Do you ever wonder why some people just seem “lucky” or that it looks “easy” or maybe they had an “unfair advantage?”
If you find yourself wondering these things, it may be time for a mindset intervention. We will get a bunch of your close friends over to your house and tell you first that we care, and second that we are worried. You see, I don’t believe in luck, and I especially don’t dismiss the success someone has as being an unfair advantage.
Over the past while, I have been observing behaviors and looking for the differences between winners and everyone else. What is it that these hyper-successful people do that helps them day in and day out. I look at habits, processes, relationships, etc. The number one answer is that they just have a different mindset.
And to be honest, I get jealous and try and explain away why someone else had more success than me. But the reality is that successful people just think differently. Today’s post is all about helping you be more aware of your current mindset, exploring the two types of mindsets, and then shifting into the one that will actually help you get to the next level.
(If you would like to listen to the post, click here or the play button below)
I have some pretty cool people in my life that I am lucky to learn from. One of these is my friend Nolan Adam, who is actually a funeral director! We just had breakfast the other day and chatted about life, family, business, and good scotch. The thing I love about Nolan is that he has what I like to call an “abundance mindset” where he always knows there’s more out there. He has had a super-successful career in the funeral biz, but has not rested on that success. He is an avid learner and works just as hard on himself as he does on his business. He cares deeply about his community and offers everything to others without asking for anything in return.
He doesn’t keep score, but rather he creates new opportunities. The funny thing is that you would think being in his business, there would not be all that much room for innovation, but man, he’s done some cool stuff. And now his funeral home is being used by our community for events, meetings, and anything else you can think of. Nolan treats everyone as if they were his first, last, and best customer and never stops offering to help. And every time we meet up, I leave feeling energized and pretty good about myself.
I like spending time with abundance mindsets.
On the other hand, I have had some friends and clients in the past who weren’t like Nolan. One in Particular, let’s call him Jim, was the total opposite. It didn’t matter what new ideas we came up with, Jim had a thousand reasons it wouldn’t work. He was the guy who would not tip at dinner, or even skip out on the bill! When we would get together, he had some new problem that, when boiled down, he had caused. He seemed to bounce around from job to job and he liked to say that everyone was against him.
He said he wanted success, but it kept eluding him. And he just couldn’t figure out why. When we talked about business, he was like many others who would “only do it if we could guarantee it would work.” One of those people that knew someone who tried before that failed…you know. And each time we met up, I would leave drained and frustrated. He did that to everyone. People like Jim make decisions for themselves first, and the customer second.
I try and avoid people with scarcity mindsets.
Which mindset are you?
Now, these two profiles are at the opposite end of the spectrum and it is easy to say, you are more likely like Nolan, but the truth comes when we take a deeper look at these behaviors. Maybe you like to think abundantly 75% of the time, but fear and scarcity creep in when the going gets tough? We all do it. A few years ago, I had the idea in my head that as I built my business, I needed to start small and local. I was nervous about where I would get customers and if they would like my offers. Then, as I did more work on my blog, I began to attract attention from people around the world. It changed the way I viewed myself and my business from one of “where will I find customers?” to “Uh oh, how will I serve all these people!!?”
Once you realize there is no real scarcity in the world, you create freedom for yourself. If you want things to be better, YOU have to get better. If, for some reason, you feel like you are unlucky, maybe it’s time for that intervention? And just so you know, all of these successful people we all admire struggle with this stuff too. The difference is that they are willing to get uncomfortable and work on themselves. That is the real secret. The best leaders I know today, reach out and ask for help. They are insatiably curious about how they can think more effectively, battle doubt & insecurity, and be better people.
The first step in working on yourself is observing. Below I have a quick self test to help you identify the differences between the two mindsets. For the next week, just track how often your mindset switches and see what you can learn.
Abundance mindset thinking:
When you think abundantly, you constantly open up new possibilities for your life and business. If you think abundantly:
- You take ownership of your behaviors and actions
- You look at setbacks and challenges as learning opportunities
- You are openly vulnerable with others and ask for honest feedback
- You seek out others to connect with who you can learn from and that may possibly intimidate you
- You don’t view money as a finite resource, but rather find ways to create more
- You completely understand the importance of personal development and are willing to put the time and resources into yourself
- You freely admit when you make mistakes and find ways to improve
- You don’t make excuses when things go wrong
- When others aren’t reacting the way you would like, you search inside yourself to find what you can do differently
- All your success or failings come from the actions you take
- You put others before you and ask nothing in return
- You make your relationships a priority
- You do the work, especially when no one is looking
Scarcity mindset thinking:
I just spoke at an event about intergenerational issues in the workplace and the topic of entitlement came up. At first, it was viewed as simply an issue with Millennials, but in reality, entitlement is not a generational thing – it is about mindset. If you find yourself struggling to get ahead and want to know why, take a look at this list and see if it applies to you. Scarcity thinkers:
- You blame society, your parents, the government, or anyone else for your personal failings
- You only do the work if you know for sure there is payoff or that someone notices
- You are afraid of being seen as weak and therefore are never wrong
- You build relationships but only if that person has something to offer
- You don’t mind reading, but only if it is something relevant to what you need to do
- You would go to a workshop if it was free or someone else paid for it
- You think you should be paid more for the work you do (and you probably tell people about it)
- You see others succeeding and find ways to explain their success in ways like “they’re just lucky” or they “have an advantage” or they are “just playing favorites”
- You tend to think others are against you
- You like to say, “That’s just how I am”
- You will get involved in projects or businesses as long as someone could guarantee the success
- You have paid your dues and now everyone should just respect you
- You tend to surround yourself with people who look up to you and work yourself into situations where you are the smartest person in the room
- You try and take the most money from your customers because you fear for your business
- You complain about money
We could go on and on, but I think you get the picture. I would love for you to take these lists to heart and remember you don’t have to categorize yourself as one or the other, but look for those times where you think abundantly or scarcely. I do it constantly and it is a very powerful self-check. We all go through peaks and valleys, but it is really up to you to be honest with your own mindset. Most of the time, only YOU will know, so you have to take ownership.