How Big is the Pie?

One question that can help predict the level of success people have is to gain an understanding of how big they think the pie is.  The pie, or course, is the economic potential around them.  How big do you think the economic potential around you is?

Do you think in terms of scarcity?  Is the pie small enough that you need to fight to get what you can?  Or is the pie very large?  Is the pie so big that there is enough for everyone to get what they want, for everyone to win?  Your answers to this question will tell a lot about your potential for success.  There are three different mentalities that people can have about the economic potential around them.  The mentality you have will affect your potential for success.

The Scarcity Mentality

The first type of person views the economic sphere as very limited.  The only way to get more of something is for someone else to have less.  The only way to grow is at the expense of others.  If you are gaining, someone else is losing.  This is the typing of thinking characteristic of the scarcity mentality.

The problem with the scarcity mentality is that you view success as a difficult battle.  If you have to gain by taking from someone else then it will be a struggle.  Further, if you view the fight for economic gain as a win-lose, you’ll likely feel that you are doing harm to others by growing your own level of success.  While some people will justify this kind of harm, others will simply use this as an excuse to move away from successful activity.

The Large Pie Mentality

The second type of person views the pie as very big.  These people will see that there are lots to go around, and that by being successful they are not necessarily taking success away from others.  These people believe that there are lots of opportunities around them, and places for them to fit in.

This type of person will still think in terms of competition, but believes that there is room for many competitors.  These people will be willing to work hard to get as much of the pie as they can.  They know there is lots of pie out there, and they are willing to work to get it.

This is a good attitude to have, but it can get better.

The Ever-increasing Pie – The Abundance Mentality

A third type of attitude is when you view the economic pie as ever-increasing.  People who hold this attitude will believe that as they achieve success it expands the economic pie so that others have more and more economic benefit as well.  This view believes not only are there lots of opportunities, but by taking advantage of an opportunity there can be multiple benefits.

The abundance mentality reflects the economic ideal of our system and the way that business should be done.  If you create a great product or service and sell it for a price, you should be getting more for it than what you put in.  The customer who purchases your product should also be getting more benefit than what they spend.  Therefore both you and the customer have gained an economic benefit – the pie has just expanded.

The understanding the economic pie is increasing allows us to truly think win-win.  Negotiations are no longer a competition, rather they are an opportunity to work together to determine how to provide the best possible win-win scenario.

Stephen Covey conveys this by writing, “Win-win is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions… Win-win is based on the paradigm that there is plenty for everybody, that one person’s success is not achieved at the expense or exclusion of the success of others.”

So what attitude do you have about the economic pie around you?  Do you carry with you a scarcity mentality, a large-pie mentality, or an abundance mentality?  The attitude that you carry with you will impact your success.

If you have the scarcity mentality you will struggle to grow your business, because at some point you believe that your success is hurting someone else.  Most people don’t want to hurt someone else and end up sabotaging their own success instead.

If you have the large-pie mentality you will see lots of opportunity for growth of your business and for success.  You may even see a large measure of success.  Unfortunately you will still approach negotiations and business sales from a competitive mindset.  While the negative side of this might not always be evident, some of your clients will feel the difference and turn you down because of it.

Finally, if you have the abundance mentality people will be attracted to you.  You will seek win-win in every negotiations or sales call that you make.  Because of it, those you deal with will come to trust you and believe that you have their best interest in mind.  This is where true success comes.

The good news is that you can choose your mentality.  You can choose to have the abundance mentality.  It may take time for you to change how you think, but by being conscious of the decisions you are making you can always look for win-win.

The Success Professor – Danny Gamache
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One Response to “How Big is the Pie?”

  1. Personal Development Posts | Personal Hack says on :

    [...] Gamache presents How Big is the Pie? posted at The Success Professor, saying, “This article will ask you to think about how you [...]

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