Forty or so years ago, George Harrison wrote a song called “I Me Mine.” It’s about achieving an ego-less state of mind and is especially interesting in the context of how The Beatles were imploding at the time due to egos.
I thought about that song as I was working on a bit of business development over the weekend. The reality is that I’m probably not the right consultant for the project and I know of a few other folks who might be better at it. That realization is something we try to teach our kids – how to share – and I think that it may come down to something from which we all can learn – a philosophy of abundance.
It’s hard to think about things in the way I’m going to suggest when business conditions
suck aren’t optimal but I think we all need to consider it. That way is a thinking I’ve come to find out Stephen Covey called the abundance mindset. The thought is that there’s abundant stuff – work, money, etc. – out there for everyone. It’s the polar opposite of an attitude of scarcity – that business and life are zero-sum games and for me to win, someone else has to lose because there’s only so much to go around.
As a consultant, continuing to find work is a priority. That said, I can’t possibly do everything that becomes a possibility – sometimes due to having insufficient time to devote, sometimes because I’m not expert enough to do a great job. That’s when one has to lose the ego and bring in someone else who will do a better job and collect the fee. It means not living in an environment of fear or thinking that by helping a competitor who might be better suited to a project I’m hurting myself.
How much of what we do in business is driven by the scarcity mentality? How may bad deals do we make because we don’t want someone else to get the budget? Some folks stay in exactly the wrong job because every headline is filled with high unemployment statistics – how abundant are jobs? How often do we create destructive and unnecessary competition?
None of the above is to say I’m giving away my work to others nor am I feeling hopelessly rich. What I am saying is that sometimes the scarcity mentality can blind us to the best decisions and getting to the abundance mindset helps us to make better choices.
What are you saying?