The following is a symbiotic story from Flor-Mari, a Simbi member currently living in Bellevue, Washington. With a background in biotech and counseling, Flor-Mari is a dedicated mother of two who loves cooking, hosting, and improving the lives of others. She is actively fighting to ameliorate our broken prison system by providing life coaching to formerly incarcerated people. She’s an advocate for social justice, prison reform, and alternative economies.
As I was scrolling through my newsfeed, I came across Simbi. A symbiotic economy based on an exchange of services or Simbi credits? I’m there! As someone who is already using the barter/trade system for items I would normally have limited funds for, finding a website filled with services offered by people was like discovering a treasure trove!
I received my first service—a manicure—by giving simbi. As I’m writing this, I have four deals coming up, either through an exchange of services or giving simbi. It’s been quite an experience learning how to get the most of Simbi and its unique symbiotic economy. Here are the main three things I’ve learned:
Don’t hoard your simbi
At first, I was hoarding my credits—earning simbi via a few deals, and nearly all the available website tasks in the “To-Do” list. I was reveling in the number of simbi I had acquired. But then I realized I wasn’t getting the true benefits of the platform. I wasn’t receiving any services. I was giving, but I wasn’t receiving. Eventually I decided to jump in and start making proposals for services I was interested in or making them “favorites.” I also thought hard about a couple of requests I had—help with the garden and help with house cleaning.
Post a request — people will reach out to you
Within about a few of hours of posting my requests, I received proposals from people who were willing to help me out. It can get a little challenging with scheduling and arranging meetings, but knowing that people are willing to lend a hand is a great feeling. By reaching out, I’ve been able to find people I enjoy working with. Through making proposals for services I want or need, I have been given the opportunity to do more of what I love to do—cook! My subsequent deals have been exchanging baking desserts and cooking meals for services—Simbi makes this happen!
It’s really about connection
For me, Simbi is less of a website where you get and exchange for internal credits – and more about sharing and exchanging our passions. I love cooking so I exchange meals for services. Simbi is also about building and nurturing relationships. Someone came to help me with spring cleaning and now I am exchanging home cooked meals for house cleaning on a more regular basis. The real heart of the exchange isn’t shown through the polished floors or full stomachs. Rather, it is the kindness and generosity of people willing to offer their time and talents.
Through Simbi, friendship blossoms and the sense of community grows with every interaction.
Simbiotic Stories are real anecdotes told by you and other Simbi community members. Tell us about your Simbi deals and experiences with other members. If your story is published, we’ll credit your account with 150 simbi. Submit your entries by starting a conversation with us via this link.