You may have heard of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – with the basic needs at the bottom and the fufillment “needs” at the top.

    But there’s more to Maslow, a professor of psychology, than the needs model.

    For example, he’s credited with this quote:

    “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.

    To be honest, I don’t know what the context was.  But the quote has universal applicability.

    Including your business.

    What you sell is not a solution to everyone’s needs.

    And, even if it were, there will be people who can’t afford your solution.  Or who don’t believe your claims.  Or whom you’ll never be able to reach.  Or who don’t like you.  Or who are wholly satisfied by the solution offered by your toughest competitor.  Or who are too busy working with a blunt axe to even open their minds to the idea of your axe-sharpener.

    Maslow’s quote has a couple of messages for us.

    You can interpret it to mean that you should be selling more than one thing so that you can target a bigger market or multiple separate markets.

    But you can also interpret it to mean that you should accept that your hammer helps people with their nails and you simply need to get better at distinguishing between where there are real nails and where you’re being tempted to imagine there are nails.

    Forget your ego.  Forget wishful thinking.  Just go find those nails for your hammer – the nails that like the look and style and performance of your hammer.

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