We have talked a lot about who you need to be in order to be successful in your business. But your business has needs too. By understanding the dynamics of your business through a needs-based perspective can be powerful and help you make decisions on what to prioritize to grow your business next. So let’s consider what business has needs have to get satisfied o provide you and your team with increasing financial stability and prosperity.
First, Maslow’s theory states that there is a hierarchy of lower needs that have to be satisfied before individuals can address higher needs. From the bottom of the hierarchy upwards, the needs are: physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem and self-actualization. Your business can benefit when you understand how this applies to your work.
The lower four levels are what’s called deficiency needs because they are based on deprivation. That means people are more motivated to get them handled when those needs are unmet. And the longer those needs are denied – say, hunger – the greater the motivation to fulfill them (as the person only gets hungrier over time). Maslow says that a person can only rise according to their most satisfied level. So if your survival is threatened, you aren’t worried about your community – you’re focused on food, shelter and water first. Only once you are out of that basic survival mode can you think about what need needs to be met next.
The top level is a ‘being’ need where motivation grows as needs are met; that means the more actualized the person becomes, the more they want to give, contribute, live their potential and be a better person.
This image shows you the five layers from Maslow’s hierarchy on the left.
Here it is again, with the main focus of that level listed on the right, and the needs of your business listed in the middle.
You can see that the bottom level, or the base, is where you set your operational foundation in place with the basics of doing business. Essentially, your business needs its’ survival needs addressed – cash flow, something to sell, customers, having the right team members to deliver what you promise, equipment (like computers and a desk), and a place to work from daily.
Once the basics are handled, it’s about getting efficient and creating a sense of stability. This means adding structure to your business, gaining confidence from your market, putting processes and policies and protocols in place. You want your team members to feel secure in what they’re doing with you to grow the business.
Now you’ve got some momentum so it’s time to build your business through more sales and working with partners and strategic alliances. Your business needs engagement from team members, partners, your community and, of course, your customers. It’s about nurturing the ‘family’ of your business.
Next your business needs to position strategically as unique, which builds esteem and recognizes achievement. Internally, you might expand benefits for employees or make title changes. You might offer (or receive) awards. You might put a PR plan in place. The ideas is that your business gets seen and acknowledged for the expertise and efficiency you bring your customers, employees and partners.
The highest, or fifth level, is about self-actualization, meaning that your business is doing pretty well. You know when a business is at this stage because they start taking out TV ads – they’re not worried about keeping the lights on anymore. This is when you and your business become a known authority in making the right things happen in right timing for your customers. You can afford to get more involved in your community, and might make the investment in becoming a thought leader in your area because you can invest in long-term strategies that don’t have an immediate pay-off.
Why Does This Matter?
Well, first, this matters to your business because you can’t be a healthy 7-figure business if you don’t have the right team in place, if you’re stuck in survival, if you haven’t built a healthy community, etc. to have stability and prosperity. Your income will be limited by the outstanding needs of your business that need to be met first.
Sometimes I’ve seen entrepreneurs who want to create big change fast – and I’m a fan of that when it makes sense! But if you create that pace of change in a way that out-paces your business’ ability to adapt and you lose your team in the process, that obviously works against you. By understanding what aspects of business needs are tied to psychology, you can minimize the negative effects for your team. And that minimizes resistance and people feeling lost or confused. Plus, when your business isn’t tight with getting these needs handled, you leave room for competitors to have conversations with your customers.
On the other hand, when your business is doing well and is ready to take on the highest level and you don’t make that happen, your business can lose traction. It’s just unnatural to NOT step up at that point. (You know what I mean when I say that… and if that one stings a little bit, it’s definitely your time to do that. We can help you in the Freedom Club, if you want that.)
Basically, the more your business progresses up that ladder of success by meeting its’ needs, the more financial stability you and your business will enjoy.
So now what?
Well, depending on what level you think your business has needs that haven’t been met yet, you’ve got some work to do. The good news is that me and my team are ready to help.
If you want a personalized strategy session about the state of your business, sign up here. It’s no-obligation – it’s simply our way to pay it forward because we are at that top level. And I gotta say it’s a pretty nice view. I want you to have an awesome view too so let us help you climb a little faster and a little easier. We know the way and want to share it with you.
Let me know what level you think your business is on right now. There is no right or wrong, by the way… this is about seeing how to climb the mountain by knowing where you’re starting from – let me know.
Carl White, Chief Officer of Coolness
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