Angel investor John Osborne yesterday told me of a recent experience that I half-jokingly suggested he use as a litmus test for the heads of companies in which he was considering investing.
On a recent day of business travel, John found himself in Columbus, Georgia, needing to grab an early flight up to New York City. When he walked out of his hotel in Columbus at 3:30 a.m., he discovered that his rental car was blocked in on all four sides in the parking lot. There was nobody around to help him with the situation.
What to do?
What would you do?
John walked back into his hotel, handed the car keys to the staffer at the front desk, grabbed an Uber to the airport, and flew to New York City. When he arrived in New York City, he called the rental car agency and informed them of the whereabouts of the car … and the keys.
“You can’t do that,” they told him.
“Well, I just did!” he replied.
I was only half-kidding when I suggested using the situation as a litmus test for leaders, because as John and I discuss in an interview for an upcoming episode on the Freedom Media Network, some people are either programmed for entrepreneurship, or they’re not.
In fact, I believe it goes beyond entrepreneurship.
It goes to the heart of an abundance mindset versus a scarcity mindset.
Someone with a scarcity mindset makes excuses. They see challenges as impenetrable obstacles. When something’s in their way (or their car is blocked in), they look at the rules, see their limitations, and stand still (and maybe shrug their shoulders).
Someone with an abundant mindset? They leave the rental car, go to New York City, and face the consequences.
As John told me, the opportunity cost of not making his meeting in New York was much greater than that of the $400 fee charged to him by his rental car agency.
What about you?
Are you programmed for scarcity?
Or, when faced with challenges, do you simply figure out a way to get shit done?