When you work for yourself (and often all by yourself), it’s tempting to feel like it’s you against the world. But if you stay stuck in that negative mindset, you’re likely to miss out on career opportunities, personal development, and, ultimately, success. Coined by author and businessman Steve Covey in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, an abundance mindset describes a perspective founded on the belief that there's enough (money, work, client connections) to go around. And seeing other people succeed is a cause for celebration, not jealousy or resentment. The opposite of an abundance mindset, Judi Rhee Alloway, CPC, business consultant, leadership coach, and founder of Women's Biz Coop explains, is a deficit mindset. This POV operates from a place of fear, under the belief that the resources necessary for success are in short supply. Alloway, whose course Secrets of 10%: How to Win in Almost Any Situation based on Sun Tzu's Art of War adds that living under a deficit mindset means playing the victim in your own narrative. Rather than being generous with your resources and optimistic about the future, you apply a defeatist attitude to your work and behave miserly toward other self-employed workers. That's because, in order for you to succeed, you think they must fail.In the same way that a growth mindset helps you find opportunities for self-improvement, an abundance mindset highlights how you can succeed despite any challenges you might face. Given the inherent challenges that come with freelancing, employing an abundance mindset the next time you’re offered low pay can provide you with the perspective needed to leverage the situation into something that allows your business to flourish. Alloway shows us how an abundance mindset can come in handy in three all-too-common scenarios for freelancers.
1. Cold-calling potential clients
If you’re stuck in a deficit mindset, Alloway says the idea of reaching out to a new or potential client can be paralyzing. You might just push off contact them indefinitely. Alloway's trick? “Remember that every friend you've ever created was once a stranger," she says. Keeping that in mind will help you let go of your fear and anxiety and help you focus on forming a productive relationship.
2. Discussing pay
Rate negotiations can feel adversarial (and even antagonistic) if you enter them with scarcity on your mind. If you believe jobs are in short supply at the moment or that pushing back will offend the client, you might undervalue your work and accept a below-average rate. An abundance mindset and knowing what you’re worth go hand-in-hand, Alloway says. Name your rate and explain to the client that, if they need your services for their business to thrive, that’s how much it’s worth. Reframing your interactions with a client as opportunities for success on both sides will give you the confidence to assert your worth and it’ll show the client what you’re bringing to the table.
3. Accepting rejection
People with a deficit mindset tend to internalize rejections to the point that they let them dictate their future actions. “Instead of making that setback into a comeback, they're going to take a step back,” Alloway says. They probably won’t respond to the person who rejected them and they may even decide that that person is their enemy from now on. On the flip side, someone who receives a rejection with abundance in mind will see it as an opportunity to refine their pitch, improve upon their marketing skills, or do more research into the client’s actual needs. An abundance mindset grants you the emotional distance to see that, just because a client isn’t interested in what you presented to them doesn’t mean that you have nothing to offer.
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