Before you even touch your first dollar it’s important to get some self awareness around scarcity versus abundance mindset.
I grew up in scarcity and lack and this impacted my thinking for a long time. I had zero money management skills when I left highschool and even less when I left business school with a Masters degree five years (and a large student loan) later. It wasn’t until I read the famous ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ that I started to realise I had poor person software running between my ears. I devoured self help books and went to investment seminars but it wasn’t translating into behaviour. As I entered the workforce and well paying corporate jobs, the credit card debt grew and I had little to show for the salary that I earned. Partially this was due to the dreaded “lifestyle creep”, which I’ll blog about later, but mainly it was because I had a scarcity mindset.
So what is scarcity mindset? Basically it’s a position in life that there is never enough or, you are about to run out all the time. Ever driven along with the fuel light on in your car? That panic feeling is scarcity. It stops you opening bills and dealing with your finances because it clouds your judgement that it won’t be good news and you can’t cope. It’s a horrible and frankly, wrong way to live and that’s why it’s so important to start with your head space with money. A scarcity mindset stops you saving for a house because, well, you can barely make rent. A scarcity mindset stops you from creating an emergency fund because there is never ‘spare’ money. You will never know the joy of giving to charity or helping a friend in need because you are stuck in permanent survival mode.
On the flip side, an abundance mindset believes that there is resource and provision. Sometimes you have to work to get it, but it’s there. But what if it’s not there? That’s your scarcity mindset spooking you. One of my life sayings now is:
“there is always provision for me”
Say it with me. ALWAYS. I will not run out.
Key to unlocking an abundance mindset for me was deciding that I wanted to be a generous person. And generous people give. Opening my hands and beginning to give things away (time, money, and resources) healed me of the terrible scarcity and lack that had crippled my progress. Abundance sees opportunity and resource. Scarcity is a hungry wolf out to survive the next 24 hours.
So take some time to audit your world view and ponder how it’s impacting your choices. Make a decision that you’re going to have an abundant life and not a scarce one, regardless of your current situation. Once you start to move from ‘never enough’, to ‘always enough’ things will start to change for you, take my word for it.