In a simple form, I would define it as the act of two or more individuals consenting to exchange goods and services based on agreed terms. A natural, universal force that protects the energy, finances, safety, and trust of all participating parties in business arrangements. In even simpler terms, it’s the idea that everyone does what they say they’ll do, no one is getting ripped off, the exchange is fair and equal, all parties are treated with dignity & respect, etc.
This is what gives the customer the right to their personal & professional boundaries, and in turn also gives the provider the right to their personal & professional boundaries as well. This Divine Exchange is why pricing is so important, customer experience so crucial, and is a major (if not the entire reason) the business owner is able to provide quality service in the first place.
This is a natural, universal concept that protects the energy, finances, safety, and trust of all participating parties in business arrangements.
Exchanging goods and services has been a human practice since the dawn of civilization and is therefore very deeply rooted in our nature, morals, and values. If you take time to learn the first philosophers of business and finance, their words ring with the honor they so passionately describe. Back when humans moved at the speed of carving everything—from laws, to contracts, to inventory—on clay tablets, a business exchange could span weeks, months, years even. This demanded a patience that has been lost on most.
In modern, industrialized society, we have been jaded for generations.
Totally desensitized by drone-like work and mindless consumption of goods, services, and resources. The truth is, automated sales machines and self-checkout kiosks aren’t really that far off than what we’ve known for decades already. In fact, it’s honestly quite noteworthy if we have anything above a mediocre, if not unpleasant, business exchange.
The norm is an all too familiar experience of long lines of impatience at every checkout station, most of which is filled with people totally wrapped up in their own hectic schedule and financial burdens, just waiting to emotionally react to every moment of inconvenience and challenge in their path. A system that has created a collective level of unrealistic expectation that perpetuates a nasty, self-feeding cycle of entitlement, disappointment, reaction, and justification.
Opposite the customer, from the employee/employer’s perspective, we see 8, 10, 12, 14+ hour work days, and 40, 60, 80+ hours per week. Customers that take advantage of the awful old adage, "the customer is always right," and managers that are pressured and incentivized to uphold this toxic and outdated law. Essentially, you’re asked to operate less-than-human, where you can’t get sick—especially at certain times—you can’t determine the length of your breaks or the times that you work, and you’re expected to control your emotions and body with the perfection of a robot whenever asked, regardless of the situation.
In our corporate monopoly reality, we’re scary comfortable with our stark choice between cheaper-price/lower-quality big box stores, and the higher-price/higher-quality small businesses. Most of us shop corporate for the majority of our purchases, and then probably throw a few small business purchases in there every now and again. Maybe a local coffee shop or restaurant, or maybe you buy all of your holiday gifts on Etsy. And I get it, budget is budget, small biz owners and makers should rightfully charge their worth, and it can be hard to take the hit to your bank account (esp if you’re a small biz owner yourself!). My intention here isn't to make anyone feel guilty about their choices, but instead to focus more specifically on our mindset.
I mean let’s get real—how much thought, intention, and mindfulness goes into every purchase we make as consumers? The majority says not many.
Easy Ways To Be More Mindful With Your Money
Speak of and treat money with the value you actually assign it. Don’t say, “I hate money.” or “Money is evil.” because this tells your subconscious there’s danger in money, and to therefore keep it away from you. It also puts a lot of your personal power into the hands of an inanimate object. Money is a tool, no more and no less.
Brand-swap or shop-swap. To start supporting the small and/or local businesses, makers, and providers you want without a drastic (and unrealistic) shift in your finances and lifestyle, swap product-for-product, brand-for-brand, store-for-store slowly over time, in increments that are sustainable for you. It could be your laundry detergent, your facial moisturizer, your main grocery store, a specific article of clothing, a restaurant, etc. Do a little digging online and go for comparable prices. And it’s okay to prioritize your budget first! You may always buy certain things at big box stores and bargain chains, I totally get it. Again, focus more on being intentional with your purchases in general.
Keep some of what you make. We often think that the money we spend on personal or entertainment purchases is how we keep money for ourselves, and in many ways it is. But this is also a slick cycle straight to paycheck-to-paycheck-to-paycheck town. If you don’t start keeping some of your money that you earn in a separate place, it’s really basically impossible to ever feel financially comfortable, let alone build any kind of wealth for yourself. Start with even 5-10% of every single cent you make. Whether it’s a $20 paycheck or a $2,000 paycheck, try and set aside even a small percentage each time and let this build.
Educate yourself. Gone are the days where business and finance are left to a bunch of crotchety, close-minded dudes in an exclusive club. Well, plenty of them are still doing that, but there is a massive rise in interest among the general population to learn more about and start managing money, business, and economics in fresh new ways. This means there has also been an increase in how accessible these kinds of tools and resources have become. I like NerdWallet a lot, but there are also tons of great blogs and articles out there listing and reviewing various finance & investing apps, platforms, books, podcasts, courses to help you start learning some quality, modern, effective money mindset/management, economics, investing, business, and so much more.
Keep your wallet as a traveling money altar. That’s right! Cleanse, charge, program, and protect your wallet and the items in it to bring you sustainable, growing abundance and prosperity. You can keep certain crystals (citrine is a great one for financial success) tucked in there, incorporate money sigils to the design (also use your finger to draw sigils on your money and credit cards to program your spent money to return back to you in growing abundance), or carry a money spell with you (even as simple as an affirmation on a picture or piece of paper).
As we’ve covered in The Neighborhood many times already, we are the creators of our own reality, which is why our thoughts and feelings, our words and actions surrounding money are so important on the journey to an aligned and sustainable life and business.
It’s okay to value money, in fact, it’s great! Because it is a really useful tool in our world. It’s also not the most valuable thing in our world though, is it? Treat money with the value you truly do assign it. Genuinely prioritize it above certain things and below others. Ask yourself: what’s something I would or wouldn’t do regardless of the money involved? And you’ll start to gain an understanding for the true value money holds for you.
Use money as a tool to enhance your experience, to help others, and outside of that, remove any emotional attachments from it. Remember who has control here: the user or the tool? (Hint...it’s the user).
Now, if we’re talking about the most valuable things in our world, I personally would argue that our time is probably at the very tip top of that list. This is why it is so incredibly important we accept that time is not just as valuable as money, it’s far superior to it. And whether you are in the role of client or provider, you are right to honor and protect your time.
Answer this question:
what is one thing you will not do, no matter how much someone offers to pay you to? Honestly, the answer to this question is probably more like a really, really long list.
how we spend our time & what we do > money.
So I really encourage you to embrace this concept, and carry it with you always. How you spend your time—really every moment—it’s sacred. Whether you’re purchasing or selling, considering price points and offering a truly equal exchange of value, well, it’s a lot more challenging and more important than we usually realize on the surface.
If you’re a business owner, when it comes to pricing your goods and services, don’t just take into consideration the cost of materials or just the face-to-face time with your client; you actually spend quite a bit more time than you realize on all of the departments of your business. If you’re on the customer or client end of a transaction, consider this: the price you pay isn’t just the cost of the materials of the product or the one-on-one face time with your service provider! The hours are almost countless, and on top of that, small-owned business pays the most in taxes and fees. You don’t start really seeing a cut in those expenses until you’ve become a rather large business and not necessarily considered small-owned by that point.
We’ve established that time is more valuable than money, and yet we also use money to exchange in goods and services that require our time and labor to produce; SO, that means as we progress and evolve as a society and human race, there is a powerful calling to true equal exchange, aka The Divine Energy Exchange.
It is my intention that this article and podcast episodes I’ve introduced start rippling into a much larger discussion and hopefully therefore movement and action toward evolving our concepts, ideas, and practices with business and finance.
Listen to That Witch Podcast Episode 36: Healing Business Wounds & The Divine Energy Exchange, pt 1 of 2
This is also a subject I've explored with my students inside That Witch School. I'm passionate about helping others heal their wounds with finances and become more intentional with their spending and business habits. I truly believe this is one of the best ways we can honor and nurture the Divine Energy Exchange from the inside out.
You can get access to the Money Shadow Work bonus episode and get started on bringing your healing magick to your finances with my Financial Foundation Checklist right now by enrolling in That Witch School for as little as $5 per month!
As a mentor, That Witch Next Door is dedicated to seeking and creating effective and evolved business practices, structures, and strategies to share with my clients and here in my Witchy Neighborhood. I hope I’ve been able to at least spark some ideas or get some fresh gears turning with this topic, and it is absolutely one we will continue to explore and understand together.
What are your feelings around money and business in our society? Do you own your own business as well? I would love to connect more in the comments below.