Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 11/13/2023
When I was just beginning my term as president of Ballet RI we were facing a survival crisis. We had no money and a pile of debts (which was why I, a non-board member at the time, was asked to become board president and run the place like a business). The happy ending, due to a lot of people’s hard work and a huge amount of talent in the company, was that when I “retired” three years later we had zero debt and over a million in the bank.
I learned more during that tenure than I have from most paying clients. One very important example: I had been helping a very wealthy person who was a coaching client. He told me he was deeply appreciative, was there anything he could do for me. I told him about the ballet and told him that $25,000 would be very significant for us. Over two months later, he gave us $1,000.
At the same time I was talking to a friend who was a university president. We had a conversation about both of our fund raising challenges. Two days later he sent us $5,000.
The differences between a poverty/scarcity mentality and an abundance mentality are vast, and not solely about money. They are about sharing information, coaching for free, supporting nonprofits and the community as a volunteer, allowing others to use your materials and IP with permission.
Many people progress from a surviving condition all the way to a thriving condition, but never lose that survival, poverty mentality. These aren’t just people who view a dinner check as a scorpion not to be approached, they’re people who don’t share their own approaches and skills, their time or their endorsements. Most of them don’t even realize it.
But everyone around them does.
We’re not here simply to perpetuate the species (and we’re not even all that good at doing that). We’re here to contribute to others because that helps everyone, and that ideal should be autonomic. And while you can’t effectively help others until you help yourself (my “oxygen mask rule”) there is a time when you’ve helped yourself sufficiently and your own survival hasn’t been threatened for years.
The idea, of course, is to then help others with their oxygen masks.
Instead, I have an abundance mentality: When people are genuinely happy at the successes of others, the pie gets larger. —Stephen Covey
Talent is always conscious of its own abundance, and does not object to sharing. —Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might also pray in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance. —Khalil Gibran