Didn’t Your Mama Teach You to Share…in Business?
You would have thought we made it, we’ve evolved and could live in harmony, but no. It seems we’ve not progressed as much as we’d like to think in the hundreds of thousands of years of evolution. We faced a new threat: each other.
When we are children, adults teach us the valuable lessons of sharing, teamwork and cooperation. It makes no sense to me that we have to be taught to share. Now it is time that these lessons guide us in the business world.
Those of us with younger siblings remember all too well having to begrudgingly share our toys. For those with older siblings, you’ll remember enjoying access to the prized possessions of your elders. Could it be that our teachers were inadvertently coaching us to acquire rather than share? The moral to those sharing stories ended up being “get your own, and you won’t have to share.”
It’s Time to Shake Up Your Old Abundance Thinking…in Business.
Fighting genetics and our own brains is a daunting challenge. But humans have figured out greater mysteries through their history. Our next stop should be the mystery of scarcity, that includes in business. When our safety wasn’t so much of a concern, we began to compete for other things, like who gets the best part of the kill, who lives in the finest shelter and who gets to reproduce with the most appealing mate. The age of competition began. It sadly continues to this day and has manifested itself in the scarcity mindset. For those of us in business, it means that we’re in competition with the person next to us, with our boss, with our subordinates, with everyone that can work. And in a few years, we’ll be competing with artificial intelligence. With all that competition, success is a scarce commodity, right?
Let’s add the word “temporary” to definition because scarcity isn’t permanent in a business or mindset context.
Scarcity should motivate us, not to undercut each other, to become the best versions of ourselves. We should want to learn, to gain new skills, to take greater risks, to team up with others that can help us realize our dreams as we help them realize theirs. The fact is that there is no shortage of success, happiness, quality spouses and suitable housing. There’s plenty of jobs, money and fulfillment. If you disagree, please point out the deficiencies and be sure to cite your examples. I’ve never seen a headline asserting the disappearance of success factors.
If we’re going to get into an abundance mindset, we’ve got to start with what abundance isn’t.
Forget the accumulation of stuff. I like collecting as much, if not more, than the next person – Input is one of my five strengths. More stuff will never fill you up. Never. That thirst is one that will never be quenched. How do you toss aside the need, the habit, the instinct, to stockpile? There’s no silver bullet.
• First, examine what you’re collecting. What purpose is it serving? If you’re accumulating wealth, keep going, and implement a plan to give it away. If you’re accumulating anything else, can you stop? What’s the real value of your collection of baseball cards, or purses, or watches, or bourbon, or cars? Beware, we humans tend to overvalue our possessions. Most of our stuff depreciates quickly and can’t be easily liquidated. Give it up!
• Second, start helping people. The more you tend to the needs of others, the greater the sense of fulfillment you’ll experience. That feeling supplants the fulfillment you get from amassing stuff. Helping people does something else; it tempers the need to compete. When you’re helping, you’re not using your reptilian brain. Instead, your empathy, compassion and kindness access your brain on a higher level. This is where that saying, “sharing is caring” comes into play.
• Accumulating and collecting result in abundance. Fulfillment and contentment also result in abundance. The former often leads to covetous behaviors, ending a stone’s throw from one of the seven deadly sins: greed. However, achieving an abundance mentality can only be achieved by the latter, coupled with a few additional ingredients like hope, confidence and positivity.
In conclusion, abundance is everywhere. Avoid the negative news cycles and really look around. There’s plenty of everything. Well, except one thing. Sharing. Call it sharing or cooperation or helpfulness; we can’t have enough. We can’t get enough and there just plain isn’t enough. You can change that. Do good works for others in business and you’ll experience abundance and the untold riches that accompany it.
Think back to what your mama taught you – she was right, so start sharing.