My guest today is Karla Ballard, the CEO and co-founder of YING, a peer-to-peer skill sharing platform that allows you to trade time rather than money for services (also known as a time bank).

Karla’s first experience in “banking” was of a much more traditional variety—after graduating from the University of Virginia she was hired by MBNA America and soon after was selected to participate in their management development program. This gave her the opportunity to rotate positions throughout the entire company, and while working in the marketing department in Wilmington, Delaware, Karla became involved in a community program to teach youth financial literacy as a way of combating juvenile delinquency. Karla was able to take the bank’s interest in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and combine it with her commitment to the community to produce real-life results beyond a simple donation.

“Locally in Wilmington, Delaware, there were a lot of NGOs that were struggling…part of what I learned in being in corporate America was a fierce understanding on keeping your eye on the bottom line, and making sure that not only did you keep your eye on it, but you thought of innovative strategies to increase your returns.”

Feeling the entrepreneurial itch, Karla created a consulting practice to work with local non-profit organizations on their strategy around sustainability. In 2015 Karla took the next step and co-created YING, a skill and time-sharing platform that gives people access to services in exchange for their own time and talents, creating a community around connection and engagement.

“[T]ime banking is this incredible movement of individuals that really have defined a different way of living their life. It’s about saying, ‘I believe first and foremost in the essence of what community means or to be in community means.’”

“We are all given 24hrs in a day. It’s what we do at that time that matters.”

Join our discussion as Karla explains the intricacies of time banking, how “mucking and gutting” entered her lexicon, and what each of us as human beings have that creates value on a level playing field (hint: it’s about time).

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Takeaways from this episode:

  • Time is a form of currency. Everyone starts with 24 hours in a day, and it is how we use that time that makes a difference.
  • Everyone is an asset. Everyone has a skill that they can share, whether it is teaching a language, painting a room, cooking a meal, or running errands for someone else. Different markets may demand different skills, but you may be surprised by who values what you have to offer.
  • When we share time and skills, we create community.
  • Even if you are not ready to sign up for something official like YING, you can take time out of your week to serve someone else for one hour, and build up your “humane currency.”

Links Mentioned in this Episode:


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