A thought leader’s Hierarchy of Needs

In 1943 Maslow Abraham published an extraordinary paper, A Theory of Human Motivation. I was planning to write that he came up with the following hierarchy of needs model: 


But if you read the original paper, you can see that there wasn’t actually a model. Just a list. (As an interesting aside, this points to the power of a model. The impact of seeing the visual is much greater than just having a list, and I always associate Maslow’s work with the visual model, even though it wasn’t his.)

I think we can draw a parallel in a thought leaders practice. 


From the bottom.

Cashflow. Bottom line, before you do anything else, you have to pay the bills and pay yourself. This has to be the first priority, and it’s why the first cluster you launch (your first offer) should be the one that’s the easiest to get to $10k a month.

Pipeline. This essentially looking after future cash flow. If your cashflow and your pipeline are looked after, then you can put your head up and start to think a bit more expansively.

Mojo. I wrote a while back that results = mojo x time, and about 10 things I do to maintain mojo. Your mojo is your energy, your life force, your shakti, your spunk. When you ignore your mojo you’re risking the golden goose.

Lifestyle. At Thought Leaders Business School we teach that a successful practice is one where you do you work you love, with people you like, the way you want. And one of the great privileges of this work is that you get to live life by design. This is something to focus on when you hit blue belt in your practice ($40k a month in revenue).

Legacy. Another element of a successful practice is that you get to make the difference you were born to make. Or said another way, leave the legacy you choose. But this is at the top of the hierarchy. As my meditation teacher Maharishi Krishnananda says, priorititise your own peace first … or as my flight attendant says, fit your own oxygen mask before helping others.

One of the mistakes I made when I started my practice was going for legacy first. My first cluster was “love your business”, a business coaching offering all about putting more love into business and saving the world. It was very noble, but not that commercially smart.

By all means save the world. In fact we believe that the financially free independent thinkers, free from dogma and institution, are the best placed people to do so. It just works better to get the other things in place first.