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Lesson in Being Blackballed: Scarcity Mindset

I recently found out I've been blackballed from leadership positions in two organizations geared toward manufacturers. True story.

In both cases, digital marketing/branding agencies viewed Story on Purpose as a competitive threat. So, they blocked me.

I don't take it personally. It's simply the scarcity mindset on full display.

I had previously met with owners of both agencies. Both meetings were presented as a networking opportunity to get to know each other and possibly pursue collaboration. In both cases 90% of what they offer customers is different from how Story on Purpose works with customers.

I was told one of the agency owners said "he's fighting for the same marketing dollars we are."

The only obvious overlap is that we all help customers with messaging clarity and strategy. The rest of their offerings greatly differ from how we help customers at Story on Purpose. Often times both agencies outsource the work that Story on Purpose does to others.

The scarcity mindset says "there is a finite amount of business out there and I must do everything possible to get a bigger piece of the pie."

The abundance mindset says "there are ample amounts of business out there and collaboration can build a bigger pie to create win-win-win scenarios."

Let's be clear. Competition exists and running a business isn't easy. Burying your head in the sand and not trying to stand out against competition is a recipe for extinction.

You might be wondering what an example of abundance mindset and collaboration looks like.

Take Shapiro and the separate work Sean Stormes and Alan Andersen have been doing with the company leadership for the past year plus. Both Sean and Alan work with executive leadership teams and I know firsthand they have some crossover in how they can work with customers. Yet, they are both zeroed in on different core offerings they are delivering with Shapiro, and they don't feel threatened by each other!

I know because I've been in those leadership meetings. I've been a part of conversations with Alan and Sean in which both leaders showed an abundance mindset.

The same applies to how Andrya Allen with The Nine digital marketing agency, Judy Ferrero with Shapiro marketing, and my team with Story on Purpose are working together to tell the story of Circular by Shapiro. There is crossover between all three of our areas of expertise.

Sure, the skeptic would point out that Shapiro COO Bob Alvarez has brought us all in and identified how he wants us to help Shapiro achieve its goals. But just because people are working on the same team does not mean they work with an abundance mindset.

Just this week, a business leader told me how he left a company because the top executive approached everything with a scarcity mindset.

A book that I recommend that's helped shape my abundance mindset is The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann.

I've been exposed to many great leaders (tagged below) who truly lead with a selfless, abundance mindset. If there's an opportunity to provide everything a customer needs, they jump on it if they can truly provide the best outcomes. If there's someone better for a specific component, they help build a bigger pie by bringing in that expertise.

They also seek ways to add value that in no way really benefits them. This is often in the form of making connections, referrals, and free insights from their expertise.

The leaders who approach business with an abundance mindset most often have an air of confident humility. They don't use false humility when it comes to their expertise. They deliver with excellence in their area of genius and they are humble enough to know they don't know it all.

You can read more about confident humility and the book that inspired me to pursue it here.



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