Chasing after money is one of the most common phrases we hear from adults. Everyone is hustling to secure the bag like its some treasure that is beyond the reach of mere mortals. In fact, the phrase, chasing after money can be easily found in almost every language on earth. There is a popular adage where I come from; “Money dwells in thorns” This saying comes from the belief that money is hard to find; so hard that getting it requires going through thorny paths, and getting bruised and pierced by the thorns. There are many such limiting belief systems about money that is ingrained deep into our cultures, society and families.
It’s hard to live through such exposure without developing a scarcity mindset about money. We grew up to see money as the most difficult thing to get. So we are subjected to live all our lives chasing after money.
The reason for this scarcity mindset about money is partly due to misinformation; and partly due to lack of the right information. I’m going to share a simple fact about money that can potentially change the way you think about money.
You will need to employ an open mind to understand the implication of what I’m about to share with you. Before we get to it, I’ll like to invite you to subscribe to After School TV and click the notification bell to get notified when we publish new insightful videos like this.
Is money really scarce?
According to the Money Project, there is at least $37 trillion of narrow money in the global economy. Narrow money is physical and digital money that is readily available for transaction; whereas broad money covers money that isn’t so easy to access like fixed deposits and investment accounts. If you decide to include broad money, then we are talking about up to $103.5 trillion. Don’t forget money held in debt and property at over 200 trillion dollars each. We didn’t have to mention stocks and bonds that take the whole thing to over a quadrillion dollars.
Let’s just forget these other numbers and only look at narrow money to see if money is really as scarce as we are made to believe. Over $37 trillion is money ready to be spent by people in the world. That doesn’t seem like a scarce commodity. If there is $37 trillion in the global economy, it means that, contrary to what society made us believe, money is not scarce. There is an abundance of wealth out there.
If money is not scarce, why then is it difficult to get?
If the scarcity of money is not the problem, what then is the problem? You see, people generally don’t have money problems due to their scarcity. Scarcity of money has never been the problem. Our problem with lack of money is a result of; scarcity mindset and lack of skill. Before I go on to explain each of these problems, let’s clarify something I know you may be thinking right now.
Someone living in Kenya, India or Nigeria may think that the $37 trillion has nothing to do with them. They’ll think that money may not be scarce in the US or Europe but money is still scarce in my country. If you think your country has a tiny percentage of that $37 trillion in circulation, you are probably right. Wealth is not evenly distributed across the globe. But there is one important thing you need to understand.
Your reach today is no longer local. 20 years ago, you were mostly limited to the money within your country. In fact, for most people, the limit is within their state. You couldn’t transact business with someone in another state within your country, let alone someone outside.
Today, you can sit in your little apartment from anywhere in the world, with a device connected to the internet, and reach people all over the world. You can create a product or service and serve people across the globe. Your access to money has grown exponentially from the pool of money within your geography to the entire global economy; that’s over $37 trillion to compete for.
Since you can watch this video, you are already connected to this global network. For example, my company transacts business with people from all over the world directly and indirectly. Last month, we had direct business transactions with companies in Malta, Germany and the US. We have domiciliary accounts in the three major currencies; US dollar, Euro and Pound; because we are ready to do business with anyone from any part of the world. Your reach is no longer local; your reach is now global.
There are hundreds of thousands of people living in developing countries; in Africa and Asia, and doing business with clients from all over the world. Wealth is gradually distributing across the world. The rate may not be visible to you, but it is happening.
Now that I’ve clarified this geography limitation, let’s go back to the primary problem that makes it appear as if money is scarce.
Most people don’t want to hear anything that suggests that they are responsible for their lives; and nothing you say is going to change that. Because you are still watching to this point, I believe you are not one of those people.
The point of the video is to help you address the scarcity mindset problem; the belief that money is scarce. Because this belief controls almost every decision you make and action you take. If you believe money is scarce, you will not take a big risk with your life; you will want to continue playing it safe and living according to the dictates of society. If you believe money is scarce, you will want to do most things by yourself that you can easily pay other people to do for you. If you believe money is scarce, you will not want to risk spending to develop yourself because you are not confident that such investment will yield high returns. If you believe money is scarce, you cannot be generous with money; you will continue to make penny wise and pound foolish money decisions. It’s a scarcity mindset that makes money scarce.
Lack of Skill
The second problem people have that makes it seem like money is scarce is the lack of skill to integrate productively into the economy. Here is how to look at it. The world economy functions as a system of demand and supply. If you want something I have and you can easily get the same thing from many other people, the value you attach to that thing reduces. That means I don’t have much transactional power. In other words, if there are more people who have something than there are people who need that thing, the value of that thing goes down. And if there are fewer people who have something than there are people who need it, the value goes up.
When something is perceived to be scarce or hard to find, people attach more monetary value to it. When something is perceived to be easy to find, they attach a less monetary value to it. That is why scarcity is arguable the most powerful force in the market. If you have a skill or combination of skills that are not easy to find, you have high negotiating power for money. It is also why mass labor production is arguably the most destructive force in the market. If everybody knows how to type, then typing is already a mass produced skill that no one will be willing to pay above minimum wage for. If everyone is graduating from the university with the same type of degree, you will need to set yourself apart with your personality and other relevant skills and experience to increase your ability to attract more money.
The reason you attach too much value to money is that you believe it is hard to find. But in reality, there are many things that are more valuable than money; like your time, peace of mind, positive relationships. When you start seeing money as abundant, you will begin to value these other things more.
In a nutshell, the key to attract more money to you is to continuously develop your capacity to remain a scarce resource; and to engage in economic activities that most people lack the courage to engage in. It is the mindset and skills that make the difference. Combine that with playing on the global scale, and you’ll move from operating from the place of the scarcity of money to triumphing in the place of abundance.
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