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Abraham Maslow VS Mike Michalowicz: Hierarchies of needs

Where most coaching businesses die

Abraham Maslow is famous for his “hierarchy of needs” (remember, from high school psychology?)…

…but have you heard of the Business Hierarchy of Needs?

Maslow’s idea is that all human needs follow an order of priority.

In other words, a need must be satisfied, at least somewhat, before the above need should ever be a priority.

While this is a powerful framework to use in your own coaching, that’s actually not why I brought it up.

The other day my son was reading Mike Michalowicz book, Fix This Next, and reminded me of his adaptation of Maslow’s hierarchy.

He calls it The Business Hierarchy of Needs, and it looks like this:

You can probably tell, each level is a business principle parallel to each need from Maslow’s hierarchy.

And doesn’t it suddenly makes so much sense how to prioritize time in your own coaching business?

Obviously, without sales, there’s no business - so nothing else matters.

Sales are king.

Think for a second: If you don’t currently have as many sales as you wish you did…

  • How much time do you spend regularly in the activities most likely to produce sales?

  • Have you built habits around them?

  • Do you track your consistency with those activities?

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that if you spend 99% of your time creating content or just building every cool idea that pops in your head, but you’re wondering why people aren’t buying… the answer is that YOU are not doing your part!

Figure out what activities are within your control to produce sales,

and at very least do one of those things every day.

But if you really want sales, spend 80% of your time dedicated to doing those activities.

“But Kirk, that’s uncomfortable”.


This is why most coaching businesses fail…

…as soon as the work gets un-comfy, they squirm like a worm.

Or pretend to be a busy bee.

I say “pretend” because they’ll make it look like a lot of work…

…but they’ll work on every business need EXCEPT for sales.

Without sales, they get flustered.

Their spouse starts pressuring them that they need to make money, or else.

They don’t want to give up cause they love the coaching and creation parts,

and they feel like they’re on the edge of a breakthough!

And they’re not wrong - but they’re missing the point.

The breakthrough won’t come from building another program or chasing down the next business idea…

The breakthrough will come from focusing on producing sales.

But if they don’t, they'll never really become a coaching business.

They’ll either:

  • Decide “it just wasn’t meant to be”

  • Think “coaching businesses don’t work”

  • Or start blaming others for their failure

Which is sad.

Because they had potential.

But you have potential, too.

And you can avoid these mistakes.

All it takes is prioritizing need #1.

So what will you do today that could increase the chance of a sale for your coaching business?

Quote of the week:

You don’t lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case.

Ken Kesey

Song of the week:

Happy Independence day!

- Kirk

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