How do you react when you hear the word no?
For a lot of people, the word no is a deal-breaker. Uh-oh, someone said no, so whatever you hoped for is out of the question. For others, the word “no” is a redirection: someone had the opportunity to be a part of your future and they chose to decline. It’s on to the next opportunity with the next person.
The difference in response is a textbook example of the scarcity mindset vs. an abundance mindset.
Scarcity vs. Abundance
The scarcity mindset is what’s adopted by those who believe in limited opportunities, scarce resources, and a “me vs. the world” control-driven mentality. It’s what keeps people from celebrating the success of others. Scarcity withholds recognition and waits for the other proverbial shoe to drop. It’s a suppressing and limiting mindset.
The opposite is an abundance mindset: there are plenty of opportunities, resources, and potential for great things if you’re willing and open to partner with the right people at the right time and work hard to seize those opportunities.
Scarcity says, “I have to fight to keep my customers happy or they’ll leave me for my competitors.” Abundance says, “How can I create so much value for new and existing customers that people will be begging to stay?”
Scarcity says, “I don’t want to know my competition; they’ll probably just steal all my ideas!” Abundance: “If I can partner together with other “competitors,” what might we be able to create together?”
There are over seven billion people in this world. The U.S. economy processes trillions of dollars in business a day. The European Union also processes trillions of euros in commerce a day. Asia, South America, and Africa also process astronomical commerce every single day… and you’re worried about 10-15 customers?
An abundance mindset sees virtually limitless opportunities and says, “Let’s create something so remarkable to help as many people as we can that we’ll be lucky if we stay current with the demand.” Abundance is what drove entities like Facebook, Apple, Harley Davidson, and AirBnB to become so incredibly successful.
Stephen Covey describes an Abundance Mindset in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,
The Abundance Mentality… flows out of a deep inner sense of personal worth and security. It is the paradigm that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody. It results in sharing of prestige, of recognition, of profits, of decision making. It opens possibilities, options, alternatives, and creativity.
Switching from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset
A lot of businesses and churches suffer from a scarcity mindset. It’s easy to white-knuckle your operations and clients or congregation attendees in some fear-driven attempt to maintain control.
It’s the insecurity that arises when you hear someone say they admire your competition’s latest commercial or event. It’s the nosiness that starts to flare up when someone mentions your “competition” in a passing conversation.
A scarcity mindset is poisonous because of the fear behind it. Spit it out. Quit drinking that Kool-Aid. We need to switch from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset. It’s the belief that God is a good God and gives good gifts to His children. It’s the belief that it’s our job to add value and hope and even share abundant life with those we come in contact with on a daily basis.
Creating an Abundance mentality
An Abundance mindset means you welcome conversation with supposed competitors. Abundance means you partner with other talented people and see what you can create together. Abundance means you’re focused on creating significant, remarkable experiences that will enhance the world around us. Abundance means you celebrate the success of others, not jealously criticize from a distance.
Peter Diamandis shared a TED Talk in 2012 called Abundance is our future. It’s well worth your time to review and consider the impact it may have on your own mentality.