Abundance vs. Scarcity Mentality

By Daniel Scocco

abundancevsscarcity.gifThe Abundance vs. Scarcity Mentality model has been used in many different fields, from economics to management and personal development. Lately, however, I started to wonder if the Internet can be illustrated with it as well.

First of all we need a definition for the model, and I will borrow Stephen Covey’s words here:

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. The also have a a very hard time being genuinely happy for the success of other people.

The Abundance Mentality, on the other hand, flow out of a deep inner sense of personal worth and security. It is the paradigm that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody. It results in sharing of prestige, of recognition, of profits, of decision making. It opens possibilities, options, alternatives, and creativity.

Surprising as it is – given the size and growth rate of the Internet – there are many bloggers and webmasters out there carrying the Scarcity Mentality.

They will rarely link to other websites (and when they do they will make sure the link will open a new browser window…). They might, for instance, avoid mentioning the sources of the information they are writing about. And these are the moderate cases, I fear there are some people that will even joy if they see the site of some “competitor” hacked.

As if the Internet had a fixed number of users and one more Adsense click for someone else would automatically mean one less Adsense click for you. Forget it!

Develop an Abundance Mentality and you will create more opportunities, both for yourself and for others. This is about linking to people and giving credit where credit is due. It is about not fearing to send your visitors to some other site.

The Internet pie, after all, is pretty darn big!



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13 Responses to “Abundance vs. Scarcity Mentality”

  • Bang Kritikus

    Thanks for your tips

  • Ambrose

    This article is misleading, as if webmasters were really masters of their webs. In corporate settings this is not necessarily true (and I tend to believe that this is usually not true). No matter how fast a webmaster holds onto the old Internet culture (or the “abundance mentality” as this article puts it), it is of no use if the boss forbids you to do things in sensible ways.

  • Beth

    In the spirit of sharing links and connections — an interesting related article and lively comment discussion is up today on ProBlogger about links opening up in a new window or tab vs. within the page:
    http://www.problogger.net/archives/2007/06/26/should-links-open-in-a-new-window/

  • Daniel

    “I would prefer people to stay at my site but I always open up the link in the current window because the back button can always bring them back, and if someone wanted to open the link in a different window or tab, they usually know how to do that and I don’t have to do it for them.”

    Exactly!

  • Bret

    I’m certainly of the abundance mind set. If there wasn’t enough to go around, then there would only be one of anything. In my blog, I try to give credit where credit is due. I enjoy linking to all great sites as a way to share the link wealth and be a part of the blogging community in a productive manner. I certainly believe it all comes around. In terms of how my links open up when clicked, I would prefer people to stay at my site but I always open up the link in the current window because the back button can always bring them back, and if someone wanted to open the link in a different window or tab, they usually know how to do that and I don’t have to do it for them.

  • 60 in 3

    The key is to focus on building value for everyone. One of the things I love doing is to take a post made by someone in another field (finance for example) and build on it in my own field (fitness and health). So if I see someone writing about being frugal by going to a farmer’s market, I might link to it and then write a companion piece about the healthy food choices at a farmers market. That way you build community but you also build your own brand and value.

    Gal

  • francesco mapelli

    totally true daniel…

    as if not linking out can help a blogger to grow his network 😀

  • Paula’s New List of Webmaster Salaries

    This is so true, John.

    I always remember this truth from Stephen Covey’s first book — that life is not a zero-sum game and that there is the creation of wealth.

    Like Bill Gates creating Microsoft, he created a whole means of wealth that didn’t exist in that manner prior to him.

    He didn’t take away a piece of someone’s pie, he baked a whole new pie.

    I hope lots more people understand this, so they know that one person’s gain is not another person’s loss.

    Great post.

    Paula

  • Daniel

    Yeah absolutely John. Maybe it was not clear on the post, but my advice is not to pump “speedlinking” posts every other day :). It is rather to think in terms of win-win situations.

  • John Wesley

    I agree completely. Thinking in terms of abundance and working with other bloggers is more productive than fearing scarcity and trying to horde traffic.

    That being said, there is a happy medium for when to link. Of course you should always give credit when using ideas, but if you’re focus is always linking to other content you have to wonder what makes your blog valuable.

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