J. Paul Getty made his fortune during the Great Depression of the 1930’s. He turned a $500,000 inheritance into billions by seizing the opportunity of purchasing oil stocks when they were massively depressed and at bargain prices. There are many similar stories of people who made the most of their opportunities during financial crises throughout history.
I love to read about these people. While most people were overwhelmed and felt at the mercy of circumstances, there were those who had a different mindset. They saw opportunity where everyone else saw and feared disaster. They had the inner fortitude to act upon what they saw. They were open minded enough to take a risk. They were not paralysed by the broadly held pessimism of their day. They did not see a small pond with limited supply. They saw a flowing river of opportunity for all to share.
Somehow, they had an ABUNDANCE MINDSET when most people were blinkered by a SCARCITY MINDSET.
In 2020 it is our turn.
We are living through the greatest health and economic disaster to hit the planet since the Great Depression. Some say it may be worse that than the events of the 1930’s. We have huge numbers of people suddenly unemployed. We have large numbers of businesses existing on Government subsidies that have a finite lifespan. Many areas of lucrative business activity have been shut down by the global pandemic. Industries such as tourism, airlines, corporate events, professional sports, hospitality, large clubs and even churches are struggling to survive.
Mindset is crucial
In my role as a Business Mentor I work with business owners with teams. If they have succumbed to fear and scarcity it is almost impossible to help them create strategies to navigate their way through the current challenges. The fear seems to blind them. It dulls their mind. It saps their energy. They feel overwhelmed and begin to lose hope.
The truth is there are many opportunities around. Just like J. Paul Getty, the challenges for business owners are twofold: to SEE their opportunities and then to muster the courage to SEIZE them. Before I have been able to talk strategy and tactics I have had to work on their mindset. Nothing is more important. Mindset governs everything else for all of us.
I have learned there are some simple and practical things anyone can do to overcome a SCARCITY MINDSET which enable them to develop and maintain an ABUNDANCE MINDSET.
5 things anyone can do today guaranteed to help you overcome a SCARCITY MINDSET and develop and maintain an ABUNDANCE MINDSET
- Start each day with motivation – In the morning get your body moving with some kind of exercise, even a walk. While you do, listen to an encouraging podcast. There are literally thousands of them. Find some that resonate with you and let the motivation lift you. Instead of listening to the news, or to talkback radio, do something positive for yourself. Take charge of your mind and your day. Do this consistently and it will lift your mindset, build your motivation, and boost your energy. [Hint: go to sleep earlier than 11pm and it makes this morning routine easier.]
- Train your mind to be grateful – write down 10 things for which you are personally thankful in this season. It is impossible to be thankful and worry at the same time. Neuro-science tells us that our brains cannot do both worry and gratitude. So, let gratitude banish worry from your mind. Make this a practice until it becomes natural for you. If you tend to be a worrier, it will be hard work, but the most important work you may ever do.
- Go out of your way to be generous – when you are generous it takes your eyes off yourself and gets your eyes on the needs of others. Call some of your customers and ask them how they are going. See what you can do to help those who are struggling. Be generous and be available. Cultivate kindness and reach out with the aim to give, not to gain. You will be modelling to yourself that you have more to give than most. It’s all part of developing an abundance mindset. A genuine giving heart will always look good on you, and will eventually lead to all kinds of opportunity.
- Train your mind to see possibilities – I suggest you write down a list of at least 10 possibilities in the current market that will enable your business to add value to your clients. If you cannot see 10, ask others around you for help – ask your team, your customers, business colleagues, and even your competitors. Look at what others are doing and learn and develop ideas of what you can do. A possibility mindset will help you see opportunities coming. Most people see opportunities after they have gone by. These are all the “If only stories” we tell ourselves. Opportunities missed. [If only I had bought silver last year, I could have tripled my investment.] If only regrets are of absolutely no value to anyone. We need to be thinking possibilities. An abundance mindset sees possibilities. There is always a way. You just need to be determined enough to find it and make it happen.
- Mix with positive people – cut off the negative voices in your life. You may not be able to cut off all the negative people, especially if they are family. But you can stop listening to their voice. The best way is to counter the negative with positive real people who are already doing the 5 things listed above. Mix with people who lift you and who encourage you to be better. People who are having a go. People who inspire by their actions and their character.
Your Mind is a battleground
We win or lose in the game of life depending on whether we win or lose the battle in our minds. It does not come easily or naturally. It takes work. Sometimes it’s a real fight. It requires you to do the work every day. It requires vigilance. In difficult seasons, like 2020, many have been surprised how tired they feel. Adjusting to major change takes energy. It requires resilience at a whole new level. None of us has seen anything like this before. So more than ever, we need to make sure we do the work on ourselves and allow ourselves to learn and grow to be positioned to meet the challenges of our day.
I am grateful for parents and family who modelled good character and a strong work ethic to me. They gave me a great sense of self-belief. However, they did not teach me an abundance mindset. My parents would have felt a bit guilty if they had more than enough to get by. I am grateful that I have built relationships with great people who have become friends and mentors over the years. They have modelled to me and taught me how to develop an abundance mindset. They have helped me to build resilience. This is what has enabled me to not just survive but have an abundance of opportunity even during this challenging season. The greatest joy I have is to be able to help lift others as well.