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Scarcity vs. Abundance: Reassessing the Business Landscape during Coronavirus

It’s been a difficult time.

Now more than ever, it is important for business leaders to evaluate how we look at things. It is vital that we reassess how we see our business and the overall environment.

Times of difficulty or crises can have a collective negative consequence. People can find themselves discouraged, frustrated, or depressed. No matter how challenging current circumstances may be, it is all about how you look at life. Perspective is everything. It seems more relevant than ever to ask: Do you see scarcity or abundance?

You may be aware that business consulting is part of the services our family of companies provides. It is in that spirit that we share this article.

Defining Scarcity vs. Abundance

First, for those who may not have studied this before, let’s define the Scarcity vs. Abundance Mindset.

  • Scarcity is seeing the glass as half empty, while an abundance mindset sees it as half full
  • Scarcity sees troubles and problems, while abundance sees opportunities
  • Scarcity focuses on things you can’t do or don’t know, while abundance asks, “what can I do with what I have or what I know? What else do I need to know so I can do this?”
  • Somebody in a scarcity mindset sees things as falling apart, while somebody in the opposite looks for opportunities to build

In times of difficulty, we are professionally and personally tested on these principles. Widespread bad news and other factors push us towards the scarcity mindset. When everything is going well, it is easier to have an abundance mindset.

If we look for things that don’t work, or knowledge we don’t have, there are millions upon millions of options. And once we have figured those things out, what are we left with? With another set of things we don’t know, can’t do, or can’t afford.

This principle is important for small- to mid-sized businesses. Understand that this principle is a matter of mindset. Yes, there can be challenges surrounding you and your business. True, things may not be going as well as they were going months or years ago in your company. Changing your mindset of you and your team will create forward motion when scarcity creates stagnation.

The Key to Applying this Mindset

Here’s the key to this principle. There are two questions you should ask:

  1. What do I still have?
  2. What are the needs?

The goal then is to connect 1 with 2. Connect the skills, experience, knowledge, equipment, and the passion of the first question with the marketplace needs and opportunities of the second question.

This isn’t easy to do. It won’t change your business’s circumstances in a day or a week. But if you and your team believe this mindset, and are willing to pivot and work hard, you will prevail.

In other words, focus your time and energy on what you have and how you can reconfigure it to meet the needs around you.

Fill the Need!

An anecdote from the Great Depression is appropriate at this juncture. There was this story of a man who was never without work. How did he do it? He would walk down the streets and see the work that needed to be done. He would knock on the owner’s door and would often quickly hear that the owner wasn’t hiring and couldn’t pay him. But he went ahead and did the work anyway, he filled the need. In the end, people saw his value and paid him for it. He stayed busy and productive throughout the difficult period.

This man connected his abilities with the needs of the day, and never missed a day of work through the Great Depression.

Here is an additional important point that becomes an obstacle in this process. If you see your product or service as the same thing that others provide, then it’s just a commodity. The key is to see where you and your team bring value to the marketplace. Everybody needs value in their life. There are limitless opportunities if you continue to focus on the value.

Limitless Opportunities

We often mention the important banner that flies above our whole family of companies: We Care, We Know, We Serve. The Scarcity vs Abundance Mindset is intrinsically built into this slogan. “We know” is the ability to know the value one’s business brings to the marketplace. “We serve” is the end result of serving the needs that exist out in the marketplace. “We care” is the propellant that gets us from knowing to serving.

If you are focused on serving others, there are limitless opportunities to serve. In other words, there is abundance.

This principle is an important brick in the wall that defines our company’s culture and the culture of our whole family of companies. But it is easy to fall into the wrong attitude. We have to continually remind ourselves of this mindset.

If you would like to engage on this topic further, our business consultants would be happy to begin the discussion with you. Just reach out. In the meantime, we hope that this has proven to be helpful to you and your team.