I was born and raised in Los Angeles.
Not Beverly Hills. Not Santa Monica. Not Hollywood.
Los Angeles city proper.
We lived in the thick of it. We watched the city burn from our balcony during the ’90s riots and lived down the street from where Reginald Denny was viciously beat.
We lived in the nitty gritty of it all.
So suffice to say, not a lot of millionaires on my block. We did have lots of men and women pushing grocery carts collecting aluminum cans out of the recycling bins on trash day and Figueroa Street prostitutes were a normal daily occurrence.
We lived and breathed the smoggy air of Los Angeles up until our mid-20s.
Even though helicopters circled my neighborhood weekly, we were surrounded by working families who took pride in their homes. Yards were beautifully maintained. Houses were painted all kinds of neat, funky colors. Something unheard of here in Texas. We didn’t know anything about a HOA till we moved here.
But our neighbors were proud homeowners and many had lived in their homes for decades.
However, none of this held true for our next door neighbor.
These neighbors threw dirty diapers onto their front lawn. They left their mop and bucket sitting on the front porch. Beer bottles littered the lawn and I promise I remember a sheet hanging out of the front window. Living next to them proved to be challenging.
Why? Because impoverished thinking doesn’t care about its environment. I’ve witnessed it firsthand. Survival is the only thing that matters. If dirty diapers end up in the front yard…who cares? There were bigger things to worry about like making ends meet and making sure you’d have food on the table.
Impoverished thinking can never achieve or keep millionaire status.
I say keep because there are countless stories of lottery winners who lose it all behind impoverished mind sets. This kind of thinking doesn’t understand how money works or see it as a tool. It does not see money as something that can be leveraged and worked to sustain you in your retirement years. One would have to have an immediate change in thinking in order to hold on to their massive winnings.
Impoverished thinking can only handle a day-to-day kind of existence.
When we pastored a church we saw first hand the get all you can then sit on your can philosophy that accompanies a poverty mindset. Scarcity and lack can birth manipulation and a whole lot of game playing. Trust me on this one.
Now is a good time for me to say that impoverished thinking is not the same as being financially poor. The two are completely different. You can have very limited financial resources and still take pride in what you do have. You can be poor and still be generous and giving. Our communities see that repeatedly with neighbors helping neighbors in times of need.
The impoverished mindset is a different beast altogether.
As a young adult, I struggled with a scarcity mindset. In no way did I grow up with the proverbial silver spoon in my mouth. As a kid, I saw lack, I saw scarcity and it influenced me. It was something I had to confront and resolve as a young woman if I was ever going to receive or see my dreams realized.
An impoverished or scarcity mindset limits you.
It prevents you from trying new things, exploring things outside your normal and thinking that there could possibly be more to what you’re currently experiencing. Scarcity says there’s nothing out there, that it’s scary out there and you’ll utterly fail so you stay bound to your limited surroundings.
So on this #BeAMillionaireDay, I challenge you to examine any limiting, impoverished or scarcity beliefs you may be holding on to. If you at all desire something different for your life it’s absolutely time to eliminate those old belief systems.
Stay connected…my next post will talk about how to change that old mindset. Next year this time, you could very well be enjoying your new millionaire tax bracket.
Lisa N. Alexander is the author and founder of This Woman Knows and What Million-Dollar Brands Know. She is an award-winning filmmaker, director, producer, and writer and is the owner of PrettyWork Creative.