I just spent two weeks in my hometown of Kodiak, Alaska. Kodiak is a truly magical island. Its abundance is unmatched by any place on earth. It got me thinking a lot about how I approach lessons in abundance and what mindset shifts I still need to work towards.
My parents’ house backs up to 1000s of acres of forest. I grew up in those woods – picking the berries that grow plentifully. The same bushes that I grew up stuffing my face from are the bushes I spent the last two weeks plucking ripe berries from. For nearly 30 years, these berries have nourished my family and me.
Berry picking is a mindful task. It’s not quick, and the faster you go, the more harm you do to the bushes.
I pride myself on taking my time and picking a clean bucket of quality berries. This leaves me time to let my thoughts wander, and I’m going to flush out what came up for me below.
Lessons In abundance - There Is Always Enough
My parents like to keep the berry bushes behind their house a secret. They worry there won’t be enough if everyone in town figures out the abundance that grows behind their house. This makes me giggle a bit because they can’t come close to picking all those berries even on the bad years.
We always share with the birds and the bears, and we still manage to pick more than enough to get us through the year. I’m on the plane on my way home as I type this, and I have three gallons of frozen blueberries in the hold beneath me.
Plus, the more you pick the berries, the more stress you take off the bushes. A stripped bush is a happy bush, so it’s best to pick them clean. The more berries we harvest, the more that grow back next year. This is such a beautiful lesson in sharing wealth. Sharing our clients, resources, knowledge, and encouragement does not leave us with less.
As we lift other business owners around us, we attract even more abundance to them and ourselves. However, when our egos get involved and fall into scarcity, it’s easy to forget this.
Signs you are operating from scarcity:
- Hesitating to refer a lead to a competitor even when you know they are not a good fit
- Struggling to celebrate the success of someone else’s program because you are struggling to make yours stand out from all the noise
- Finding yourself thinking of reduced competition upon hearing of businesses closing their doors after the difficulties of 2020
These thoughts and actions are not healthy. Remember the blueberry bushes – the more blueberries we pick, the more blueberries that grow, so why wouldn’t we want to share with our friends?
If someone is not a good fit for you, and you take them on anyways, neither one of you will have a positive experience. This person may decide to never hire someone off Instagram, or from a Facebook ad or whatever again, resulting in a considerable disservice to the entire industry. However, if you refer them to a competitor and they have a great experience, both parties will remember your kindness and likely repay you down the line.
Sometimes it may seem like everyone else is wildly successful while you struggle to keep your head above water. In those moments, it’s so easy to slip into a scarcity mindset and worry that there is not enough to go around. This is just your mind playing tricks on you. Remember the blueberry bushes that have fed me for 30 years. There is plenty for the bears, for me, AND for you.
Abundance Comes in Waves
Blueberries are cyclical. They don’t provide year-round, but we trust their reliability to provide year after year. Their blossoms pop in the spring, filling us with hope for the harvest ahead.
All summer, we patiently wait for the berries to ripen, and after the first frost of fall, we happily fill bucket after bucket with delicious blues. We expect their leaves to yellow and fall off come winter and always trust the blossoms will appear again in the spring.
I, and many other spiritual business owners, crave stability, but it’s not always realistic. Let’s use six figures as an example. Everyone wants $10k months. They think once they can consistently bring in 10k months, they will have it made in the shade.
This logic forgets that we are humans. We get sick, go on vacation, have babies, or have to deal with family emergencies. We can’t be “on” all the time and the expectation of consistent $10k months often means we have to set ourselves up for that.
It’s a lot more likely that your business has seasons just like the berry bushes, and you’ll make $100,000 by having nine $5,000 months and three $20,000 ones. When you learn the cycles of your business and lean into them instead of fighting them, you can be at peace during the slow times, knowing your busy season will roll back around before you know it.
I take two weeks off at Thanksgiving and three weeks off around Christmas and New Year’s. So it’s no wonder that November and December are usually my slowest months! In my first two years in business, I panicked. This made it difficult to enjoy my time off with my family! Now I know expect slower months around the holidays.
I am putting some systems in place to ensure that if someone is willing to invest, I have a way to support them. But, I also know that it’s an excellent time to take a break because most of my clients are taking time off too. So, just because Q3 is slow doesn’t mean we won’t make up for it in Q1 of next year.
There is Such a Thing as Too Much Abundance
I absolutely hate when I take more berries than I can eat. The next harvest season rolls around and I still have 2-4 bags of old, freezer burnt blues waiting to be used. Tossing those berries out feels like such a waste when I could have shared them with friends or left them for the wildlife.
I’m careful only to take what I can use to avoid this feeling.
It’s important to remember this lesson in business. When reaching for new levels of success, it’s easy to overextend yourself. You are so excited, and you want to help more people? But can you serve them well? I’ve taught myself this lesson the hard way more than once, and I’m sure it will happen again.
When you take on too much work, you burn yourself out. Your quality dips, your passion for what you do dims, and you end up regretting it. It’s okay to say no! You won’t destroy your magical flow of abundance by starting a waiting list or getting picky about only working with ideal clients.
In fact, you will show the universe precisely what you want, and that’s a good thing. The clearer you are with your guides, the easier it is for them to give you what you want. Don’t be afraid to be specific. Don’t be scared to say “no” or “maybe later.” It’s a lot better to turn someone away than it is to provide a worse service because it’s not the right time or fit.