Consumer vs. Producer— A Change in Mindset That Will Change Your Life

Adam Cave
The Startup
Published in
4 min readFeb 26, 2018


“Every man is a consumer, and ought to be a producer. He is by constitution expensive, and needs to be rich.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

What keeps us from starting that side project? Or from building that company? What keeps us making excuses for why we can’t begin?

Consumer mindset

We are all consumers. We spend our days reading, listening, eating, and buying. We buy things we don’t need to make us happy. A constant consumption of newer and better things. We work to afford the newest clothes, the nice car, the expensive dinner out.

But none of this will add happiness to our lives. True happiness comes from helping others — from carving out our own path. It comes from the confidence gained by knowing that you can succeed in your dream.

As long as you remain only a consumer you will not have the fulfillment you desire. A consumer can never get enough. They can never be truly happy. They will always look at the world through the lens of what they can get from it, instead of what they can give to it.

Producer Mindset

Producers, on the other hand, strive to make something valuable to others. They receive their payment not only monetarily, but through the confidence of self that they don’t require anyone else to survive in this world.

It’s not as hard as you might think. You don’t have to have a large fabrication shop selling millions of items.

You could simply start a blog.

You could put out information that can help others going through the same experiences you’ve gone through. It can be free.

The producer mindset allows you to view the world through the opposite lens. This lens will keep you striving to find new ways to provide value and allows you to see how others are doing the same.

How to start

Most of us get stuck in the consumer mindset because we fear change. We never start because we feel as though we don’t deserve our goals, or that we’ll be unable to achieve them.

At some point you need to say “I’m going to do this. Forget what everyone else says…



Adam Cave
The Startup

Father & husband. Jack of many, master of some. Obsessed with improving processes and removing the noise.