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I owe everyone an apology for last week's activities. More than a few of you wrote in with very nice things to say about the thoughts and ideas I shared. But personally, I felt I was a bit of a downer. And I don’t want to do that this week.
Today, I want to get into the topic of an abundance mindest vs a scarcity mindset. It's partly a scarcity mindset that got us into this trouble. But I don't want to talk about that. Stay positive, Evo!
Abundance doesn't mean “free forever and available to anybody who wants it”. OK, it kind of means that, but that definition doesn’t help with my positioning. For the purposes of this article, we’ll let abundance mean a situation where there's more than you can yourself could possibly consume. Even if you eat your fill -- to keep it in supply-and-demand parlance -- there’s still enough for others.
A quick aside on scarcity: I’m a fan of scarcity in some things. I make my podcast episodes 10 minutes long on purpose. My self-imposed scarcity makes this show better. Scarcity is good in some cases, lest I ramble on forever.
In fact, the only factor in podcasting that is truly constrained by scarcity is time. We each get 24 hours every day regardless of where we live. Yes, you could argue that money also is constrained by scarcity. But just like an unlimited budget won’t make a crappy show any better, there are plenty of low-budget shows (and no-budget shows) that sound amazing.
When you adopt an abundance mindset, you change your relationship with that abundant resource. When we go outside and take a deep breath, we don’t worry about our ability to breathe. Sure, it’s different for those living on the streets of Mumbai. But chances are, for you, you don’t ration air. Unless you’re a listener of mine on the International Space Station? That’d be cool.
When you feel thirsty, you probably just go get a drink. Not everyone, obviously, as there are parts of the world seeing real shortages in clean water. But odds are, those concerns don’t impact you to the point that you’re hoarding water. Just toilet paper, for some odd reason. But I digress.
We can approach podcasting with a similar mindset of abundance. Not a lackadaisical attitude, you understand. It’s important that we take the craft of podcasting seriously. But we don’t need to hoard the knowledge, and we don’t have to ask “what’s in it for me?” before taking action.
And that’s the crux of my argument. When you shift away from a scarcity mindset to abundance thinking, you’ll force at least a couple of changes in your attitude.
Generosity over selfishness
When you approach podcasting from an abundance perspective, you become generous with your opinions, your ideas, and your help. You don’t hoard those items or even treat them as “trade secrets”. You realize that because of abundance, it’s foolish to try and “win” podcasting like it’s some weird zero-sum game. It’s not. You can try to layer in complex economic theories all over podcasting, but it won’t matter. And even if you were successful, your success would be detrimental to podcasting overall. Generosity wins out over selfishness.
Activism over ignorance
Let’s go back to my examples of fresh air and clean water. We know that not everyone is enjoying the abundance of these two critical resources. For the compassionate among us, that knowledge drives us to take action. Those adhering to scarcity-based thinking become self-centered, not caring what happens to other shows or podcasting overall when bad actors enter the podcasting space. But the rest of us want to protect the abundance we enjoy, so we can’t afford to be ignorant. We must be active.
I’m not so naive as to assume that every podcaster will make the shift away from scarcity to abundance. But I can try to convince you to do so.
I want you to be generous with your thoughts, your ideas, and your opinions.
I want you to be more active in and aware of the overall health of the podcasting ecosystem we’re all inside of.
Not that we all have to agree on any of those points. You don’t have to agree with the thoughts, ideas, and opinions of other podcasters. And they don’t have to agree with yours. We don't all have to agree on what it means to keep podcasting healthy and hale. Adopting an abundant mindest also means a good amount of debate and disagreement. Airing out our different ideas will make podcasting better, but only if we can abandon the scarcity mindset.
Again, I apologize for the depressing tone of last week's content. This week I promise to be significantly more upbeat.
If you know of a working podcaster out there who needs this message, I would really appreciate it if you would share my podcast and writings with them. It’s OK if you tell them to skip last week’s content and just start here. I’m OK with that. And I’d appreciate you helping ensure more working podcasters get this message. In the name of abundance, right?
I shall be back tomorrow with yet another Podcast Pontifications.