Two Roadblocks to Growth - Fear and a Scarcity Mindset
There are two roadblocks that often get in the way of growth, and they are closely intertwined. The first is fear. The second is having a scarcity mindset. These two roadblocks to growth can undermine all the plans and dreams of any entrepreneur.
Every business owner I know wants to grow his or her business. (Well, most of them do. I was having lunch with one the other day who was scared that he was outgrowing his capacity to support his customers. But that's for another post.)
In the United States, we have an amazing abundance of everything. From clean water to our large homes. From our super-sized meals to our love affair with SUVs. But, when it comes to business, so many business owners have a scarcity mindset. This mindset pushes them in the direction of leading out of fear. And that is just the opposite of what is needed for growth.
Where does the scarcity mindset come from?
The First Law of Economics is Scarcity. Simply stated, the Law of Scarcity affirms that you never have enough time or money to pursue all of your opportunities. You must discipline yourself to focus your limited resources on those few products or services, markets, and customers that offer the greatest opportunity to generate positive cash flow. As you continue to grow your business, base all of your business decisions on current and future potential cash flow.
I believe this "first law" is what puts scarcity top of mind for business people. It is not that the law isn't valid. It's simply that it shouldn't limit our dreams and drive us to fear It means we should always look at our available resources (time, talent and money), and determine where best to allocate them.
How do we overcome fear caused by the scarcity mindset?
Fight the urge every day
First, we must always fight the urge to be overly concerned about external threats to our business. For example, recently I was speaking to someone who was thinking about becoming a business coach. Now, obviously, this person would be a competitor of me someday. So, if I operated out of a perspective of fear, I would have told her every reason in the world why she wouldn't want to be a business coach. I could have filled her head with all sorts of reasons not to do this. But instead, I approached it as an opportunity for us to expand the coaching community, to reach new customers, and to help educate more people about this great occupation we are in.
Count your blessings
I know it can sound trite. But to have an abundance mindset and to overcome fear, we have to recognize how blessed we truly are. If you live in America, you are blessed. My son and daughter-in-law are missionaries in Haiti. Where they live they cannot drink the water, they bathe with cold water and they run their house on a generator. After spending a week with them, I feel not only blessed but abundantly so!
Give more than you take
Dale Carnegie says we should "create happiness for others". When we pour our energies into helping others, we realize how much we truly have. One of the great gifts of being a business coach is that I get to pour my energies into helping others in their business every day. This gives me joy and satisfaction as I see it building joy and satisfaction in my clients. Give time to a non-profit. Volunteer at your kids' school or at church. Help with the neighborhood service project. Whatever you choose, when you give more than you take, you recognize your abundance.
Fear is beatable
You can overcome fear. But it takes patience and perseverance. And more than anything, it takes an abundance mentality. A mindset that fights the self-limiting belief that life (and business) is a zero-sum game. We must fight the belief that someone else's victory is my personal defeat. If we can do that, we will develop an abundance mindset in ourselves, and repel the fear that limits us from growing.
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