Most people have forgotten about the age old tradition of bartering. Back in the day, everyone bartered. Maybe they gave a quilt for some food, or they traded for each other’s services.

Today you can go to Craigslist and they have a “Barter,” section. Most of the time people list specific things they are looking for. For instance, I saw a guy looking to trade a 4-wheeler for a boat or working truck. I would think you would need a working truck to get the boat to the water, but what do I know?

Right now I’m in the middle of an old fashion barter myself. I have played the ukulele for over 20 years. I recently contacted an overseas ukulele company to see if they would consider me to be a distributor for their ukuleles. I also mentioned politely that their site could use some help with the English translation. (“Wood make very good tone.”) I said, “I’m sure you speak better English than I speak Cantonese, but I would be willing to fix your ad copy for a custom ukulele.”

The owner of the company got back to me to say that they are not interested in distributing to the United States right now. But he also said, “I happy to trade you a custom ukulele to fix site words.”

So now I’m about 2 weeks away from having a custom ukulele. The guy even laser-etched my Polynesian tattoo design into the fret-board and the body of my ukulele. If I were to have a luthier make an ukulele here in The States with as much detail as this guy has given me, it would run $2000 to $3000.

Most people forget about bartering these days. But the next time you’re low on funds or you see where you can trade services, give bartering a shot. You may be surprised what you end up with.

Co-Working Space in Downtown St. Louis

If you are a small business (especially if you’re a one-man-band business) and you haven’t heard of “Co-Working” spaces, then this article is for you.

Are you an entrepreneur that has an office in a spare bedroom or in the basement? Have you out-grown that space? Or perhaps you want to get your business started, but don’t think you can afford an office. If so a co-working space may be your next step.

Some people call co-working spaces business incubators. While that statement could be true at certain facilities, it’s not always a true statement. Business incubators often have you write a business plan and try to kick you out after a few years after your business is successfully off the ground.

With co-working space, you can rent a table, or cubicle or private office. Usually the buildings are in a up-and-coming area and are ultra-hip. Prices start as low as $50 a month and increase depending on if you just need a cubicle, all the way up to your own private office.

Most spaces have a receptionist, copy machines, fax, wifi and you can finally get that business address as well.

St. Louis has several co-working spaces and a few of them are considered some of the best in the country. Here is a short list of a few in the St. Louis area.

The T-Rex Building in downtown. One of the more popular ones. They host a month Start-up Entrepreneur Meet-up once a month.

The Hive 44
The Hive 44 is right off I-44 in Fenton. It’s ranked at the #4 co-working space in the country and packages start at $150.00 a month.

Located on Cherokee Street, Nebula proudly hits the nail on the head, “Unconventional Space for the Unconventionally Employed.

Want to find out more? Here is a great St. Louis Co-working Guide that dives into the deep end of the St. Louis co-working space scene.