money. During this pandemic, it may be even more necessary to uncover the structures that leave us grasping to get to a deeper feeling of being resourced.

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In this post I’ll offer some frameworks and tools I’ve found helpful.

Resourced Through the 3 Pots Method

I first found the idea of different pots for value in Bari Tessler’s work. You can see more about the idea in her article, How to Make a Great Money Decision: The 3 Pots Method.

If you read the article, you’ll find Tessler suggests using different value stores. She breaks these down as: our money, our time and our energy.

I knew about Bari Tessler some time ago, but I always thought her ideas might be a bit out there, so I avoided diving in. A few months ago, after a friend’s recommendation, I broke down to read the book.

And, readingThe Art of Money was a very pleasant surprise.  

Tessler has a graduate degree in somatic psychology.  Her book reflects both her background and her acquired skill as a bookkeeper. It offers practical money tactics and tech resources for bookkeeping, opportunity to check in for emotional healing, as well as a big picture, visioning component in service to a higher purpose.  

With this revised understanding of her work, it’s a work I highly recommend.

Honoring the Natural Rhythms of our Money Flow

One take away from Tessler’s work: in our best life there will be natural rhythms and cycles where we are resourced and where we are not.

At this time, we know that for some of us, the coronavirus lock-down may increase our opportunities and market share (yoga studios, home teaching packages). For many others, I know this may be a time of financial scarcity.

Honoring these rhythms and knowing they’re a part of life, and one that everyone shares, can be helpful.

Bizness Model Circle

I found a similar resonant premise regarding this flow of resources in Darshan Elena Campos’s works and ongoing iterations.

(check out an early edition of Darshan’s Bizness Model Circle here.)

Inspired by the widely used Business Model Canvas you may be familiar with or remember from one of my workshops, Darshan’s work translates the Business Model Canvas ideas for a world of healers and advocates.

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I love Darshan’s deep use of symbolism and her exploration of social enterprise as a vehicle for healing in our communities.

Check out her visuals and note the symbolic role of the moon in this early iteration:

At the base of the Bizness Model Circle is a tiny green moon to represent financial currency. This moon serves an honest financial foundation under sifting economic realities. It can wax and wane. Our work as active healers through social enterprise is to create as solid a financial foundation as possible so we can thrive together. This can include using alternative currencies such as time banking or skill exchanges.”

Darshan Elena Campos, Bizness Model Circle

Her follow up questions include:

  1. What is the honest price of your business?
  2. How can you balance your financial expenses with your goal of living well and free as an active healer?
  3. If you can’t balance your expenses immediately, how can you work towards that goal?

The context during this pandemic may be a magnitude bigger, but realizing there is a natural ebb and flow, wax and waning to our financial situation can be comforting.

Practical Steps to Feeling Resourced

Frameworks are great, but practical steps to bring it down to earth are equally important.

To start, I want to offer a way to better recognize your assets. Knowing your assets, cataloging them, knowing your stores of value can create that critical space to enable choice. The ability to feel in control, as if we have choice is important to feeling resourced.

How about some asset mapping?

To help out, my friend, Laura Oldanie recently put together a worksheet to identify the how different forms of capital work in your life.

You may remember the 8 forms of capital from Appleseed Permaculture as an early re-frame of money and how it flows in our community economies? Laura’s free, Multiple Forms of Capital: Personal Inventory Workbook gives a great template to capture your value stores. You can find the workbook download on her website after the guest blog post by Your Money or Your Life author, Vicki Robbin

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(scroll down towards the end of the article for the download link).  

Pods as a Resource Hub

I also like the idea of pods.

From the mutual aid world, pods help you map the assets in our larger communities.

It’s designed for neighborhood catastrophe planning, but I can see it working virtually too.

One of the examples they give is knowing who has a generator where you might recharge your electric wheelchair. Something I hadn’t considered despite knowing folks who have electric wheelchairs. Obvious needs and ways to fulfill may not be so obvious. Diversity counts.

Stretch and the Science of Resourcefulness

Let me conclude with work by Scott Sonenshein. As one of many classes I’ve taken from what is now known as Acumen Academy (formerly Acumen Plus), I took an online master class from the Rice Professor on resourcefulness.

The lessons stuck.

Working on four foundations, resourcefulness and the resulting path to feeling resourced starts with:

  1. Ownership – not necessarily literal, but a sense that you have ownership – like you might about the sidewalk in front of your home.
  2. Trash to treasure – every dumpster divers dream state
  3. Embrace your limits – I often remember the silences in Beethoven’s Symphony to realize how limits make the symphony what it is.
  4. Stewardship

You can find out more about the science of resourcefulness from the Acumen course, from the website and book. There is also a cool quiz to check out your resourcefulness quotient on the website.

Growth Opportunities in the Time of Covid

Our work in the alternative economy, by necessity leads us to a new narrative and resulting insights, wisdom and growth.

These are challenging times.

As a result, I find myself needing and drawing from community. I’m thrilled and humbled to be part of a larger movement prepared with a collection of alternative frameworks and tools to help us through this challenging time towards a new way of being. I hope you find these ideas helpful too.

Let me know in the comments about these resources and other templates, assets or mindset helps you’ve discovered or innovated.

Thank you!

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