September 20, 2017
I just got back from a family friend's housewarming party.
We've known them for several years, through our daughters' gymnastics classes.
After we had some drinks, I couldn't help but think—in shame—about our visit to their previous place.
First, let me take you back to the morning of the night they invited us to their old place last year.
I was sticking a stack of papers into a shredder I had recently bought—and it wasn't munching it up. The motor was running, but only backwards. It was readily spitting the shredded paper out, but was refusing to get any more of it in.
I don't have a lot of shredding needs, so I thought it'd be a good idea to get a used shredder from someone on Craigslist.
Which means—no warranty.
I set aside revenue-generating activities. Instead I found myself disassembling the shredder to figure out how come the motor only worked in the wrong direction.
I figured out what the problem was but didn't have the capacity to fix it.
And then I remembered that the man of the family we were supposed to visit that night, Andrew, has a very clever pair of hands.
You know such people: they can fix everything.
And Andrew is that times ten!
The solution was born on the spot.
I'd bring the half-disassembled shredder to Andrew and we'll fix it after dinner.
Politely, I asked if he'd be OK with the plan.
Politely, he said, "Sure!"
Thus, the shredder was resurrected and is still working just fine.
But the other night, as we were having our drinks during our friends' housewarming party, I saw that situation in a totally different light.
I'm sure you already know where I'm going with this.
What the hell was I thinking?!
Well, I can tell you exactly what I was thinking.
I thought it was a good idea to first save a few dollars to buy a used shredder. And then I thought it was a good idea to waste my time trying to fix it myself. And then I thought it was a good idea to take it to my friend and waste both our time during the party fixing the goddamn thing.
Back then, I was not starving. Trademark Factory® was already successful.
A new shreddrer like that would have cost me what, a couple of hundred bucks?
I could have easily afforded it.
And the other night, it became very clear to me, how easy it is for us to go back to our scarcity mindset.
"A penny saved is a penny earned."
When we think of owners of successful companies, we typically don't imagine them crawling on the floor at their friends' parties, hoping to save a few dollars while their friend tries to bring their broken shredder back to life...
The interesting thing is, no matter how successful we are, when shit happens, our reptilian brain's role is to immediately take us back to survival mode.
Our role as successful entrepreneurs is to quickly notice this and the override scarcity mindset commands that our reptilian brain is sending us.
We can do better than that.
Scarcity mindset kills our credibility with others (you say you're successful yet you can't just order a new shredder?)
But most importantly, it kills our credibility with ourselves. We will only be as successful as our limiting beliefs will allow us. And by listening to our scarcity mindset, we feed our limiting beliefs to the point when we have virtually no confidence in our greatness.
So from now on, I will be mentally shredding those scarcity mindset ideas and ask myself, "Is this something a successful business owner would do?"
Chances are, I'll find a different way to deal with many situations.
What silly decisions has your reptilian brain forced you to make?