Heidemarie is proud of the logo of the barter-shop she created, “Gib und Nimm”
Can you imagine how you could live without any source of income? How does living for free look like? Hard to tell. The German Heidemarie Schwermer adopted this kind of living as her philosophy of life till her death in 2016. She spent the last 20 years of her life without money and without other possessions except for a suitcase for essentials. She decided to start living without money and find her way into making it her lifestyle without needing to do dumpster diving, eat waste food or having nothing to put on her food table besides empty beer bottles. She did not think of herself as a moneyless man, but a free woman.
Here is her adventurous story: Heidemarie Schwermer, a middle-aged teacher who had just survived a divorce, moved with her two children to the German city of Dortmund, a city where the number of homeless people and their hopelessness were shocking, writes the British daily “The Times”. Out of this initial shock the idea of Heidemarie Schwermer came to life: to create a store based on the exchange of goods and services. He called it “Gib und Nimm”, meaning “Give and Take”. After a while the guardian, and every other big newspaper wanted to interview her and find out more about living without money.
Heidemarie has always believed that homeless people do not need money to reintegrate into society and that this is enough to make them useful. But the idea didn’t really catch on. Instead, the unemployed and retirees began to come in large numbers to her store, forming a network that, over time, grew exponentially. The success of the concept made Heidemarie think seriously about her own lifestyle.
He realized that she possessed many things that she did not necessarily need. He decided not to buy any objects without giving up another one. Then he began to think about the things he really needed. As for the clothes, he realized that she was doing very well with what he could hang on ten hangers. He gave up the rest. The books made not an exception: one day, Heidemarie carried her entire library to an antique shop.
The decision came in time
Her decision to live a simpler life was partly influenced by the psychotherapy she has gone through during the year following her divorce. “It was a very difficult year. I cried incessantly at every meeting, but in the end, I was so happy that I decided to live simply and teach others what I had gained during psychotherapy”, Heidemarie told The Times.
So she became a psychotherapist herself. In the meantime, many other things have changed. She realized how unhappy she was, in fact, at work. “I was always cold or had back pain, but I had never made the connection between my physical condition and job dissatisfaction.” When he set up the “Gib und Nimm” network, he also began experimenting with various other jobs in addition to the one from the department.
At free fairs, people can get rid of items they no longer need.
The simpler her life was, the happier she was. In 1995 she was already very involved in the work of the “Gib und Nimm” community, bought almost nothing and lived more in the homes of members of the community for short periods, in exchange for household chores. In 1996 she realized that he has to go further than that and he has made the most radical decision ever: to live without money. ”People are too involved with the material world – money, possessions…” she said in her interviews. “They spend tons of time and energy on it. And they aren’t aware of how little money actually provides for them! I wanted to prove that another lifestyle is possible.”
He gave up his apartment and his job as a teacher and started to live as a nomad, without money. Of course, there was a slight detail left: to live completely money-less. But she succeeded. First, she tried to barter psychotherapy solutions in exchange for a room and some food. But not very many people were eager to share their homes with the therapist that knew all their secrets. So, she made exactly what we should do before any revolutionary change in pour lives – she wondered ”what can I do more, so that I can live under new , completely changed circumstances?” See what she did, and see what we should do now…
She made a lot of works. For example, in a canteen kitchen. “People often said to me, ‘Did you go to college to do this?’ But I believe that each person has an intrinsic value. Why would I be more valued because I am a teacher or a psychotherapist than because I am a cook? ” Or, she washed windows in private homes, helped busy people out in the garden, took care of kids, cleaned the houses, in exchange for room and board. This worked better than being a psychotherapist (although I believe that during the upcoming crisis therapists and coaches and consultants will be at big honor – we will see why). Her services gained popularity and Schwermer learned to meet her essential needs with the aid of manual labor.
There are quite a few people all over the world that adopted this way of money free living, such as Mark Boyle and Daniel Suelo.
It was enough to just offer people the services they most needed. Yes, this will be a solution during times to come, and we will discuss it in some messages. Ok, but after successfully living this way, she came to a conclusion… which we will see in another article.
Till then, please take a look at the cash cows during the upcoming times, here: https://cluent.net/cash-cows-during-the-next-financial-crisis/
… and prepare yourself.
What is going to work during the next crisis? (The simplest way to earn a Living, even thrive)
Heidemarie living as her philosophy of life till her death in 2016. She didn’t succeed to earn a living as a psychotherapist. But it was enough to just offer people the services they most needed instead.
This is the key during the times to come. That was what Heidemarie Schwermer did. And succeeded.
If you are a business owner, care toward customers, not your profit plan, ensures success. If you are an employee, care about what you do to keep your clients happy. “It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.” – Ford said. And he was right every word of it.
And… it’s not about prices. People are more concerned about getting good care than low prices.
How to do this in real life?
How can you provide safety, care, and happiness when selling bread?
Imagine entering a shop that carries inexpensive, regular-quality bread, but smells quite neglected. You receive a loaf of bread from the shopkeeper. He has just wiped his child’s runny nose with his bare hands, then immediately handles the bread that he gives you. The shopkeeper absentmindedly counts the change, then turns his back on you the next second, even though you want to buy something else.
Then imagine a brilliantly clean shop, which carries several types of bread. The seller asks, “Which kind would you like? White, dark, semi-white, sliced, or not?” Then the seller informs you that she has just received some delicious pastries—the ones she knows you`re crazy about. And tomorrow, she will receive some fantastic cakes, all of which spare you from running around that evening when your guests arrive.
Which shop will you go back to, and purchase sodas, fruit, water, cakes, wine, and liquor for your guests tomorrow? Which store will you insist on taking YOUR money? The store with the cheap bread, or the one with slightly more expensive goods? You will shop at the second store many times, and you will spend hundreds of dollars there because the shopkeeper was kind and attentive when you bought a loaf of bread.
You will fill the wallet of the one who: Took CARE of you,
Showed you APPRECIATION.
Created COMFORT for you .
Provided CERTAINTY that you made the best choice when you purchased a small item
That shop wants your money, and you give it to them with pleasure. You may occasionally go to the shop carrying cheaper goods out of necessity, but you will only purchase a single loaf of bread. That shop wants your money, too, but it is among the 85% that will inevitably close, unless a new shopkeeper takes over and thoroughly cleans up the shop.
Care is very near to love. LOVE? Whaaaat? Yes. This is the ultimate key for your business or your job.
A world full of solutions at our hand
Heidemarie prophesies a change of values ”because there are things much more important than current values,” things he thinks will catch on outside of their group. “Instead of” How do I look? “,” How can I impress the others?” We should ask ourselves, “How can I make my mark on them?”, “What makes us truly happy?”, “How can we help and support those around us?”, and “How can we live together in a world full of love? ».
A wise man said: ”Let every word come from your soul. Feel it before you say it, that’s the only way it will touch the soul of the one you’re addressing. What you say… if it is not from the light of your soul will pass into a corner of their mind, and their minds will forget; if what you say comes from the soul, that people will keep in their souls not what I or you have said, but the memory of the joy you made to their soul”.
Put “clients” instead “the ones” or “people” and then read again.
Super! You’ve just found The Key. It’s the key that brings customers to you, not to your competitors, during hard times. As a consultant and trainer I have had an enlightenment. During 20 years I gave people “technical” solutions: steps, procedures, hard contract clauses and so. A few months ago I tried something completely different: I replaced 30% of my technical consultancy with “I am near you. I had a lot of cases and I will help you succeed. First, calm down. And trust in me, I will pass over”. Guess what happened with my consultancy clients… (I strongly rejected that kind of consultancy. For me, only solutions were counting. But when people are scared, they “will keep in their souls not what I or you have said, but the memory of the joy YOU made to THEIR soul”)
When the world turns you away
A friend will not say no
There is strength that we all have
It’s not the strength we show
And in your darkest hour
In your darkest nights
Whatever life will do
I am here for you.
Do you remember those lyrics? Whether you do or you do not, there is something that we all MUST remember, either if we are business owners or employees: Nobody cares about your business. Nobody cares of YOUR job. People care about themselves. And this is more clear during downturn times.
Take care of people that pay YOU as you would take care of yourself. Love your customers. Deliver astonishing products and services. “It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.” Keep this in mind. Save your business. Save our job. Then you can take care of the customers from businesses who fail. You will survive. Even thrive!
because I am near you . We are together.
PS I wrote more about these Secret Formula here https://cluent.net/the-next-crisis-winner-anything-that-can-help-people-and-businesses-survive-during-a-full-crisis/
I am near you. Are you near us? See the solutions there!