Scarcity Mentality

Weiss Advice Issue: 229,  August 2022

When I was fired without much money in the bank and with a huge mortgage and kids in private school, I bought a $2,000 suite (in 1985), flew first class, and used limos. I told my wife that “I couldn’t afford” to show up in a buyer’s office late, or looking rumpled, or without a suit equal to the buyer’s.

I also told her that one single sale would pay for all that 100 times over.

And it did.

Yet I find people today, who haven’t been fired, and are making six figures, who refuse to use FedEx, insist on doing their own taxes, fly coach, and simply won’t invest in their own self-development. It’s a scarcity mentality of immense proportion.

I once arrived in London on the American Airlines daytime flight out of Boston. I flew first class, had someone from an Amex service escort me through immigration to my waiting limo, and arrived at the hotel with all the paperwork ready for me and my suite available.

I went to the dining room for a drink and a meal at about 8, only an hour after my plane landed. I noticed a woman walk in who was one of my clients. I called her over and invited her to dinner. She said she had just landed, and she’d go up to change and be right back.

While I sipped my martini, I began to wonder what flight she could have been on, since only American flies out of Boston at that hour and she lives outside of Boston. I questioned her when she came down. She was on my flight!

She was all the way back in coach, had to wait in a long immigration line, waited for a taxi, and then dealt with the hotel paperwork. Her trip took an hour longer than mine in the same aircraft.

People with scarcity mentalities tell you that coach arrives at the same time as first class. No it doesn’t. And neither do the people who do that take the same journey and reach the same destinations that I do.

© Alan Weiss 2022

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