As a grant professional, I am competitive. In order to ‘win’ millions in grant awards, I must be a tough competitor.  I am driven to win (WIN! WIN! WIN!)  awards for my clients.

So, it may surprise you that I also have an attitude of abundance. Outside of the limits of a specific grant award, I have many opportunities where I can see a situation as competitive and limiting, or I can choose to see opportunities for abundance.

For instance, I am fortunate to partner with Diane H. Leonard, who co-founded with me. Diane owns a grant consulting firm.  I also work with many other consultants on various committees of the Grant Professionals Associaton like  Danny Blitch, GPC Debbie DiVirgillio, GPC and Heather Stombaugh, GPC, MBA and so many others.  There are times when we will all receive the same Request for Qualifications from potential clients.

How does that make me feel? Sometimes, for the briefest of moments, I feel a surge of competition… and even a little fear. Yes, fear. I work with these amazing people, and I know how dedicated they are to the grants profession and how hard they work, and, therefore, how deserving they are to receive every contract they seek. But, that feeling of fear and competition quickly subsides, and it is replaced with a feeling of awe.

After that initial feeling of fear … I pause… and thank my lucky stars that I am surrounded by people with brilliance, professionalism, dedication, innovation, and high standards. Then, I embrace an “awe-bundance mentality”. (It’s my blog I can make up a word from time-to-time, right?)

In his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey coined the idea of an abundance mindset in contrast to a scarcity mindset. Covey showed us how these two opposing mindsets – abundance and scarcity – are choices that we make every day.


“We think about succeeding in terms of someone else failing — that is, if I win, you lose, or if you win, I lose. … There is only so much pie to go around, and if you get a big piece of the pie, there is less for me.” ~ Stephen Covey


“The more principle-centered we become, the more we develop an abundance mentality, the more we are genuinely happy for the successes, well-being, achievements, recognition, and good fortune of other people. We believe their success adds to…rather than detracts from…our lives.” ” We both get to eat the pie, and it tastes pretty darn good!”

>~ Stephen Covey


(time for another ‘Jo-ism’)


Awe-bundnace Definition by Jo Miller

“I am in awe of and cheer for the success, well-being, achievements, recognition, and good fortune of those around me. I appreciate their impact on our profession. I am blessed to be in the company of greatness and leaders. My life is bigger and richer and more fulfilling with their success! Their success makes this world a better place  for all of us. I choose an attitude of awe-bundance.” ~ Jo Miller, GPC, CSMS

How blessed am I to be surrounded by successful people who strive to make the world a better place through their work, their hours of volunteering, and their leadership? I am blessed beyond measure (and we try to measure everything — a little grant and social media humor for you).

How lucky are our clients and potential clients to have numerous dedicated experts responding to their requests for qualifications? They are lucky, indeed.

I chose an awe-bundance attitude because I know it is going to take all of us to do the good work that this world needs and that consultants, nonprofits and government agencies need. My company can’t serve all of those amazing people,  organizations and causes. I want Diane to spearhead the nonprofit projects I can’t take on today. I want to know that Heather is leading the charge for a cause that is out of my expertise.  I want people to have Debbie training their boards and coaching their staff. I want the other professionals that I have the privilege to work with on projects, committees, and boards to thrive. I believe that, together, we elevate each other, and together, we elevate our communities.

(Now I want some pie :))

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