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Are You Having A Scarcity Conversation?

Are You Having A Scarcity Conversation?

money

    With the economy the way it is, lately I’ve heard a lot of comments like, “I want to start a business, but I just can’t afford it right now,” and “I want to invest in learning how to start a business, but I don’t have the money to put into it.”

    This is a legitimate, honest concern, but this kind of thinking could destroy your business dreams and sabotage your success. I’m going to show you how to make a small shift in thinking so you can stop the “scarcity conversation” and start an “investment conversation” that will transform the way you see your finances and your business.

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    “The scarcity conversation,” is a term I picked up from a client, who once said to me, “I’m scared to death because I know in my heart that I should start this business, but I don’t know if I can spend the money to do what I need to do to make it succeed. I’m having a major scarcity conversation with myself.”

    First, I want to tell you that I’ve been there. I had times when I was living paycheck to paycheck, barely getting by, praying nothing would go wrong with the car or the furnace. And once, in a single day, I received $3,000 in bills that I didn’t know how to pay. I’ll never forget those moments of abject fear and panic, wondering where I was going to find that money. I’ll never forget wanting to do things I didn’t think I could afford, needing to buy things and knowing I couldn’t.

    What is a “scarcity conversation,” anyway? A scarcity conversation is the dialogue you have in your head (or sometimes with other people) and you hear any of these words cropping up with regularity: “I can’t afford….” “I don’t know how I’m going to pay for….” “I wish I could ______, but I don’t have the money for that.”

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    Why is a scarcity conversation a problem? If you’ve read my blogs and e-zines, you know that I approach business in a way that’s different from most other startup experts. I have a hybrid approach that brings in all kinds of disciplines, including psychology and personal growth – because I know that your mindset and not just what you’re thinking but how you’re thinking have a massive impact on the level of your success. So the first reason why you want to get out of the scarcity conversation is because it constantly hammers away at the mindset you need to succeed. The scarcity conversation is all about fear. It’s about uncertainty. It’s about self-doubt. And you absolutely must get out of those thinking patterns to be able to make decisions as an entrepreneur, without doubting everything you do.

    The second reason to move out of the scarcity conversation is also mindset-related. The “I can’t afford it” mentality locks you into a way of thinking that you’ll find extremely difficult to get out of, and that becomes a real issue in business.  The “I can’t afford it” type of scarcity conversation has a way of growing and spreading so that it starts applying to anything, even things you need to grow your business. You won’t put your dollars in the right places if you have “I can’t afford it” floating around in your head.

    My company would never have become the success it is today if I hadn’t gotten out of this mindset. I forced myself to stop thinking in terms of scarcity at a time when my business wasn’t growing and I needed help. It would have been the easiest time to let “I don’t have the money for that” become the scarcity conversation in my head, but I took another path. I thought, “What does my business need to grow and thrive?” and that’s when I hired the consultants and attended classes and seminars that made the difference. If I had said, “I can’t afford this,” I’d still be back where I was, when finding $3,000 bills in my mailbox was panic-inducing.

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    The point I’m making is, if you spend your life focusing on what you can’t afford, things won’t change. But if you change your focus, everything will change. If you focus on putting your money- investing it- where it can bring you back the most return, your life, your business, your mindset will transform.

    Instead of having the scarcity conversation, have an investment conversation. And I don’t mean stocks and bonds. I mean a conversation about what you can invest in that will make the difference for you. It’s like that old adage, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” For you, that can be transitioned into “Find a consultant who can give you a fish, and you’ll invest in a nice fish dinner. Invest in a consultant who will show you how to fish, and you’ll be able to feed yourself for a lifetime.” 

    Figure out what classes, workshops and consultants will teach you how to fish – not just give you the fish for now – and invest in what they have to offer. You’ll be making a wise investment that will take you to a place where “I can’t afford it” will be a thing of the past.

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    Incidentally, that client I spoke of at the beginning of this article, the one who said, “I don’t know if I can spend the money to do what I need to do to make it succeed”? She went on to invest in her business. She invested in designing a  business that would work for the lifestyle she wanted, and got trained on how to create a unique brand with a clear target market, how to create and launch new products, how to let the world know she exists, and how to establish herself as an expert. And her business is thriving.  She no longer has the scarcity conversations because she knows now that each time she invests her money in her business, it’s going to come back, multiplied.

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    Last Updated on August 20, 2019

    How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

    How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

    Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up.

    You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out. But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

    Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

    “If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

    It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

    Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

    As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

    As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

    Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

    Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

    1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

    When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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    Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

    2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

    Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

    But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

    If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

    Check out these important listening skills: 13 Powerful Listening Skills to Improve Your Life at Work and at Home

    3. Go to All Office Networking Events

    Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

    If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

    Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

    Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

    The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

    Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

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    4. Show Initiative

    Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

    Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

    Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

    5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

    Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

    Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

    6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

    A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

    Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

    Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

    A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

    Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

    Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

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    These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

    Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

    7. Find a Mentor

    With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

    Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

    Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

    Not sure how to find the right mentor? Here’s How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed.

    8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

    After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

    What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

    Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

    Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

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    You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

    9. Set Your Professional Bar High

    Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

    Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

    Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

    Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

    The Bottom Line

    Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

    “Half of life is showing up.”

    The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

    Remember, your career is your business!

    More About Continuous Growth

    Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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