Scarcity Mindset and Business

There are 7.7 Billion people in the world. To add perspective, the world's biggest economy (the US economy) is valued at over $20.4 trillion, based on World Economic Forum data. Yet there are times in business where we feel like there isn't enough to go around creating the Scarcity Mindset.


The scarcity mindset is the belief that there will never be enough, resulting in feelings of fear, stress, and anxiety. To better recognize the scarcity mindset, you may see it reflected in thoughts of "There's not enough money." "There's not enough time." "There aren't enough clients."


(Image from https://www.clubstreetpost.com/2018/08/the-need-to-avoid-a-scarcity-mindset-and-develop-an-abundance-mindset/)


In business, I argue that the scarcity mindset is a social/cultural issue. Traditional business has taught many that you have to stay secretive and hide the recipe for your secret formula or sign a non-compete disclosure. Although it is essential to keep trade secrets a secret when necessary, this culture has created missed opportunities.

A scarcity mindset creates resistance to partner/collaborate with the competition. Often folks see the competition just as that competition. Some folks may ask why you would ever partner with someone you are in direct competition with. In 2016 I was a Catering Sales Manager for a central chain hotel in Denver, Colorado. I learned that the hotel industry was very interesting. Working with other hoteliers in sales was like having frenemies—each hotel wants to win business the most in guest stays and events booked. However, the is a unique mutual understanding between all of the hotels. They openly participate in a program called STR Report. The STR delivers confidential, accurate, and actionable data, and our comprehensive solutions empower our clients to strategize and compete within their markets. That means that all the hotels that participate and buy into the STR Report are willing to share data to see how things are going within their local and hyper-local markets. I loved this program because not only could I pull internal data on my hotel's average sales, but I could also pull data from my local market to gauge if we were overcharging or undercharging on rooms and event space. You may have noted when booking a hotel room in an area that the rooms tend to average the same price; this is one reason.


I also learned that working with your frenemies was necessary in times of growth. My hotel property entered into a two-year (much needed) renovation project while I was there. There was a time where our event space completely offline or a large percentage of guest rooms were. We had tons of guests that need to be relocated throughout the project, where agreements came in hand with our surrounding direct competition. We worked out arrangements to get our clients booked at other hotels for the same price they contracted/booked with us. Creating this reciprocity level came in handy because when it came time for the other hotels to do renovations, my team was the first to be handed business.


We created reciprocity by connecting clients with our direct competition when we could not take their business due to unavailability. Not only did those hotels return the gesture when they were in the same position, but our clients were extremely thankful for our customer's service in connecting them and helping them skip the step of research. The majority of customers returned to our location and even recommended others because of the service we were providing to them.

A scarcity mindset creates resistance to growth and innovation. As a coach, I'm all about being proactive over being reactive. Part of being proactive in business is understanding your market trends, thinking outside of the box, and understanding your weaknesses. In my business, you may have noticed that I offer a free monthly webinar, and the majority of the time, I partner with another business. Not only does this give my clients quality new information, but it also has been a fantastic way to grow new client interest for my business and for the folks I partner with.

I challenge you to look at the scarcity mindset and its influence on your professional life.


Journal Prompts

Have you experienced a scarcity mindset in business? What opportunities may it have cost you? If you scarcity wasn't a factor, what new business idea would you try?

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