How to Find Inspiration in Scarcity

WITH Kelly Goldsmith


As a small business owner, you actually have a lot of flexibility. You can pivot what you do and make offers that big companies can’t. Especially during tough times like these, you can find opportunities that may not have existed before. As today’s guest is going to tell you, there’s a gift that lies in scarcity.

Key Takeaways

It’s important to keep priorities in mind when running a small business. Especially when times are tough, it’s a good idea to ask yourself what your goals are. By looking at what gives you the best return on investment, you can prioritize the most important parts of your business.

Even if a client doesn’t want to move forward on a project quite yet, there is probably still something that you can do for them. Look back at past projects and share your ideas with them. Maintaining helpful lines of communication now will pay off later when the situation improves.

No matter how amazing your work is, if you don’t market it, you won’t sell it. Marketing, when done with integrity, is not a sleazy thing. You have something to offer that other people need. When you reach out there, you will find that there is more abundance than you may have thought.

About Prof Kelly Goldsmith

Professor Kelly Goldsmith is an award-winning, Yale-educated behavioral scientist who also appeared on Survivor Africa. She examines consumers’ responses to uncertainty and scarcity, uncovering, and explaining seemingly paradoxical effects.

Looking to Scarcity for Good Ideas

It’s common to question what you’re doing in business during tough times. Kelly recognizes that it is actually during times like these that some of the best ideas are born. Maybe you’ve been sitting on a particularly innovative idea but haven’t acted on it yet. It’s also a time to reassess how you’re marketing your services.

Getting Cozy with Marketing

Even if you have something great to offer, you need to market it appropriately. Marketing to everyone will only lead to disappointment. Even though it may feel like you’re excluding potential customers, you need to find your niche. This will differentiate yourself from the competition and also lead to more referrals at the same time.

Do you have a business idea that you haven’t tried yet? Tell me what’s holding you back in the comments below!


In this Episode

  • How and why to reassess what you do in the current economy [8:40]
  • New ways to market your services when the market is down [13:30]
  • How to get inspired by scarcity [20:28]
  • Becoming better friends with the idea of selling [22:10]
  • The dangers of marketing to everyone [26:10]
  • Leveraging the agility of your small business [30:40]



11:04Everybody here is a creative person. Creative people are the best at coming up with new ways to make money.”
21:52“Fundamentally, any goal is associated with a sense of scarcity. Anything you want to get, be, or do means you have to recognize what you don’t have.”
31:28“The benefit of being in a small business is that you can be agile and you can adapt. If you feel like you can’t, then you have a misperception about what’s great about your industry.”



Ryan Koral

Ryan Koral is an entrepreneur, producer and business strategist from Tell Studios, a video production agency with a big heart for authentic stories that build brands and inspire action. He’s a husband (mostly happily for like 16+ years), has 3 kiddos, and has an annoying – but infectious – laugh.

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