We begin forming our beliefs when we are very young and rarely question whether they’re right or wrong. They’re what we experienced or were taught by our parents, teachers, and other “responsible adults”. Sometimes we tuck these beliefs away and forget that they’re there. Then one day we wake up and realize a belief has been preventing us from living our best life.
One of the beliefs I had was that money is a fixed pie. I believed that wealth was like a pizza. So when one person did well and got five pieces that meant there were only three pieces left for everyone else.
As I began to learn about money, I learned that wealth does not work this way.
It’s kind of like literacy. There’s not a fixed number of people who can be literate. Throughout history, as more people learned to read and write, the literacy rate grew. Literacy begets literacy.
Wealth creation works the same way. There’s not a fixed amount of prosperity in the world.Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another. – Milton Friedman Click To Tweet
Once I learned how wealth creation works, I began to see how detrimental the fixed pie mindset can be.
I spent the last five-plus years of my corporate career coaching business owners. Off the top of my head, I would estimate that about 75 percent of the business owners I worked with had a fixed pie mindset. Rather than focusing on how they could grow their business, they focused on who was taking from their perceived fixed pie.
“This guy is advertising in my market and stealing all of my business,” was a common complaint I heard during meetings. They believed that there was a fixed amount of business they had access to.
When someone else made a sale, they thought that meant less for them. The truth is that while these guys were busy complaining about who was in whose market, someone else was getting most of the sale. The businesses who didn’t see customers as a fixed pie were getting all the pies.
In his book, Business Secrets from the Bible, Rabbi Daniel Lapin teaches that money is spiritual.
Yes, legal tender, like $100 bill is physical. But the concept of money is not. When you view money as a physical object, you believe it is finite. If it’s finite, then you can only get money by taking it from someone else.
When you see money as spiritual, it becomes infinite and everyone can win.
Engaging in economic transactions creates money. This is why the stock market continues to grow and the central bank continues to mint new money.When you view money as an object, you believe it's finite. If it’s finite, you can only get money by taking it from someone. When you see money as spiritual, it becomes infinite and everyone can win. - Rabbi Lappin Click To Tweet
Here’s a real-world example.
In 2007, Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky started Airbnb. Ten years later, the company boasted a $31 BILLION valuation.
Was this money taken from the prosperity pie leaving $31 billion less for the rest of the world?
Quite the contrary. Airbnb created new a new opportunity for virtually anyone to create wealth. They created a new economy.
A skeptic might argue that they’re taking from someone. Perhaps the big hotel chains. But based on a recent last-minute trip to Hawaii, I would beg to differ. The creation of Airbnb was good for the founders, their employees, investors, property owners, travelers, airlines, rental cars, and the travel industry as a whole.
What if you see a fixed pie?
First, go easy on yourself. We all have diverse backgrounds and experiences that formed our worldview. Give yourself permission to embrace a growth mindset and keep learning and improving.
Be patient with yourself. You believed this for ___ (insert your age) years, you can’t expect it to change overnight.
Here are three practical ways to shift your mindset toward wealth.
1 – Educate Yourself
I love books. They’re something I can pick up in the evening when I have downtime, or grab and bring with me to appointments. When I traveled for work I listened to tons of audiobooks. Here are some of my favorite titles to help you build wealth.
Podcasts and YouTube offer more wonderful opportunities to learn. And don’t forget to look into classes through local churches or community education.
2 – Think Collaboration over Competition
I’ll admit that this isn’t something that came naturally for me. From the beginning, we’re taught to win. We’re often graded on a curve and only a handful of people can get the highest grade or the biggest raise. Only one team can win the sports ball trophy.
But business doesn’t work this way. In my 20 years of experience, I learned that collaboration always wins.Your success in business isn't graded on a curve. There aren't a fixed number of A's or bonus dollars to be divided. That's why collaboration always wins in the long run. Click To Tweet
Looking back at those years of business coaching, I recall one business owner who was leaps and bounds ahead of his competition in terms of sales a profitability. While he’s a driven and competitive person at heart, he’s a collaborator when it comes to business.
He was the only client I worked with who would freely share his resources and staff with his competitors. His collaborative mindset continues to serve him well today as he creates the life of his dreams his dreams.
3 – Be a Giver
Secret number 34 in Business Secrets from the Bible is that giving money makes you feel rich. In fact, most of the secrets are tied to giving.
The reasons that givers win with money could be an entire blog post of its own. I’ll try to keep it simple for our purposes today.
In this book Give and Take, Adam Grant explains how the world is made up of givers, takers, and matchers. Most people are matchers. When a matcher works with a giver, they want to help them and see them win. When a matcher works with a taker, they can’t wait until the taker gets theirs. Nobody likes a taker, so be a giver instead.
So much of our success in life is tied to our beliefs. While many of the beliefs we were raised with are beyond our control, we have the power to change them. By educating yourself, collaborating, and giving, you’ll shift your mindset and enjoy a more abundant life.By educating yourself, collaborating, and giving, you’ll shift your mindset and enjoy a more abundant life. Click To Tweet
What money mindsets held you back from fulfilling your true potential?
Share in the comments below.