Tiger By The Tail Tool
Secret 12: Abundance Is Everywhere
Ask yourself: do I operate from a position of scarcity or abundance?
At no other time in history has business had such easy access to global markets. Customers and their pocketbooks can be reached online, and goods shipped to even remote locations worldwide. The size of the global middle class is estimated at 3.2 billion people. Finding an abundance of clients is easy and viable. The GDP of countries today is measured in the billions and trillions. That’s plenty of cash for businesses to tap into. This is the business environment of abundance we are operating in today.
When you lose a customer, there’s a treasure trove of others to reach out to. When cash is tight, you can be sure there’s still plenty out there. When you’re hiring, you need to know that there’s a wealth of talent your company can bring on board. You may not know the details yet of where to access your next client, more cash, or your next great hire, but to do so you must believe in the abundance of resources available to support your success.
Learning to focus on an abundance mindset is a practice and habit you can strengthen. It’s like building muscle, but with statistics, facts, and information about your market, your industry, and the wider economy.
Even during the Great Recession of 2008–2009, when sales at my restaurants were off by 43 percent, I still knew that 57 percent of our customers were coming in. I made a conscious decision to focus on the customers we had, instead of the ones who were missing. I knew that if we remained positive and continued to welcome our customers with open arms, the others would return in time.
Instead of breeding an atmosphere of scarcity at our restaurants, I led by modeling an attitude of abundance.
Business is a long game, but it should be played with attention to the short wins and gains. It’s like a sports game with each hit, goal, or basket gradually raising the score. Each sale, each new hire, each new order leads to abundance. Get in the habit of seeing the abundance in your world and watch your company grow.
The most profound vision story I can share with you concerns a meeting I had with the owner of a manufacturing company. Steve had been in business for thirteen years. When I asked him what his personal vision had been when starting his company, he caught me by surprise. “I wanted to run my former boss out of business.”
“Well, how is that going?” I asked him.
“I did it in eighteen months!”
It was one of the strangest visions for a business I’d ever heard. I offered my awkward congratulations, then asked him, “After meeting that initial goal, what has your vision been since then? What’s been driving you for the past eleven and a half years?”
Steve got fidgety, he looked at me then looked away. He stroked his beard. He pushed his chair back. Finally, he said, “Well, I guess what drives me is needing to pay my mortgage.”
I was dumbfounded. “That’s it? That’s your driving motivator and vision for your company?”
“I guess so, I haven’t really thought about it,” he said. “You’re the first person to ask me that question in the last eleven years.”
No wonder his business was in trouble. His company had staff retention issues, sales challenges, lack of energy, and a general navigational void in his offices and warehouse. There was no urgency, no striving at this company. It was like a ship afloat without a rudder and no port in sight.
Steve’s limited vision of merely paying his home mortgage could hardly inspire his organization and his customers. It didn’t motivate his staff to be their best.
Over the months following our initial meeting, I worked with Steve to craft a new vision for where he wanted his business to go. He established that he wanted to be an industry leader with high-quality product at the best prices sourced from China and around the world. He set new goals for sales and quality levels. He engaged his team for input and ideas. Long-standing issues found correction with new tactics and emotional drivers.
Steve’s new vision began to give purpose to his people. It brought focus to their work, their departments, and their measure of team performance. It became a strategic beacon to everyone at the company. Even customers began commenting on their recent interactions with staff, saying that order speed and product quality had improved remarkably.
Just as Steve’s new vision became the roadmap of his success, so too can your vision be the inspiration for your company. Vision is an all-encompassing emotional picture of your company’s future. That’s why it’s so important to spend the time to develop your vision in spectacular detail.
For example, how will you design and furnish your office space? What will your product packaging look like? No detail is too small or insignificant for your vision. You may not know the answers immediately, but you can imagine and plan as your vision unfolds. Take time to develop your vision down to the smallest details. Get input from your people, shape your vision carefully, and share it openly. Your vision will inspire your company and drive your success.