Is Your Scarcity Mindset Costing You Success?


Have you heard of the scarcity mindset? If you haven’t, it’s likely that it’s hurting your personal success and satisfaction.

I’ll let Stephen Covey, the author of The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People, explain it:

Most people are deeply scripted in what I call the Scarcity Mentality. They see life as having only so much, as though there were only one pie out there. And if someone were to get a big piece of the pie, it would mean less for everybody else.

The Scarcity Mentality is the zero-sum paradigm of life. People with a Scarcity Mentality have a very difficult time sharing recognition and credit, power or profit – even with those who help in the production. The also have a a very hard time being genuinely happy for the success of other people.

Usually the scarcity mindset is brought up in the context of personal finance or self help. However, I want to specifically bring this question to aspiring authors and/or authors, and ask you, “Is your scarcity mindset costing you success?”

It’s truly something you need to figure out if you have any hope of being a successful author. So let’s get to the bottom of it.

Scarcity Mindset For Authors

Here are a few problems that come with the scarcity mindset and examples of how it could cost you big.

Think you can’t write a similar book. When you believe that other’s success means less for you, you could fall under the false belief that if there is already a book on your topic then you can’t write about that subject. That discouragement may cause you to never become an author. In this blog post, I bust the myth that you can’t write a book about an already popular topic.

Publish a cheap book. Because you believe money is hard to come by, you’re more likely to go cheap when paying for an editor, book cover, and formatting. Then your readers will have worse experiences, leave bad book reviews, and cost you more money because you didn’t invest in a remarkable book.

Underdeliver to your audience. If you decide not to reveal your best ideas because other people might profit from it and leave less for you, you’re not caring for your audience. A lack of care means you won’t gain an audience at all or your audience will eventually leave you for someone that does give them more value. The best authors are those that connect and provide value for their readers.

Struggle to build a professional network. At the core of networking is helping others through your resources, introductions, and ideas. Yet people who look at life as a zero-sum game will think that helping others will hurt them, so they won’t be a helpful connection. And because of that, they won’t have a network to rely on when they need to promote their book.

Remain impatient. The scarcity mindset wants to control everyone and everything, so it leaves little room for patience. This mentality will cause frustration when your author blog isn’t getting a bunch of views right away and your books aren’t selling to the top of the charts immediately. A lack of patience can kill greatness before it even gets a chance.

Abundance Mindset For Authors

You don’t have to live in the scarcity mindset. And your life will be far more powerful and fruitful if you don’t.

There’s another way to live that’s called the abundance mindset. I’ll let Stephen Covey take it away again to explain it:

The Abundance Mentality, on the other hand, flows out of a deep inner sense of personal worth and security. It is the paradigm that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody. It results in sharing of prestige, of recognition, of profits, of decision making. It opens possibilities, options, alternatives, and creativity.

Here are a few examples of how having the abundance mentality will help you be a more successful author.

Publish an incredible book. Living under the idea that there are enough resources out there frees you to not be cheap with publishing your book. So you put enough money into the self publishing process to create a masterpiece. And if all goes wrong, you know that by somehow or someway you can meet your needs.

Overdeliver to your audience. Generous people don’t do things with the mentality that I’m going to do as little as possible to get what I want. They go over the top to give more than necessary. For authors, this might mean adding a bonus chapter because you know your audience will love it. Replying to a blog comment with serious thought and effort. Or cutting the price or giving away a free copy of your book on special occasions. People recognize and respect generous people, which is extremely helpful in creating a big audience.

Build relationships with influencers. What’s the best way to become friends with an influencer? Provide value to them. Living in abundance means you can afford to give to others, like influencers, whether they return to help you out later or not. And many times they do help you later on to teach you something new, promote your book, or share a rare opportunity.

Stay patient. In this mindset of abundance, you know that if you work hard and execute with your writing, eventually it’s going to pay off. So you’re free to be patient and trust the process because you know your reward is out there. If others have achieved it, it’s a sign that you can too.

Make strong asks to buy. When you believe that money and opportunity is  everywhere, it gives you the courage to make strong asks for people to buy your book. You’re not afraid to ask people to spend their hard earned money. You know there is so much money in the world, they can make more money, and that your book is worth their money. As a result of your strong asks, you get more book sales.

So ask yourself every once in awhile (or daily wouldn’t hurt), “Am I working under the abundance mentality or the scarcity mentality?” When you operate in abundance, your books will be far more successful and you will be much happier.

When other authors or bloggers notice you’re different and ask why, share the abundance mentality with them. As the phrase goes, “A rising tide lifts all boats.”

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