Posted on June 2, 2009

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This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series All I need to know about poly community organizing...

There are three words that make the possible either unlikely or impossible. They silence dreams and dampen expectations.  Maybe you’ve heard these words, and perhaps you’ve spoken them yourself. Who would’ve known that this small, incomplete phrase would close so many doors.

We can’t, because…

Scarcity sucks

Think of the words that typically follow.

…we don’t have enough:

  • money
  • time
  • volunteers/manpower
  • skills/knowledge

Do you see the common theme? The excuse on why something can’t be accomplished is because there is a lack of some sort of resource. The focus shifts from the result to the price tag.

In the face of scarcity, ordinary people compromise or give up.  If you want to do something extraordinary – to create an impact – you need to overcome this way of thinking.


Operate from a position of abundance. 

On the surface, an entrepreneur appears to be like you or me. They may come from a similar family upbringing, and have the same type of skills and resources as the rest of us. What makes them different is how they view the world. They don’t stop at the roadblocks that hold most people back (not enough time/resources/experience). They find ways around (and sometimes through) these obstacles.


  • Money and resources can be earned or pooled together (investors/donors).
  • Knowledge can be learned.  In some cases, it may be more effective to seek out someone who is a specialist in a particular field, and convince them to help you.
  • Labor can be delegated to others (volunteers or paid).


We live in a world where we are not alone.  Some people genuinely care about you and your dreams.  Others see your success as a means of them getting what they want as well.  In order for you to tap into this abundance, you need to find out how your success can either help or inspire others, and use that as a means of gaining their support.


Seeking abundance: thinking outside the box

To see the world from a position of abundance is an act of faith. First, you need to believe in the possibility of your own success. Second, you need to believe that the resources you need are available and simply need to be sought out.

One way to operate from a position of abundance is to seek out ways to stretch your money further. Think of all the people that have the “stuff” that you need who want to sell it cheap, or in some cases give it away for free.  This strategy can also be applied to information:  research topics through the Internet or in the library instead of buying books.

Another way to operate from abundance is to find ways to delegate tasks to others.  Some people are willing to work for free, either because they support  you or your cause.  Other people want to be compensated for their work, and that’s okay too. Paying for services not only shows that you value what they do, but you are in turn supporting their livelihood.

A third way to operate from a position of abundance is to tap into our need for social acceptance. While there are people who contribute to a cause because they truly are altruistic, others do so in order to be recognized.  Consider setting up a system of public recognition for your donors, possibly with different “tiers” based upon the amount donated. This may lead to more (and higher) donations.

As you can see,  you don’t need to be rich, popular, or overly influential in order to accomplish your goals. You need to see the abundance in the world around you and think of ways to tap into it.

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