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Consumers, Producers, Scarcity, & Abundance

“Always make your contribution bigger than your reward.” –Dan Sullivan

When it comes to your personal prosperity, one of the most important things you can learn and internalize is the critical difference between Consumers and Producers.

The decision to become a Producer, no matter what life throws at you, will determine your prosperity more than any other factor.

Read the definitions below and identify areas in your life where you may be consuming more than you produce, and strive to reverse that.

Furthermore, think of how your current Consumer mindset in those areas may be influenced by scarcity thinking, and strive to cultivate the abundance mindset instead.

Consumer: One who consumes more value than he or she produces.

Because consumers focus on what they get instead of what they can give, they avoid responsibility, they depend on others for their happiness, and they rarely create real value.

Consumers operate in scarcity, so they view the world through eyes that see poverty and limitations.

They think there isn’t enough to go around, so they should get what they can before it all runs out. They take and leave nothing in place of what they take.

They often feel victimized by other people and external circumstances when they don’t get what they think they should. They believe that material things, not people, have intrinsic value.

Because they feel entitled to everything that is given to them, they are poor stewards and allow their human life value to degenerate.

Security to consumers is based on things outside of themselves and their choices. It is anything and everything they can think of: the government, their bosses, their company, their parents or grandparents, their 401(k), etc.

When things go wrong, nothing is ever their fault—they place blame and avoid responsibility.

Security to them is the expectation that someone somewhere will always take care of them and make things right somehow. They believe in luck and misfortune, not choice and accountability.

Consumer Condition: A worldview that emphasizes scarcity, win-lose transactions, fear, selfishness, dependence, ownership, accumulation, destruction, luck, and entitlement.

Producer: One who produces more value than he or she consumes. Producers are the responsible, innovative, and creative people who create all of the products and services that we buy and use.

They are more concerned with giving than with receiving. They practice enlightened self-interest, the belief that the way to bring ourselves the most happiness is to serve others.

They are happy, wealthy, and successful, or they are on their way to becoming so. Producers lift, bless, serve, and contribute to everything good in the world.

Producers always leave things better than they found them, even if they weren’t responsible for the destruction that they fix.

Producers know that people, not material things, have intrinsic value. They love people and use material things to serve others.

They operate in abundance, and they view the world through eyes that see limitless possibilities for value creation.

They are wise stewards over everything that they have been blessed with.

Producer Paradigm: A worldview that emphasizes abundance, win-win interactions, faith, service, interdependence, stewardship, utilization, creation, accountability, and value creation.

“We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it.”    -George Bernard Shaw

Scarcity Mindset: The belief that resources are limited, and the world is a stage for a zero-sum game of accumulation.

In a zero-sum game, anything that another wins is no longer available to all others playing the game. Further, these winnings are not replaced or transformed into anything of equivalent or greater value that remains in the game, available to other players. In scarcity, ownership by another means the loss of opportunity for oneself.

When our actions are based on a scarcity mindset, we are acting on fear: fear that we won’t get our fair share, that somebody else will reap rewards that we won’t, or that we’ll have to fight tooth and nail against others to achieve the level of success or prosperity we desire.

And this fear causes us to make irrational decisions (especially when it comes to our finances) that limit our potential rather than enhance it.

In a world of possible freedom, joy, abundance, and service, a scarcity mindset cripples us and aids us in seeing not much more than limitations, suffering, poverty, and selfishness.

Abundance Mindset: The belief that there are more than enough resources to fulfill the desires of all the people within a society.

At the heart of abundance is a belief in human ingenuity and human value, and a dedication to applying as much of your own value and ingenuity as you can to improve your society and reap the rewards.

The abundance paradigm helps you see the possibility of and the value in win-win exchanges and transactions.

People who are operating in abundance know that by serving the wants and needs of others, and thus creating happiness in the lives of others, they actually bring more happiness to themselves.

The goal is to serve others, not to exploit or dominate them. They are able to serve wholeheartedly and completely because they know that by so doing, they aren’t in any way diminishing their own happiness; in fact, they are generating more happiness and success in their own lives.

In an abundance paradigm, we fulfill our needs and wants by helping others fulfill their own; transactions are always win-win.

In abundance, all of our thoughts, words, emotions, and actions are motivated by contributing to our personal success and the success of others.

In abundance, no one is jealous or envious of another’s money; there is infinite wealth to be created and put to use.

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Garrett Gunderson is an entrepreneur, financial coach, the founder of Freedom FastTrack, and the primary author of the New York Times bestseller Killing Sacred Cows: Overcoming the Financial Myths that are Destroying Your Prosperity.

Garrett loves inspiring others to turn their potential into production. He has dedicated his life to living and teaching a unique concept known as Soul Purpose that reveals how anyone can live a more prosperous and rewarding life.

As a finance and business productivity coach, Garrett instructs both large and small groups of business owners and financial service professionals nationwide.

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Consumers, Producers, Scarcity, & Abundance