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  • Writer's pictureMack Benson

Mindset Matters

Today I was listening to a podcast on the way to drop the kids off at daycare and the content really struck a chord. The host and interviewee were talking about the mindset of high performing investors and how changes in your outlook and mindset can have a great impact on your prospects as a real estate investor. This episode hit my ears at a time when I needed to hear what they were saying. This is not because the information is new but because I am at a place in my journey where I could hear what they were saying, not just listen to their words.

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

-Henry Ford

Abundance vs Scarcity

Changing my mindset from what I have learned and known throughout my life has been a struggle. One of my first financial lessons in life is one my mom still reminds me of from time to time. We were shopping at either Woolworth or Shopko and I wanted a toy. She said I could not have it because we did not have enough money for which I replied that she should just write a check. Like many children I did not understand the concept of adults trading time for capital, but I did learn quickly to embrace a scarcity mindset.

Abundance was not something I heard about much less contemplated until I started learning about real estate investment and I think it is one of the first concepts we need to wrap our heads around if we hope to be great in this industry. While it is true that real estate is the one thing that they are not making any more of, it is not true that this leads to a scarcity of it. The fact is there is always real estate available to purchase and sell. There is also always someone willing to deploy their hard-earned capital in the pursuit of the greater return that real estate can provide.

Having a scarcity mindset will inevitably contribute to a negative outlook and a negative outlook will inevitably lead to a scarcity mindset. They are two sides of the same coin and a self-fulfilling prophecy. This mindset leads to continual fear, anxiety and insecurity which makes us believe that our goals are just around the next corner if we can only get others, or ourselves, to conform to our ideals and to be different than they are.

A mindset based on abundance looks to what you have and who you are rather than what you lack or who you are not. When you view the world through an abundance mindset you acknowledge that negative thoughts and events occur, but you know that through the negative a positive must exist and you embrace that positive. An example of seeing the positive in a negative is when an investment does not go as planned. There are typically two types of people, the people who do not learn and blame others, and the people who learn from what they did or did not do and choose to embrace what the experience taught them.

An abundance mindset allows you to promote and lift others which will in turn help you in the long run.

Giving vs Taking

There are many readings that explain to receive you first must give. This is a common theme in most cultures throughout all time across the globe. Giving first is not a mindset of the expectation of return, but a mindset of giving with no expectation of return. When I decided to embark on this real estate journey, I was SHOCKED at how willing many experienced investors were to help pass along their knowledge. Not only were they more than happy to spend 30 to 60 minutes having coffee with me but they usually offered to pay for it.

This behavior was completely different from what I learned in the corporate world. Corporate America is often a cutthroat existence where you can only have something by first denying your competition from receiving it. The cutthroat nature is another contributing factor to the formation of a scarcity mindset. This can be overcome by embracing a giving mindset. Everybody has something they can give to another from wisdom to time or even money.

I have read and heard many top performers say that when they find they are at a time of need in their lives they do not go begging but instead find ways that they can give. Perhaps they give extra to their church or volunteer for one of the many great organizations whose purpose it is to help others. Maybe they teach or find other ways to support what they are passionate about. The key is that there cannot be an expectation to receive anything in return. This flies in the face of the cutthroat mindset but when successfully implemented giving is a powerful game changer.

Collaboration vs Competition

Growing up I was in multiple sports where competition was not only suggested but highly required. There was competition for spots on the best teams and there was competition between teams to be the best in the league. In school there was competition to be the smartest in the class. It seemed like everywhere I turned there was one person or group of people who was trying to win over another person or group.

Competition is not, in itself, a bad thing but I think needs to be looked upon in a different light. It forces you to work outside your comfort zone and this is where people truly develop but when competition is taken to an extreme you are only able to accomplish what you can with your limited resources.

Shifting your mindset to embrace collaboration can allow you to accelerate your accomplishments far faster than if you only look at the world through the lens of competition. When you collaborate with others in your field or industry you can grow faster because you can share best practices and learn from each other’s mistakes.

Collaboration can come from many places, some examples include meetups, conferences, business development groups, or masterminds. It can come from content creation and sharing, and it can come from casual conversation and active listening. Early in my real estate investing career I joined a mentorship program not only for the information but also for the collaboration it would open the doors to.

When you look at other businesses as the competition you will often find yourself in a game of trying to keep up with the Jones’s. This game can cause undue stress because you start to embrace a scarcity mindset and you believe that you should be getting what others are getting. When you stop comparing yourself to others and start to embrace and excel at your strengths you realize that it is better to collaborate because abundance exists.

Negative mindset patterns are hard to shake and, honestly, I still struggle with them almost daily. Business, like life, is a journey, and we can choose to grow, or we can choose to stay the same. I choose to change my mindset and to change it in way I believe is helpful to my purpose and goals.

Focusing questions:

  • How has your mindset changed over the years?

  • What do you believe differently today than you did when you were younger?

  • Are you working on shifting your mindset, how?

If you have any questions or if there are any topics you would like to see covered please reach out to me at

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