We live in a world of opportunities, but the way that we view the industry, the world and ourselves greatly influences how we perceive the opportunities in our lives and ultimately determines our success or failure in real estate.
What we’re talking about today is whether we view life with a mindset of scarcity versus one of abundance.
Stephen Covey’s book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” is perhaps the best-known book discussing this topic. Here’s what it said about the scarcity mindset:
“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. They also have a very hard time being genuinely happy for the success of other people.”
The scarcity mindset revolves around the idea that there simply isn’t enough to go around, and it leads to a focus on short-term decision-making while ignoring the long-term consequences of your actions. It keeps you scrambling to grab as much as you can right now while neglecting your hopes, plans and dreams for tomorrow. In your real estate career, if you’re thinking about how many leads, listings and sales are going to happen in your area — and how you can get those leads before your competitors do — then you’re viewing the market from a scarcity mindset.
The flip side of this is having an abundance mindset — the exact opposite of viewing life through the lens of scarcity. Instead of wasting your best efforts fighting for a “slice of the pie” before your competitor gets one, embrace an abundance perspective and focus on baking more pies. In real estate, this means looking for leads where your competitors aren’t, learning new methods of prospecting and embracing education and the abundance of tools and resources that exist to help you truly stand out in real estate.
Eight ways to cultivate your mindset of abundance
As a real estate professional, your best energy is spent approaching your career from a mindset of abundance. Not only will this help you to create new, innovative approaches to success, but it will also help you maintain a positive, enthusiastic attitude to your business that comes through loud and clear when you’re talking to prospective buyers and sellers.
1. Have appreciative conversations
When you’re having conversations with friends and family, try to focus on the multitude of things that you have in life. Stay optimistic and engage others in discussing the positive things in their lives, as well. Discuss the big goals they’re working on, and share your big long-term goals with them, as well.
2. Organize your life and workspace
For most of us, having a clean home and office environment helps us to relax and focus our minds — and the process of going through all of your “things” while you’re organizing should serve as an effective reminder of all that you do have in life. In addition, being organized will help you effectively use all the “things” you’ve already invested time and money in acquiring, rather than focusing on new ones you haven’t yet acquired.
3. Reduce your media consumption
“If it bleeds, it leads” — which is an industry truism in media for the fact that shocking, negative stories tend to captivate viewers and thus dominate airtime. Unfortunately, this adds an incredible amount of drama and negativity to the media, which is then punctuated by commercials intended to make you desire products that you don’t have.
Quit adding negativity to your life by consuming media. We’re not suggesting that you quit watching the news entirely, but try to reduce the time you spend on it to the minimum required to stay current with today’s events, and try to keep in mind that you probably can’t change anything of what you see on TV. Use that time to work on things in your own life that you can change.
4. Share what you have with others
Sharing time, knowledge, money and possessions with other people in your life helps you to feel good by helping others, and not surprisingly, when you share with others you find that they’re more willing to share right back with you. We’re not talking about a vow of poverty — just a thoughtful approach to thinking about the needs of others in your life and sharing more with them. It’s empowering, and when stop to think about the things you’re willing and able to share, it will help you to recognize the abundance of wealth that’s already in your life.
5. Try to create “win-win” situations
Break out of the “win-lose” mentality of scarcity by trying to create situations where everyone is a winner. In real estate negotiations, this is especially important. Rather than trying to hold out on one particular requirement in the deal, find some flexibility in the details to give yourself the ability to create better deals based on mutual compromise where everybody wins. The goal is to move from a competitive approach of “me versus you” to a collaborative partnership where everyone works together to make the deal happen. When that happens, everybody is a winner.
6. Look for positives in every loss
We all go through periods of success and failure in life — and as human beings, none of us are strangers to loss. Working through financial or personal loss can be difficult, but try not to let it change your mindset to a focus on scarcity. Instead, try to view loss from a balanced perspective, a period of change in your life and try to consider the positives that are coming out of this change. It might not offset the negatives you’re experiencing, but it’ll help you get through the difficult times and keep your mindset of abundance.
7. Stop comparing yourself to others
In life, you’re always going to meet people who are bigger, smarter, stronger and wealthier than you are. Stop comparing yourself to them. Instead, try to focus on what you have, what you’ve accomplished, and the plans and goals in your own life that you’re working toward. Keep in mind that everybody puts their “best foot forward” in social media, too — so if you’re logging into Facebook feeling jealous of all the “beautiful people,” try to remember that they have all the same challenges that you do — but they’re not advertising it online.
8. Keep a gratitude journal
When you force yourself to stop and think about all the things in life that you’re grateful for, it pushes you into a mindset of abundance and optimism that literally drives away the negative scarcity mindset. Try it for yourself — spend a few minutes thinking of all the things you’re truly grateful for, and see how your perspective changes. Now write it down: Keep a gratitude journal of 10 positive things that you want to remember about each day. Not only will it help you realize the abundance in your life on a daily basis, but if you look back at what you’re written down over the period of a few weeks, you’ll truly be blown away by how many positive things are in your life.