Scarcity Mentality in Abundant People

Tracking The Trends

One of the things I like to keep track of is trends. I see patterns and trends in almost everything. I don’t do a whole lot with most of the ones I see, but I just watch them with interest.

One of those trends is among those speakers and so-called gurus who are so often telling you they’ve made it and you can, too, if you just buy their products and attend their workshops yet obviously slant their materials to push you into a quick fix sale.

In the interests of ethical authenticity, I advocate you buy MY products and attend MY workshops, but I am the first one to tell you I’m still working on my million dollar idea.

The trend I notice, though, is how many of them don’t last. I get hundreds of weekly emails, very few of which do I pay attention to any more, unless I specifically know the person sending them knows what they’re doing.

When I see a “recognized expert” who touts their six and seven figure income, yet has sales, blog and website copy that comes from a scarcity or fear-based mentality and pushes buttons that feed into even more scarcity and negativity, I know they’re only going to be around for a few months, maybe a few years at best. I’m sure you’ve seen the ones I’m talking about – those that offer something for sale/download and to get to the site you have to go through nine screens of “Wait there’s more”, “You’ll only see this once” or even, “If you miss this opportunity, you’re losing money”.

There’s Only Enough For Me

What is scarcity mentality? It’s the belief that within a given population, there’s only so much money and if it doesn’t make its way into your pockets, you’re going to starve or some silly thing like that.

Kahil Gibran writes: “to be thirsty when your well is full is a thirst which is unquenchable.”

I’ve seen this ideology most clearly up close and personal as a traveling artisan. It’s amazing to me how much time and energy is wasted by festival vendors who think the only way they’ll have a successful event is to get every single person in their booth to buy from them. They complain and carry on when they think no one is listening about the customers who are looking at someone else’s goods, or – oh, perish the thought – carrying a purchase they made elsewhere!

Are You A Sock Lady?

The ultimate demonstration of scarcity mentality was always the sock lady. Have you ever been to a flea market or festival where there’s one booth, usually a huge corner booth, with about a thousand pairs of socks, some underwear and other miscellaneous clothing items that’s usually run by a single person who never smiles and is always looking for one more sale to make his/her day complete? A sock lady can be male or female, but the attitude is always the same.

I began noticing sock ladies about 10 years ago when my husband and I were learning our vendor skills by trial and error at festivals and flea markets where we set up. This particular vendor was a very small, Asian woman, with a well-worn visor over her gray hair. She never smiled, never had anything good to say to anyone, especially the other vendors. When you’d ask her how things were going, she’d always tell you things would be better if only the weather was better, the crowds were thicker, it wasn’t so far from payday, if only…

And all this while she was accepting handfulls of cash from customers buying dozens of pairs of socks at a time!

We had the “interesting” experience of setting up next to one of these people at one of the events we were at and vowed never to again. Not only did it make the 6 hours we were there seem an eternity, listening to the person gripe and carry on, but the feeling that there should be more sales and a dissatisfaction with what was before us, spread throughout the booths closest.

When we started out, my husband and I were happy if we made our booth fee back and could pay for dinner on top. We were really happy idiots having the time of our lives just being out in the fresh air and dealing with the people. We had an almost child-like innocence in those days that made every set up an adventure and every sale a gift. We weren’t making money hand over fist, by any means, but the ultimate goal was to have fun.

That was also when we learned that when we focused on the money we would make (as in we have to make $200 for rent or counting the cash box early to see if we made enough for x, y, or z) our sales instantly stopped and we had a horrible time.

But everywhere around us were sock ladies whining about the weather, the cost of something or some other problem instead of focusing on being of service to those who were buying their products.

This “Sock Lady Mentality” of scarcity is also apparent  to me when I see some of the emails and ads online. If you’re selling anything – information, workshops, or coaching – any time you focus in on the money aspect, you lose. We all want financial abundance. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing, but it doesn’t need to be the end result. There really is more to life.

There IS Enough To Go Around

The biggest lesson I learned those many years ago was that just because you don’t have what someone is looking for at the moment, by offering to be of assistance and even perhaps referring them to someone else who can serve their current need, when it’s time for that person to buy what you offer, they will probably think of you and your service first and purchase at that time. And it’s not just with a selling relationship. All relationships have abundance and scarcity sides to them. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “Give and Take”?

The cycle doesn’t take that long and the benefits are huge. When you think there isn’t enough to go around, you set up a palpable energy that will ensure that thought process is true. And if you’ve proven it once, you hold onto the experience and prove it over and over again, citing the original experience as dogma.

I’m very conscious of this paradigm when I’m onstage or beginning a new coaching relationship. There has to be a time when you’re exploring possibility, setting the parameters and creating the framework for going forward that focuses on abundance, not scarcity. I see and hear my peers talking about The Law Of Attraction. All the furor over this “new” idea makes me smile. It’s really just the Law of Cause and Effect in a different guise.

Don’t be a sock lady. Enjoy what you’re doing, focus on the goal not the process and you’ll not only enjoy the journey, but so will others around you!

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