We celebrated our third anniversary at Uprise this fall, and as I reflected on our team's success, I realized each person shares a similar quality. They all have an abundance mindset. Conversely, I also realized that team members and clients who didn't have this mindset are no longer a part of our organization. This sorting out happened naturally over time.
What is an abundance mindset? An abundance mindset is optimistic and sees infinite potential. It's a perspective rooted in positivity and the belief that there's plenty for all of us. As a business, we don't need another business to fail for us to grow. There isn't a finite amount of success or opportunity that we need to fight over. As an individual, I don't need someone else to have less for me to have more. This fundamental point of view affects everything we do. People with abundance mindsets offer their talents and time openly and with enthusiasm. It generates more creativity because ideas aren't penned in by transactional thinking: “I'll give you this in exchange for that.”
The juxtaposition of the abundance mindset is a scarcity mindset. In contrast, scarcity mindsets have come and gone from our team – as team members and customers. It has happened naturally because these ways of being don't mix well. A scarcity mindset is protectionist. They guard what is theirs, whether that be their knowledge or time. It’s fear-based. It is rooted in the belief that there is only a finite amount of opportunity and success in the world, and we must hold on to it for dear life. The most damaging form of this mindset can manifest as the need to take from others in order to gain.
I had a conversation with someone about one of our portfolio companies when these mindsets came into play, and it helped me realize the difference in our perspectives. We invest our team's time and talent in our portfolio companies, and part of our agreement is how many hours a month we'll work, so we can be aligned on our commitment to each other.
My colleague said, "How can we put strict guardrails around the time we're giving so we make sure we never go past our investment? Isn't it unwise for us to value all the team's time equally in the hours we're putting in? Junior team members' time isn't worth the same as company leadership."
My response was, "Bottom line is, whether it’s the CEO or an associate, giving 20 hours or 200, if we don't help this company grow, our investment is worth nothing. We’re going to give all we can."
Having an abundance mindset doesn't mean doing away with scopes of work or clear agreements on commitments. That's critical to forge solid working partnerships that bring success. As an individual, it doesn’t mean always working an 80-hour week and depleting yourself. We all need to take care of ourselves. But clinging too tightly and rigidly to transactions doesn't create vibrant teams or great outcomes. I want to work with enthusiastic givers who find joy in sharing success with their teammates. I want to work with clients who trust us to use our talents to generate value for them. I'm thankful to get to work every day with a group of people who are positive and inspiring. They help me be my best and do my best. This Thanksgiving, as we all take a little time to reflect on what we are grateful for, taking stock of mindset can be a great place to start.