As most of us grew up, we were taught to think, "Scarcity." "Only a few people make it to the top." "Only one person can be the best." "There’s only so much to go around." "What do you think I am? A money tree!" "There are only three positions available, and thirty of you have applied. So don’t get your hopes up." And of course we all experienced the ultimate scarcity trainer, the bell shaped curve (only a few A’s, more B’s and mostly C’s—regardless of how well you might have done). That’s all scarcity training. There’s only so much of _________ so don’t share or get your hopes up, etc.
However, one of the joys of being in the speaking profession full-time (and I just received my acceptance into the National Speakers Association—yeah!) is that there really is an abundance mentality in this profession. In other words, every professional speaker I’ve met wants to help other speakers make it (which is not true of all pastors and churches). Willie Jolley, my mentor, puts it this way. He says, "When I was a professional singer, we never shared contacts, leads or secrets. Then I went to my first NSA meeting and all of these people I didn’t know were trying to help me and even introducing me to the people and contacts I’d need for business—I was overwhelmed. I had never seen anything like it in my life before!" It was the abundance mentality of this profession—a mentality that says, "There’s plenty for everyone!"
The estimates I’ve been told are that there are approximately 4,000 meetings going on in every major metropolitan area in the country . . . every day, that need speakers—so there’s plenty to go around. So everyone helps everyone, it’s one of the most refreshing things I’ve ever experienced. In fact, this week, I received a free gift of a two day seminar (cost, $895) out in Vegas from a fellow speaker. Why? Because that’s what speakers do. In other words, the people around me want me to succeed, not fail (that’s abundance thinking, not scarcity thinking). They want to help launch me and my career because they know that they’ll vicariously be touching more and more people’s lives through me and my words—and they’ll still have plenty of business left for themselves.
In other words, one of the things that drives generosity is abundance thinking. If we’re going to be generous people, then we need to feel free to give—not fearing that when we give, we’re giving out of a limited pot. We need to think abundance, not scarcity. Jesus put it this way,
"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Lk. 6:38)
The more we give, the more we receive. This principle is inviolable. So, as you look at your life, do you tend to think scarcity? Or abundance? Is there a limited amount available? Or is there an unlimited amount available? And finally, are you willing to share your best secrets and contacts with others so that they can succeed and maybe even surpass you? Or do you tend to hold your cards close because you don’t want to share with anyone what you know and have?
If you want to go up, then make sure you think abundance today. Then go share something with someone to help them succeed. Give generously and enjoy how good it feels!