Management December 20, 2010 Last updated December 20th, 2010 2,657 Reads share

Cultivating An Abundance Mentality In Business

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If you want to be successful in business, start cultivating an “abundance mentality”.

What is an abundance mentality?

Dr. Stephen Covey coined the phrase in his best-seller The Seven Principles of Highly Effective People. According to Covey, an abundance mentality is “a paradigm that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody.” (1)

When you operate from an abundance mentality, you collaborate with others, foster relationships, share opportunities, and pay it forward.

Now contrast this with the “scarcity mentality”. It focuses on holding on tightly to what you already have.  It is an extremely competitive mindset which sees everything in terms of the “you win, I lose” model. There are limited resources and success to go round, so you need to be the one to get in there first.

Six Ways to Cultivate an Abundance Mentality

1. Be Proactive

Don’t wait for others to go first. Be the one to initiate a good deed with no expectation of return. Instead, demonstrate your faith that the good you do will benefit others and will come back to you.

2. Collaborate

In Cognitive Surplus, Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age, Internet guru Clay Shirky anticipates the positive changes we will see in our lives as new digital technology puts our collective talents and abundance mentality to good use. (2) Coming from an abundance mentality, you look for ways in which you can share ideas and collaborate with others to promote your combined messages to as many people as possible. You look for ways in which personal or professional synergies can be utilised for mutual benefit.

3. Build Relationships

Successful people are good at building relationships. Relationship building starts with an attitude of abundance. You enjoy meeting like minded people and are happy to see them succeed. You pass on business opportunities that you cannot take up. You are able to celebrate the success of others rather than be threatened by it. You know this doesn’t take away from you, because you know there is enough success to go round.

4. Create Networks

By creating informal networks with the aim of sharing tips and advice, you create an abundance mentality. You encourage and bolster the activities of the group’s individuals. The action of a group working together with an abundance mindset will do far more than any individual action. Bloggertone is a great example of this in action.

5. Be Open and Trusting

Openness is a vital component of the abundance mentality. Engaging with others in an open and transparent manner is a key element of successful social networking. This has been one of the great benefits of social networking, which has given rise to a new age of openness and collaboration across cultural and geographical boundaries.

6. Share the Love

In Here Comes Everybody, Clay Shirky uses the phrase “the Internet runs on love”.(3) So share the love. Use those tweet, like and share buttons on posts generously. Comment regularly on blogs and share posts of value on your own networks.

Do you agree that an abundance mentality benefits everyone? Please take a moment to leave a comment and share your thoughts if you do.


1. Covey, Stephen. The Seven Principles of Highly Effective People. Free Press; Revised, 2004.

2. Shirky, Clay. Cognitive Surplus, Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age. Penguin Press, 2010.

3. Shirky, Clay. Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations. Penguin (Non-Classics); Reprint. 2009.

Marie Ennis-O'Connor

Marie Ennis-O'Connor

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