Fulfill a Need
Estimated Lesson Time: 3 minutes
A brief refresher in Economics 101: most of us were introduced to the law of supply and demand in grade school, but most people fail to make the connection between this principle and success. The law of supply and demand is one of the most basic economic concepts, as well as the foundation of all financial success.* In terms of success, the law states that wherever there is demand there is an opportunity for supply. This opportunity exists until supply exceeds demand. In short, the law of supply and demand, as well as financial success, is all about fulfilling needs.
The world is not, nor ever will be, a place where everyone is completely content—there will always be needs, wants, and desires (or simply “needs”). These needs create an opportunity for a product or service. Generally speaking, the greater the need, the greater the opportunity.
To be successful in business, you must fulfill a need. Those who start businesses in a market where there is little or no demand for their product or service, or already too much supply, ultimately meet with failure. Existing businesses that launch new products or services into a market where no need exists ultimately end up discontinuing the product or service and suffer a financial loss. Employees whose position no longer fulfills a need eventually find themselves without a job.
Recognizing needs is a talent and, like most talents, can be improved with practice. You can practice by
- Reviewing Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (Day 61). These needs are physiological needs, safety needs, love needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs.
- Making it a habit of jotting down unfulfilled needs. This is a specific form of seeking opportunity.
- Being inquisitive. Look for needs that are not being met. Listen to people who complain and ask others questions about needs, wants, and desires.
In addition to having the talent for recognizing needs, there are more methodical, but costly ways, specifically any of the many forms of market research, which can include surveys, focus groups, polls, and more.
Once you recognize a need, determine the marketability of fulfilling the need. You can do this by asking yourself one question: is the anticipated investment required, both monetary and non-monetary, to fulfill this need worth the anticipated reward? If you feel that the investment is worth the reward, then go for it.
Fulfilling needs of others is a major part of all success in life. In the business world, where financial success is viewed by most as the top priority, fulfilling needs is a must. You must not only be able to recognize needs and see opportunity, but you must also be able to determine if fulfilling the needs are worth the rewards. Get in the habit of thinking of the needs of others and you will certainly help yourself in the process.
* The law of supply and demand is the foundation for financial success, but not necessarily wealth. Lottery winners, heirs to fortunes, and bank robbers may have an abundance of money that has nothing to do with supply and demand or true success.
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Some discussion questions (some may not apply to this lesson):
- Have you implemented this idea in your life? How has it been working for you?
- Do you have any interesting stories related to this lesson? Do tell!
- What do you admire most about this person? (success biography days)