An Abundance Mentality Leads to Success

As a career success coach, I am a big believer in having an abundance mentality.  Put simply, an abundance mentality holds that there is enough of everything for everybody.  People who have an abundance mentality are good at building relationships.  They focus on what they can do for others, knowing that good things will come back to them.

The sixth point of The Optimist Creed is a good example of an abundance mentality in action.  It says: “Promise yourself to be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.”

Tweet 123 in Success Tweets, my newest book says, “Use every social interaction to build and strengthen relationships.  Strong relationships are your ticket to success.”

Tweet 128 in Success Tweets says, “When meeting someone new ask yourself, “What can I do for this person?”  You’ll build stronger relationships by thinking this way.”

One of the rules I contributed to 42 Rules for Creating WE is entitled, “There is No Quid Pro Quo in WE.”  In part, here is what I have to say…

WE is built on relationships; the idea that we are all connected, and that through a WE-centric, rather than a traditional I-centric approach, our collective wisdom grows and evolves.  This kind of thinking creates stronger organizations and societies.  It fosters mutual shared respect for the unique contribution every person is capable of making.  Solid, lasting, mutually beneficial relationships are at the core of WE.  Giving with no expectation of return is a great way to create these types of relationships.

This is a quid pro quo world: you do for me and I’ll do for you.  While there is nothing wrong in reciprocating a good deed or a favor, there is a fundamental problem with quid pro quo.  It is reactive not proactive.  Too many people wait for others to go first.  They adopt the attitude, “When and if you do for me, I’ll do for you.”  This scarcity mentality is not conducive to creating WE.  When you come from a scarcity mentality, you focus on holding on to what you already have.  This can prevent you from receiving what you might possibly get.

On the other hand, giving with no expectation of return comes from a proactive abundance mentality.  When you give with no expectation of return, you are acknowledging the abundance of the universe.  You are demonstrating faith that the good you do will benefit others close to you and the world at large – and that good things will come back to you.

Giving with no expectation of return is ironic.  I have found that the more I give, the more I receive; often from unlikely sources.  But that’s not my reason for giving — and I hope it is not yours.  The best reason for giving is the basic joy of making a difference in other people’s lives and in creating a WE-centric world.

Giving with no expectation of return comes down to your mentality – scarcity or abundance.  If you come from a scarcity mentality, you will live by quid pro quo, and perpetuate the I-centric status quo.  If you come from an abundance mentality, you will give with no expectation of return and begin to create a WE-centric world.  I choose abundance and to take an active part in creating a WE-centric paradigm in my circle of influence.

I bring up the idea of an abundance mentality, and share all of these examples, because of an email I received yesterday.  It appears that this person (who will remain nameless) received one of my success quotes.  At the bottom of the page, there is an offer to get my free DVD on career and life success.  People are directed to go to

He sent me an email that said…

“It’s been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

“I’ve been running a website and an ezine (I’m not sharing the url here, but suffice it to say it has something to do with common sense and careers) since 2004.

“I added a blog at a later date. I’m gearing up for Twitter and Facebook now.

“I suppose I should be glad you like the name, but, frankly, it irks me.”

My jaw dropped when I read this email.  It was the best example of a scarcity mentality in action that I have seen in a long time.  If I had come across his website, and seen that he focused on common sense and career advice, I would have fired off an email saying something like…

“I just found your website.  I like it.  I think it’s great that we share some ideas in common.  Let’s look for ways to collaborate to get both of our messages out to as many people as possible.”

But then, I come from an abundance mentality.

I sent a return email telling this guy that I had never even seen his website until he sent me the url, and that I had branded myself as The Common Sense Guy in 1997.  That’s seven years before he created his website.

This is a regrettable situation.  Because I feel that this person was impugning my integrity, I am less likely to want to collaborate with him.  That might mean missed opportunities for us both.  Maybe I’ll get in contact in a week or two to see if there are any possibilities of us working together, but for now I’ll pass.  I know this isn’t demonstrative of an abundance mentality, but hey, I’m human you know. 

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people are good at building relationships.  Effective relationship builders come from an abundance mentality, not a scarcity mentality.  If you come from a scarcity mentality, you live by quid pro quo, and worry that someone is out to get what’s rightfully yours.  You perpetuate the I-centric status quo.  If you come from an abundance mentality, you give with no expectation of return.  You are happy for the success of others and enjoy meeting like minded people.  You see them as collaborators — not competitors.  You do your part to create a WE-centric world.  Take it from this career success coach, an abundance mentality will allow you to get what you want in your life and career.  It will put you on the road to career success.

That’s my take on the importance of having an abundance mentality.  What’s yours?  Please take a minute to leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always, thanks for reading.  If you want a .pdf of The Optimist Creed that you can frame and hang in your office, please go to


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  1. Great reading…very informative. you a different outlook in things.

  2. I love the idea of a personal abundance model for living. While I have certainly found situations where this approach has its applications, I think quid pro quo is deeply ingrained in the human psyche and as such it is the dominant and universally accepted standard of living. The abundance model feels like the more natural condition of human beings to me, but I think our socioeconomic systems and our culture keeps us from fully experiencing it.

  3. Jason, thanks for your thoughts. You’re right, our society leads us towards quid pro quo, but each of us has the opportunity to break that mold and move to an abundance mentality. Try it — and let us know what happens.

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  5. Thanks for the comment. I haven’t heard of this problem before, but I’l look into it.

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