Monthly Archives: January 2009

Consumer Mindset Versus Producer Mindset

lettuceI’ve been reading up some Ireports on “Surviving The Economy.” I find there are two groups of people posting. The consumers who lament not finding jobs and how unfair this economy is and the producers who sit down and think of a job they can do and get themselves busy doing it. In times when money isn’t flowing as fast through the pipeline as before, better to have some income than none at all, and complaining that there are no jobs is not a way to get that income flowing or to produce value in our society.

How Do You Relate To Your Money? As A Consumer Or A Producer?

But, it isn’t just the job situation that really highlights the differences. It’s also how one relates to money. There are people who talk about saving money by using coupons. That’s not saving money, that’s spending, that’s consumerism. I know we think saving money on expenses is productive, but fundamentally, it’s still a consumer mindset.  Consuming is simply paying money for some good or service. Producing is creating value that others want to consume. If your focus is on spending, even if it is “saving” some spending, it’s still consumerism.

Now, there are actions that really are productive, but people don’t think of implementing those when they are not employed. Like growing a garden, that’s productive, and excess can be sold to consumers. Creating value from base products like baking, quilting, crocheting, and any hobby or skill that creates value in another person’s life, that’s producing. I saw a Youtube video of a woman growing lettuce in baggies, and that may seem ridiculous to many people but it’s a perfect example of a producer. You take dirt, you take a baggie, snip the ends, add the dirt, water, add a few lettuce seeds, and close it up, with a small hole in the top, keep it moist and wait for it to grow. Lettuce in a month, I believe. The same is true of how you relate to your money. You may have to use a tiny portion for “seed money” but after that, you are the driving force to produce value, not some gimmicky financial trick.

Let’s Focus On Being Producers

That’s the kind of thing that’s going to get us out of this recession, not coupons and not government jobs. We have to learn to think  like producers again instead of waiting for someone else to bail us out.