Last week, I got an inspiring phone call from my mom.
“I have to tell you something about my job,” she told me. She and I have been talking a lot about empowerment lately. We come from a family of professional pushovers–we immediately say yes to everything. We take on other people’s stress. We accept low rates for our work. We don’t negotiate. Recently, we both vowed to put an end to it.
“I did it,” my mom told me. “I stuck to my guns.” Specifically, this meant she resisted the urge to drive an hour to help someone find an office supply at work. She would’ve been stuck in traffic for half the day, which meant she wouldn’t be able to get her own work done, which meant she’d spend the night working, resentful. This is a typical scenario for both of us: we go out of our way to serve others, putting our own work on hold, and then we end up feeling bitter, weak, and powerless.
I can’t speak for my mom, but for me, this behavior has everything to do with fear. I’ve always had a big fear of losing everything, so I say yes and take on the role of good employee so I’ll keep my job and avoid losing everything I’ve worked for.
In the personal finance world, this is often referred to as the “scarcity mindset.” And anyone who grew up broke can probably relate to it.
Moving on From Fear
The concept comes from the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and here’s what author Stephen R. Covey writes about it:
Most people are deeply scripted in what I call the Scarcity Mentality. They see life as having only so much, as though there were only one pie out there. And if someone were to get a big piece of the pie, it would mean less for everybody else.
The Scarcity Mentality is the zero-sum paradigm of life. People with a Scarcity Mentality have a very difficult time sharing recognition and credit, power or profit – even with those who help in the production. The also have a very hard time being genuinely happy for the success of other people.
Sound at all familiar? For years, I’ve been operating under this mentality. It’s only been the past year or so that I’ve thought in terms of POSSIBILITY instead of scarcity. The more I grow and the more I learn about money, the more I embrace abundance instead. As Covey puts it, abundance “flows out of a deep inner sense of personal worth and security.”
I’m not trying to preach here. Abundance doesn’t work because of some pie in the sky, magical thinking. It makes practical sense. Take my mom’s example. Instead of making a decision from a place of scarcity, she prioritized her personal worth and security. Instead of spending the night pissed off and ranting, she got her work done and enjoyed her evening. The abundance mindset led to abundance: more time, less stress.
Starting an Adventure: New Blog!
On our phone call, my mom said something that stuck with me: “I’m growing. And that’s what makes life so interesting.”
It’s true. When you think about it, growing is an adventure. When you stop learning, life is sort of…stagnant. It’s easier to do what you’ve always done. But it’s also a lot more, well, boring.
Growth means taking risks. You break out of your comfort zone, you evolve. In the spirit of this, I wanted a place to promote the thrill of breaking out of your comfort zone. I wanted a place to share my own adventures in managing money, trying to make more of it, visiting different places around the world, navigating the big picture. As much as I’ve enjoyed Brokepedia, I want a more personal space to share the things I’m most excited about and help readers get excited about their own adventures, too.
After several months of planning and writing, I’m weeks away from launching a new, personal blog that you’ll be able to find at KristinWong.com. Brokepedia will fold into that, which just means I’ll still cover the same money-related topics, including frugality, but you’ll get a lot more than that. (Right now the site links to Brokepedia, but in the future, it’ll be its own blog).
The tentative launch date is June 16, and I hope you’ll join me.
Everything That Will Change
I’m still a fan of frugality, especially when it comes from a place of abundance. While I’ll occasionally write about saving money, you’ll also get topics on:
• Earning extra income
The newsletter will also be a little different. If you’re a current subscriber, you can expect more frequent, personal updates. You’ll still get a hand-picked roundup of articles I’ve written around the web, too. If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, stay updated here:
Brokepedia has been a solid blog about frugality and saving money. The new site, though, will be more about abundance, managing money to reach your goals, and figuring out how to live the life you want. Overall, it’s about owning your adventure.
Make sure you stay updated on all the changes! Here’s how: