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Abundance vs Scarcity Mindset

One thing I noticed, every time when an economic crisis was around: everyone was focusing on reductions. In the end, it seems like a rational thing to do: the company has less revenue or customers (due to the economic context), and as a consequence the (re)action to be taken is to lessen the costs. These actions apparently make sense, with one major flaw: they’re immersed in the scarcity mindset. What’s the problem with this? I’ll explain in the following paragraphs.

Do we run away from something or do we run towards something?

When we want to move from point A to point B in our lives, we have two possible motivations:

  1. Run away from A in order to reach B
  2. Run towards B from point A

Let’s be a bit more specific, by considering A our state of Unhappiness and B our inner state of Happiness. If we chose the Run Away motivation path, to run away from Unhappiness, our motivation will be strong while we’re around the Unhappy state, and decrease as we get farther and farther, because our motivator becomes farther. What’s going to happen next if our motivation drops? We get back to A.

If we chose the Run Towards motivation, our behaviour will be slightly different: once we start getting closer to our Happy state, we become more motivated. Next step? We reach B fully motivated, and keep going.

Going back to our Scarcity problem,

and considering the motivational pathways, as long as we chose to run away from scarcity or poverty, one predictable outcome will follow: we remain around it.

The solution to that?

Shift the paradigm to an abundance or wealth mindset, and run towards it.

Have you ever heard the following statements?

  • “A crisis is coming and a forecasted drop in revenues, so we will increase the investment in marketing & sales to drive more customers.”
  • “Our competitors have issues, now is the moment to increase our marketshare.”

What I heard instead (and continue to hear and read in the news day after day) is cost-cutting measures, headcount reduction, investment dropping, and so on and so forth, everything spinning around the Scarcity mindset, with a predictable outcome.

Now I know what you’re going to say, “Where will the sales/marketing budgets will come from, in an unstable financial situation?” Obviously by shifting from activities that are no longer on the priority list, while the agreed priority is to drive more customers. Not to cut costs anymore. And everyone’s mindset will be ‘we are in the process of acquiring new customers’ or ‘we are in the process of increasing the marketshare’, which is fundamentally positive, inducing and operating from a state of wealth and relaxation, and opposite to ‘we’re cutting costs as things will go bad’ or ‘we let people go as the times are hard’ that are fundamentally negative and inducing fear, uncertainty and a state of scarcity.

As a conclusion going forward,

the difference between the successful and unsuccessful people is their mindset. If we keep the Scarcity mindset we’ll achieve scarcity, while having a positive, abundance-oriented, relaxed mindset will trigger the right motivation and actions to get there.

When I am told “We won’t be able to do this” I usually ask back “And if we were to be able, what needs to be done?” and this way reframing the “not possible” mindset to the “possible, exact path to be defined” one. This is the moment where the mental model is changing, considering our desired outcome as a certainty, and the entire debate is only about how to get there, not if we get there. And this is the path to success.