What kind of scarcity do you create?

In the 1400’s, being a Scribe meant you had a rare skill–you could read and write–skills that only a fraction of the population possessed. Often, scrolls and manuscripts would decay, be misplaced or be destroyed; creating more scarcity. Being a Scribe was a lucrative profession.

Until one day, it wasn’t.

When Johannes Gutenberg invented the Printing Press, he transformed the way we duplicate information and provided new access to literature for the masses. You could now copy a book faster than you could read it. The skills that Scribes possessed were no longer a valuable commodity.

Fast forward 600 years to today, are the skills you possess scarce?

If so, how long is it before they become commodities?

How long before they are no longer valuable?

The world of commodities is shrinking. Fast. It is no longer good enough to have a competent skill. Because the world continues to change. Progress continues to step forward.

If you are going to insist that the world stays the same for your livelihood, you are going to be left behind with the Scribes. The few that could see the Printing Press as an opportunity to create a new scarcity flourished.

The question is no longer, What kind of scarcity do I rely on? But rather, What kind of scarcity do I create?

What is it for?

Your Facebook post that you are about to share, what is it for?

The Monday morning meeting where everyone gathers around to talk about what they are going to accomplish, what is it for?

That policy and procedure that no one seems to understand, what is it for?

Writing an angry email to the customer service manager to explain how wrongly we have been treated, what is it for?

If what you are doing is going to help you reach the top of the mountain, the goal you are trying to accomplish, please take one-step forward.

If not, it’s okay to say this isn’t for me and move on to the important work we have been delaying.

Talent

It is easy to chalk up someone as talented, a gift this individual is naturally born with.

By doing so, we separate ourselves into believing they have something we don’t, that we can never be like them.

We’re wrong.

It turns out when we put in the daily work that is needed to be good at something, we will soon discover that we have many of the same gifts as other professionals.

We just needed to remove a bit of dirt in order to discover these gems.

Self-limiting believes

“You are not good enough.”

“Who do you think you are?”

“You are just like your Father (or Mother).”

“You will never amount to anything.”

“You are a failure.”

“You are not worthy for love or forgiveness.”

“You are alone.”

“You deserve this.”

“No one can stand you.”

“You are worthless.”

“You should be ashamed of yourself.”

This vicious tape recorder that plays over and over in our head is shame talking. It isn’t who we are. We are more than any one mistake we make.

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

What would you be able to accomplish?

What business or project could you start?

How much more love / purpose / meaning / joy could you bring to yourself and others?

The thing is, fear will never go away. Fear has what kept us alive for thousands of years. Survival is in our instincts.

But if you are fortunate enough to have your temporal needs covered (food, water, shelter, clothing) and have access to tools that level the playing field (a laptop and a connection to the internet), you have a chance to do something that most human beings never have had.

A chance to make things better.

A chance to build something remarkable. Something you can be proud of. Something you can put your name on.

Yes, the fear will never go away.

The question is: What are we really afraid of?

Because fear of rejection, stepping into the unknown, leaping, being judged, standing alone, vulnerability, the risk of being exposed, not feeling good enough, shame–these outcomes are not going to be the end of us. Failure doesn’t mean game over.

The choice then is to dance with that fear–our discursive thoughts, our false limits we put on ourselves.

Yesterday would have been the best time to start. Today is the next best thing.