The key when we don’t see eye to eye is understanding where the other person is coming from. That’s not always easy. I found myself in a situation where someone else was assuming the worst about me and I couldn’t understand why. I’m a transparent person; so you don’t have to guess my motivations. Nevertheless, I was shaking my head in disbelief as someone accused me of things I would never do. It wasn’t until weeks later that I finally saw where they were coming from. The person had a scarcity mindset; something I have a hard time relating to since I have an abundance mindset.
Here’s what these words mean to me:
A scarcity mindset is one who believes you have to fight for every dollar you or your company earns. It’s a belief that there isn’t enough to go around so you better protect what you have.
An abundance mindset is one who believes there’s enough for everyone. If a prospect goes with your competitor, that’s okay, there’s a lot more where that one came from.
The downside to a scarcity mindset is it results in the following:
Lack of Trust. As I experienced, a person with a scarcity mindset doesn’t believe you could possibly be looking out for them if you are competition of any form. They assume everyone is in it for themselves and they have a win-lose mentality.
Fear. A person with a scarcity mindset approaches business encounters with fear. There is an inherent fear they will lose the business they have. They have to hold onto information tightly because they are worried about who is going to undermine them or steal their ideas. Every lead is essential to win because there isn’t enough business. Don’t confuse this with Jim Collins’ productive paranoia. The difference between the two is productive paranoia asks, “What can I do better to ensure I’m evolving and staying relevant?” A scarcity mindset asks, “Who is trying to steal my business away from me?”
Slows Growth. A scarcity mindset actually slows growth because the person is too busy holding on to what they have therefore there is no time to take risks and get more business. Additionally, a scarcity mindset stifles creativity (think fight or flight responses) so opportunities are missed as focus is so narrow.
An abundance mindset enables more success. The results of an abundance mindset are:
Performance Improvement. Because a person with an abundance mindset looks internally to improve, rather than controlling potential external threats, their overall performance improves. This person finds way to do business better. They improve the offering. They differentiate themselves. Rather than spending time worrying about what other people are doing, they focus on what they can do better.
Creative Collaboration. In my business, there are a lot of opportunities to collaborate with potential competitors. We do this because we know we can present a better service together rather than separately. If distrust permeates relationships, there are no opportunities to join forces and accomplish something bigger together than was possible independently.
Reduced Stress. With the belief that there is enough business for everyone, when a proposal isn’t won, abundance mindset allows one to let it go. It’s still good to reflect to see what can be done better next time, but don’t dwell on the loss. A person with an abundance mindset realizes there is a reason the deal was lost and understands it opens up space for something better to come their way.
What is your mindset? What could you be doing to ensure you are positioning yourself to maximize opportunities?
Jana Axline is Chief Project Officer at Project Genetics and the author of Becoming You. Through her leadership musings, she inspires audiences to grow as leaders and ultimately achieve who they were created to be. For more information visit Project Genetics.