There’s a lot of talk about abundance vs. scarcity mindsets these days. Some of this abundance talk focuses on attracting the income and lifestyle you want by ‘acting as if you already had it’. I believe this is dangerous, and leads people into an ever-increasing burden of debt as they try to pay for a lifestyle they can’t (yet) afford. However, I believe that a scarcity mindset is even more dangerous because it traps people in an endless cycle of envy, jealousy, and greed, and leads to destructively grasping behaviour that benefits no-one, and can be fatal to your authority and long-term success in the expert industry.
Who Seeks Advice from Expert Authorities?
It doesn’t really matter what field your expertise lies in, people with a growth mindset (those who want to learn and improve in any area and believe that knowledge and practice will help them do so) look to experts for coaching and knowledge. These are the people who will buy your books and courses, attend your events (online and offline), and ask you to coach them.
Their decisions about what to purchase may be affected by their present financial position, but in general they will seek out the brightest and best in the field. How will they know who those people are? They will ask for recommendations, read books and articles, as well as consume other media they can find. Your generosity and willingness to share your expertise will directly affect their willingness to invest in your services and materials materials because they quickly discover what type of person you are.
A Tale of Two Mindsets
Imagine you are looking for a coach or a speaker for your next seminar. You stumble on Janelle’s details. She is an expert in the field of digital system design and implementation which is exactly what you want to learn more about so you buy her book and eagerly start reading it to discover what makes her approach different. You learn a lot about the value and importance of digital system design, you read stories of how it increased productivity, morale, and saved time and money in several compelling vignettes, but you are still mystified about what specifically Janelle can offer you that is more than just theory and success stories so you keep looking.
Next you find Sandra. Sandra doesn’t sound quite as impressive as Janelle, but you are able to access a free webinar series she has created which not only highlights the value of deliberately designed digital systems, but also outlines a basic method for designing your own. You quickly realise that she knows what she is talking about and that she has indeed given you the tools you need to build your own digital system. However, you also realise that you have more important things to do in your business. Since this is an important step that you are taking, you buy Sandra’s book. One thing leads to another, and in a surprisingly short time span Sandra has designed and set up your digital file system and trained your team to use it effectively.
Why Do People Work with Abundance Mindset Experts?
It really comes down to trust. Janelle was clearly too scared to share any specifics about her methodology. She talked very generally and knowledgeably about principles, but there was nothing unique for you to grasp. In the end you secretly wondered why she was afraid of telling you more. Maybe her method was so simple you really could do it yourself after reading her book. Sandra, on the other hand, provided enough information that you really could do it yourself and she was clearly happy for you to choose this option. At the same time, she made it clear that her expert guidance would speed up the process and help you make informed decisions at every stage. Since the cost of her services wasn’t the real issue deciding to work with her was an easy decision.
Why Does It Matter to You?
I ghostwrite several authority books each year. One of my authors spent more than 4 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list because his book told people exactly what they needed to do, why they needed to take action now, and how they should best approach the process. Many readers are implementing the process themselves, but he has sold hundreds of online programs which walk people through the process in detail, and has a client waiting list that will keep him busy for years because those who can afford to work with him one-to-one know that the value of his expertise far outweighs their investment.
By contrast, another author I worked with chose to take all the specifics of her approach to solving the problem out of the first draft because several friends told her she was giving too much knowledge away. I was horrified when I saw the suggested revisions and tried to talk her out of it, but she was happy with the more general approach. As a promotional tool it has been a disaster, with one prospect saying, “I decided that you were just another hack life coach because your book was so general. I had the distinct impression that you would bore me with long stories about your clients and friends rather than focus on my issues so why would I spend my time and money working with you even though you have a lot of experience?”
I’ve heard people say that merely being able to say ‘author’ establishes your authority in the minds of most prospects. I disagree. Unless your book adds something to the field and expresses your personal philosophy it’s not worth much… After all, who wants to invest their time, energy, and resources in producing a book you hope that no-one will read when a little more courage will give you a book that attracts your ideal clients.
7 Signs of an Abundance Mindset
- Shares valuable information liberally;
- Serves others generously in their own way;
- Focuses on what they do best;
- Defines boundaries;
- Attracts prospective clients rather than pursues them;
- Carefully selects their clients from those prospects;
- Does not make unfounded promises (despite having a big vision).
7 Signs of a Scarcity Mindset
- Hoards specific information and only talks about general principles;
- Fears that people might steal their ideas and processes;
- Offers a smorgasbord of options;
- Says ‘Yes’ to everything you suggest;
- Pursues prospective clients;
- Works with ‘anyone’;
- Offers discounts and instant service.
- The Reality of Authority
People who have the money to spend on your services want to know that they are getting value for their investment. Contrary to popular belief wealthy people aren’t spendthrifts. They are willing to spend money lavishly, but they don’t want to waste it, precisely because they are aware of the hard work and risk-taking that goes into earning and retaining their wealth.
One way of earning people’s trust is to expose your unique approach and processes. If you sound as though you are afraid to share your IP, then they wonder if you really are an expert.