two glasses one says

The World of Abundance and of Scarcity

Which world do you see?

Last week, I wrote about the financial genius of In that article, I talked about how Amazon’s habit of spending their operating income on investments was the blueprint for how to get rich. Savers are losers; spenders are winners.

Over the last week, Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods continued to dominate the financial headlines. But perhaps you might have missed an interesting side story.

In a move that almost nobody could have predicted back in the mid-90s when Amazon was just starting up as an online bookseller, the acquisition of Whole Foods now makes them one of Walmart’s biggest and most dangerous competitors.

Amazon’s big (data) advantage

As Kevin Maney writes for RawStory, the combination of user data and operational efficiencies that Amazon has put into place make them much more likely to dominate Walmart in the retail space than Walmart’s acquisitions of companies like online clothing retailer Bonobos will make them able to go toe to toe with Amazon.

“The century-long interplay between technology and retail suggests Walmart is screwed,” writes Maney. “Its efforts to morph into an online retailer by buying Bonobos and will end up making the company seem like Michael Jordan playing baseball—what made it great at one thing doesn’t translate to another.”

Amazon’s pick up of Whole Foods, on the other hand, will only enhance their business, according to Maney, “Either Whole Foods will help Amazon learn about a kale-munching customer sector it doesn’t yet own or Amazon’s AI will help it make each Whole Foods store irresistible to everyone in its neighborhood. Or both.”

Walmart is scared

In the face of this mounting competition, Walmart made an interesting move this week. They are telling partners and suppliers that they can’t do business if they run software on Amazon’s AWS cloud servers. Instead, they must move their software to Microsoft’s Azure cloud.

As Fortune reports, an Amazon spokesman said this is Walmart bullying its suppliers—and he’s right.

As a result, many suppliers are standing up to Walmart. After all, it’s no small thing to move your technology onto a new cloud system, and it’s a disruption to business that could be very costly.

In the days when Walmart was a powerhouse that seemed unstoppable in the retail business, they could get away with these kinds of tactics. But today, Walmart doesn’t have as much power as they used to, and they will continue to lose market share in the coming years.

I have no doubt that Walmart will not only continue these types of tactics, but they will also probably double down on them. Why? Because they are afraid.

Two kinds of mindset

And all of this is indicative of two kinds of mindset at play: the mindset of abundance and the mindset of scarcity.

My rich dad said, “There are two kinds of money problems. Not enough money, and too much money. Which type of money problem do you want?”

In the world of business, this can also be modified to say, “There are two kinds of business problems: not enough opportunity and too much opportunity.”

Amazon sees a world of abundance. Because of this they are making proactive moves that strengthen their business and open up new partnerships and possibilities.

Walmart sees a world of scarcity. Because of this they are cracking down on vendors and partners with an irrational fear around Amazon’s cloud servers. This kind of move will only push partnerships and possibilities away.

Amazon is advancing; Walmart is building walls.

What will you see?

In this battle between Amazon and Walmart, there is an important lesson to learn for you and for me. The fundamental question you must ask is, will you be a person who sees abundance or will you see only scarcity?

If you chose scarcity—and that is almost everyone’s default—you will never be truly successful. As I wrote a few years ago in a post called “The Two Views of Money”:

Rich dad connected what he saw as some of the causes of scarcity to the effect it has on people’s attitudes. The interesting thing was the very values that people thought would help them actually, and paradoxically, created scarcity in their life.

Rich dad would say:

  • The more security you need in your life the more scarcity there is in your life. That is why people pass up on opportunities to make their money work for them through investments and business. They are too afraid to take a risk.
  • The more competitive you are the more scarcity there is in your life. That is why people compete for jobs and promotions at work and compete for grades in school.

People who are creative, cooperative, and have good financial and business skills, on the other hand, often have lives of increasing financial abundance.

Rich dad’s words and wisdom ring true today for Walmart and other companies like them. The drive for security and the misdirected competitive spirit will continue to make them lose ground to Amazon, not help them expand their business.

Abundance is a daily choice

The thing is that at one time Walmart was innovative and successful. They saw the world of abundance. Today, they are operating in a scarcity mindset. And this is a good reminder that you must choose your mindset daily. There is never a time when you reach the end of your mindset journey.

You don’t wake up one day and say, “I’ve done it. I’m now a person who sees abundance. What’s next?” Instead, you must wake up each morning and say, “Today, I’m choosing to see the world as one of opportunity and I’m going to act accordingly.”

So, what are you going to choose today?

Original publish date: June 26, 2017

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