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There are two types of people in this world: Consumers and Producers. Everyone is a consumer but not everyone is a producer. Some consume more than others and some produce more than they consume. At the end of the day, they are both mindsets that you develop with time and it affects your spending habits, your creativity, and ingenuity. As you might guess, to be an entrepreneur you need to shift your mindset from a consumer (user) to a producer (maker).
We are all Consumers. We can’t build everything we use and not all of us are in the position to grow our own food. We spend our time watching, reading, eating, traveling, and doing. No matter how frugal you are, we buy things we need, and sometimes even things we don’t really need.
Producers strive to make something of value to others. Everything that we consume and pay for was built by a producer.
Many of us grow up believing that to be a producer requires you to have a rare superb ability or to get really lucky. After all, people like Elon Musk and Steve Jobs are not far off from genius status and they do attribute some of their success to luck. However, people like them are anomalies in the business space.
There are a lot of highly successful entrepreneurs who are not as naturally talented as Elon Musk or Steve Jobs. It’s like how the NBA has a lot of skillful players, but not everyone is as talented as Michael Jordan. That doesn’t mean they’re not successful NBA players.
There are literally tens of millions of millionaires in our world today who accumulated wealth by producing things of value to others. Many of whom produce value behind the scenes and away from the public eye; making websites, blogs, software, and graphic design to list a few. These inconspicuous millionaires are more common than people think. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be exceptional to be a successful producer.
Stories about exceptionally good or bad entrepreneurs sell, but stories about mediocre (but successful) entrepreneurs aren’t shocking enough to sell as a good story—which is why we never hear about them.
In reality, anyone can be a producer. The producer mindset allows you to view the world through the lens of what you can give to society. This mindset will keep you striving to generate new and innovative ways to provide value to people and allows you to spot how others are doing the same. When you have this mindset you look at businesses differently. You understand the value proposition of the restaurant you’re in and you instinctually think of how it can be improved.
It’s important to note that consumers and producers exist everywhere. On social media, you either watch other people’s content or provide content to others. You either grow food for yourself and others or buy food that someone else has grown. You either outsource for electricity or you have a self-sufficient house.
While it may actually be economical and beneficial to consume rather than produce some things, it is good to be aware of the differences and opportunities available to you through a consumer/producer mindset shift.
As an entrepreneur, start reprogramming your mindset from a consumer to a producer. To train yourself to be a producer, the next time you walk into a business, look at ways they can improve their product and customer experience. As a natural consumer, use empathy and human connection to think of things customers would value. The more people you can provide value to or be of service to, determines your success as an entrepreneur.