I’ve had several insecurities throughout my life so far, but the biggest potential threat to my business stemmed from worrying about a flippin’ box of Lucky Charms.  

Growing up, finances were always tight- my dad is in law enforcement, my mom was home caring for me any my two brothers (middle kid, right here), so there wasn’t a lot of flex in our budget. My parents were savvy and we always had enough to eat, but my brothers and I were bored with generic bagged cereal.

Every once in a while though, Mom would find a sale on the good cereal, and bring home a box or two of Lucy Charms (or even better, Waffle Crisp!). 

I remember stressing as I watched my brothers pour *huge* bowls of cereal (those two had voracious appetites). Because… once that box was gone, it was gone. And I wanted to make sure I got my fair share.

I carried that mentality with me for years- more for her/him clearly means less for me.

And it took me a long time to realize that it was making me MISERABLE! Especially as a self-employed artist.

I was existing in a state of constant scarcity- there was “never enough,” I was constantly on the lookout for others who might try and take what I felt was “mine.” It made me crabby, suspicious of others, and closed off. 

In short, I wasn’t exactly an encouraging person to be around. 

But when you look at the actual numbers, the scarcity mindset doesn’t exactly hold water:

There are ~31.7 million small businesses in the US. (source)

There is literally no way I could ever serve all of them. 

Look at all the small business IG feeds, TikTok bio photos, and website About pages that feature selfies, or iPhone photos with filters on them. 

Look at all the sales pages with impersonal stock photography. 

Look at all the professional websites with outdated team photos!

There is more than enough to go around.

The scarcity mindset has you living in a constant state of fear- fear of not having enough, fear of someone else getting whats “yours.” 

On the other end of the spectrum is the abundance mindset- moving forward in thought + action with the believe that there truly will be enough for you, that “more for them” doesn’t have to equal “less for you.” 

Learning to choose the abundance mindset has felt at times like a physical task- the scarcity mindset is easy to fall into, and at times, it really is a matter of either/or, not both/and. But choosing to believe there is enough to go around (again, 31.7 million small business owners in the US!), it’s turned me into a kinder, more compassionate, more generous person.

Because I’m no longer looking over my shoulder, worried that at any moment, someone might pass me. The energy spent worrying about not having enough directly inhibits my ability to think creatively, which is part of what makes me so uniquely qualified

What would that change for you, to move forward in 2023 focused on what’s possible, vs. ruminating on limitations?

It’s not an overnight process, training your mind to focus on abundance vs. scarcity. 

But I’ll tell you this- it’s worth every ounce of effort. 

Want to hear more? Check out this episode of The Artisan CEO Podcast where we dive deeper into just how much the scarcity mindset could be costing you

Linchpin, Co | Vancouver, BC brand shoot | Abby Grace Photography

The scarcity mindset: poison for artists

January 27, 2023

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