By Kyle Goguen, founder and president of Pawstruck.com

Many of the most successful people in the world have worked their way up from the bottom. In fact, many have overcome hardships and difficult times along their paths to success. There are many factors that contribute to someone's success, such as hard work, clear goals, a solid team and, in some cases, pure luck.

From what I've observed, the thing that most successful leaders who have come from nothing have in common is an abundance mindset. A clear mission and hard work can launch people to success, but an intentional abundance mindset creates the long-term and sustained success that leaders desire.

What is an abundance mindset?

A leader with an abundance mindset knows that there is enough to go around for everyone. They tend to move forward in life with fulfillment and confidence in what they have and what they're capable of having because they believe in the power to create what they want. When people work toward developing an abundance mindset, they become empowered leaders who see everything as an opportunity instead of a challenge or defeat.

The opposite of a leader with an abundance mindset is a leader with a scarcity mindset. Someone with a scarcity mindset sees the world in terms of what is lacking. Leaders with this mindset lead with fear or a view that nothing is ever enough and never will be enough. They often shy away from anything that doesn't feel realistic or doable. An abundance mindset leader approaches difficulty by learning what skills they need to develop to make their desires a reality and then moving forward to learn those skills.

How does a leader's mindset impact the team?

Change is inevitable in business. A leader's response to change often reflects what mindset they have adopted. Leaders who are confident and adaptable lead with abundance, while scarcity-minded leaders often start tallying all they lack in resources, time and money, anticipating the inevitable "failure" that is to come. This identification of lack can cause a downward spiral that strips them of the confidence they need to face a challenge or a necessary risk -- in fact, it can often lead to the exact thing they fear. Can you imagine how this impacts a team? How can a team get behind a leader who is fearful and paranoid? Most can't, which is why work cultures are negatively impacted by leaders with scarcity mindsets.

You can get an idea of the leader's mindset just by looking at the group culture they've created. Are team members going after new opportunities? Are employees openly sharing their new ideas? Do group members feel secure in their jobs? If the answer is yes, then it's likely that the leader shows up with an abundance mindset that spreads across the team.

Abundance-minded leaders invest in themselves and their teams. They see the value in personal development and choose to provide opportunities for growth as much as possible. The growth they promote isn't limited to job-related skill trainings. It extends to areas of emotional and mental health as well. Because of this, team members can develop a sense of worth and pour themselves into the company in effective ways.

Abundance and scarcity have nothing to do with circumstances -- each is simply a mindset that we can adopt. What this means is that anyone can develop an abundance mindset if desired. In my experience, this kind of mindset is contagious when done intentionally. Leaders need to desire this mindset knowing that it serves a purpose for those invested in the mission.

How can leaders develop an abundance mindset?

Here are three simple ways you can start practicing an abundance mindset:

  1. Get curious. Make your first response one of curiosity. Think: How can I make that happen? What can I change or alter to give us the results we desire?
  2. Surround yourself with abundance-minded influence. If you are around only those with a scarcity mindset, you will be influenced. Therefore, be intentional about making sure you are around those with the mindset you are trying to develop. When you face difficult times, you will have them around you encouraging you and pushing you -- instead of feeding your fears.
  3. Shift your perspective. Whenever possible, flip your perspective around when it's not serving you. Challenges are opportunities. Change is an adventure. Failure is growth and learning.

What is one step you can take today to further develop an abundance mindset?

Kyle Goguen is the founder and president of Pawstruck.com, an online retailer and manufacturer of natural dog treats and chews.

Published on: Aug 16, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.