When you work for yourself (and often all by yourself), it’s tempting to feel like it’s you against the world, especially when work is slow and pay is scarce. 

But if you stay stuck in that negative mindset, you’re likely to miss out on career opportunities, personal development, and, ultimately, success, suggests proponents of the abundance mindset. 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 that, as a result, 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 discusses the benefits of an abundance mindset, 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 — in order for you to succeed, they must fail.

Meanwhile, people who have adopted an abundance mindset don’t just believe in the possibility of win-win scenarios but they seek to facilitate them, Alloway says. 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, say, you’re offered low pay can provide you with the perspective needed to leverage the situation into something more positive — something that allows your business to flourish. Alloway shows us how an abundance mindset can come in handy in four all-too-common scenarios for freelancers. 

When 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 downright paralyzing. And if you don’t freeze up at the thought of writing such an email, you might just push it off until later (until later becomes never). As you move closer to an abundance mindset, however, you’ll realize that “every friend I’ve ever created was once a stranger,” Alloway says, adding that keeping that in mind will help you let go of your fear and anxiety and, instead, focus on forming a productive relationship with this client. This could look like marketing your services as a means to address the client’s pre-existing needs or presenting the possibility of drawing up a contract as a collaboration — anything that reminds you that you and the client have something to gain from you reaching out to them. 

When 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 be more willing to 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. Again, 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.

When 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. They won’t take the rejection as a dig against their entire person. 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.

With a straightforward invoicing system and ample advice on running your business, Wingspan is a win-win. Sign up for your 90-day free trial.

You Might Also Like:
4 Ways to Cope with Financial Anxiety
What to Do When You Start to Resent One of Your Clients
Yes, You Can Burn Out When You Work From Home—Here’s How to Deal