Do you consider yourself a glass half full, or a glass half empty kind of person?
Many of us may think we are quite optimistic, however, if you put us in times of crisis, something happens which makes us feel highly uncomfortable.
In general, there are two types of mindset; usually, these appear in times of crisis.
Scarcity and Abundance
The scarcity mindset – which is a deep-rooted fear that there isn’t enough of something. This gives us fear or anxiety and can set us into panic mode.
The abundance mindset – a feeling that everything will be ok, and there is enough for everyone. Generally, people with this mindset have a strong sense of self-worth and security.
It’s quite common to believe you are optimistic, but still have a scarcity mindset. You see, it really isn’t until the chips are down that you’ll honestly know how your mind works.
Currently, the world is in a global pandemic. This sparked some extreme reactions from friends, colleagues and family members that may have surprised us. Supermarkets became a hive of activity, and for some time, those with a scarcity mindset were loading up carts with bread and toilet paper, in an utter panic, the world would run out of everything.
Those with an abundance mindset didn’t even flinch. Even when there really was a shortage of toilet paper, and flour couldn’t be found on any shelf in any supermarket. The knowledge that there was, or would be, enough helped them adapt and find solutions, realizing that the scarcity reflex would soon settle down and life would find a level of normality again.
Scarcity and Abundance in Business
Scarcity and abundance can be noted in businesses daily. Particularly in a media-driven world.
A business driven by someone with the scarcity mindset will be fearful of competitors. They will want to keep all their ideas hidden away to the last minute, worried that other scarcity driven businesses will take their ideas and with it, their clients.
A business driven by an abundance mindset, will more often enjoy their competitors and support them where possible. There is a camaraderie spirit. Ideas can be shared because knowledge and experience can only improve your service or product. Abundance driven businesses understand the population is multiplying, that demands for services are high, opportunities are out there, and there is always room for healthy competition.
A good example, for anyone with a scarcity mindset in business, is to look at big brands such as McDonald’s and Burger King. Essentially the business model is the same. The products they sell are the same, just different. They both offer fast food, drive-thru services, and their menus are incredibly similar in options. Yet, they both thrive. They are both busy every day, able to open 24 hours a day, globally. Why? Because there are enough hungry people who fancy a quick and straightforward meal. And who love burgers.
Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts are other examples. They sell coffee. The menus are fairly similar. Both companies have a high turnover and even sometimes appear on the same streets the world over.
These companies understand the abundance mindset and how beneficial it can be for business.
Of course, it does also depend on your product or service. Some companies offer a niche product. Some businesses provide a service so unique that very few people will ever use it. If two or three of these companies were to operate out of the same high street, this could outweigh the demand. The company that would survive this would be the one led by an abundant mindset. They would be the most likely to adapt, to create innovative marketing strategies and to focus when the competition arrives or when the demand for the product seems to take a hit. It is hard-wired in them to solve issues calmly as they arrive, and this helps them deliver sensible solutions that will attract a customer base. Meanwhile, team scarcity is in full-blown panic mode. Getting frustrated with the fall in sales, taking their eye off the ball and losing sleep due to the high levels of anxiety they have rolling around their body.
A scarcity mindset isn’t all bad. There is merit in the saying ‘opposites attract’ and this is because there can be harmony in two polar opposites working together.
You see, a scarcity mindset may, in its wild panic moments, highlight some potential areas of concern that an abundance mindset may not have considered. Thus ensuring a proactive reaction and avoiding a reactive one. Also, this can help in any planning process, particularly crisis planning. To have every possible outcome, both positive and negative, on the table will result in a more robust strategy and contingency plans.
If a company is led by a scarcity mindset, the calmness and reassurance of the abundant mindsets presence could help relieve pressure and stop the company being reactive and storming straight into a disaster due to blind panic.
Indeed, the healthier of the two mindsets, from a business and personal standpoint, is abundance.
In These Times…
In times of crisis, we need to keep a level head and be able to adapt. We need to work together with those who are in similar situations to us and ensure that everyone has a fair share, be it toilet rolls or clients.
If you think you have a scarcity mindset, there are ways you can turn it around. Working on your self worth is a good start. Knowing that you are strong and having faith in your abilities can help you stay calm when the waters start to feel a little choppy. Meditation and knowledge can help this, so when the seas are favorable, it can help to do more research. This includes talking to your competitors or your colleagues. Learning from them and sharing experiences. You don’t have to give them your next big idea, but if things are hard, it pays to be friends with your rival.
After all, we’re sort of all in it together, aren’t we?