Garland: “Treat Simbi gigs like regular gigs”

The following story is written by Garland Coulson (aka “Captain Time”), a member from Nanaimo, British Columbia. Garland is a speaker, trainer, coach, and consultant in the fields of time management, Internet marketing, and entrepreneurship. He has spent over 25 years mastering time management, and continues to learn and grow every day. In his free time, Captain Time enjoys archery, playing the Native American flute, and backyard star gazing.

I have always believed in barter and have practiced it for years. I have regularly traded my services for other products and services I needed and was even a representative for a barter company at one point.

But I always found two main problems with barter and barter systems:

  1. Not enough services available
  2. Hard to find people whose needs and wants match mine
  3. Poor online options and interfaces

Then I found a recommendation for Simbi in an online forum. After signing up, I was immediately blown away!

Here was a lovely interface that made it easy to find services and products and to connect with other people interested in barter. And there was a wide range of useful services I could trade for.

Simbi made it easy to trade because I didn’t have to look for one-on-one trades (although that option is there as well) because I could sell for simbi credits and then use these credits towards other services online.

What most surprised me was how people were using Simbi for fun things. The community requests and services offered weren’t just about business — they were about wonderful, wacky creative things as well.

People might offer to chat with you about Harry Potter, make movie recommendations, brainstorm gift giving ideas, or just talk about tea.

Of course, there is lots of serious stuff like virtual assistants, marketing help, web and graphic design, but the fun and quirky things really help make Simbi a fun community. I even added some unusual personal things to my service offering such as answering questions about my medical condition and how I live religion-free.

I quickly learned some lessons in my first few trades. I made a few trades for things like graphic design and virtual assistant (VA) work and didn’t get the results I hoped for. This made me realize I was doing something wrong.


I am very experienced with hiring and working with freelancers. When I hire a graphic designer or VA through regular paid freelance sites, I am really choosy in who I pick. I ask a graphic designer for their portfolio to make sure their style fits my needs. I review previous work by a VA and give them small test tasks to start and give them more projects as they prove themselves.

But I hadn’t done this with Simbi — instead, I was just taking the first person’s offer and not following up the same way I would with other freelancers, and the results weren’t great.

So I started treating Simbi gigs more seriously with clearer write-ups and instructions and more review of the freelancer’s portfolio.

This paid off hugely for me as I started to get much better quality work.

Here are some of the things Simbi and Simbi members have helped me with:

  1. Building my list
  2. Creating infographics
  3. Creating Internet memes
  4. Copywriting for my online time management school
  5. Finding new tools
  6. Finding a new partner to collaborate with

I am even having a Captain Time steampunk hat designed!

As I plan my tasks in my time management system, I tag any tasks that I think can be outsourced and post a request on Simbi and invite some people to apply.

Simbi is an important part of my outsourcing and time management strategy.

Garland Coulson

Garland Coulson AKA “Captain Time” is a technology explorer and time management speaker and trainer. Visit his blog at

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.


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