Self-Actualization in the Home Service Industry

Written by Dave Rothacker on February 10, 2021

To become everything that one is capable of becoming…

The need to pursue personal growth and to be everything that we can be is the major prerequisite to fly aboard the Starship Freedom.

Psychologist Abraham Maslow referred to this as self-actualization. In his book Motivations and Personality, Maslow discussed self-actualization. He said that it was attainable after our basic needs of safety, security, elonging, affection, and esteem were met. Here’s an excerpt:

Even if all these basic needs are satisfied, we may still often, if not always, expect that a new discontent and restlessness will soon develop, unless the individual is doing what he, individually, is fitted for. A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be. He must be true to his own nature. This need we may call self-actualization…It refers to man’s desire for self-fulfillment, namely, to the tendency for him to become actualized in what he is potentially. This tendency might be phrased as the desire to become everything that one is capable of becoming.

How do you know if you are in self-actualizing mode? Maslow created a list of characteristics of self-actualizing people in the mid-1900’s. Present day psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman sifted and scoured through this list and discovered ten characteristics that stand the test of scientific scrutiny today. Scott discusses them in his book Transcend.

What follows here is each characteristic plus an accompanying statement that describes it.

Truth Seeking

“I am always trying to get at the real truth about people and nature.”


“I accept all of my quirks and desires without shame or apology.”


“I feel a great responsibility and duty to accomplish a particular mission in life."


“I can maintain my dignity and integrity even in environments and situations that are undignified.”

Continued Freshness of Appreciation

“I can appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder, and even ecstasy, however stale these experiences may have become to others.”

Peak Experiences

“I often have experiences in which I feel new horizons and possibilities opening up for myself and others.”


“I have a genuine desire to help the human race.”

Good Moral Intuition

“I can tell deep down right away when I’ve done something wrong.”

Creative Spirit

“I tend to take life’s inevitable ups and downs with grace, acceptance, and equanimity.”

How Does This Pertain to Me?

You are a service manager or a CSR or a technician or a Comfort Advisor or a plumber or installer. Maybe you own the company. What does this even mean?

No matter where you are in life, no matter your work title, and no matter your level of education, some people have a passionate desire to grow and, with a combination of God-given talents and developing skills, to give. They want to be all that they can possibly be.

If you’re a customer, do you want the people serving you to be all that they can be? If you’re a patient, do you want your doctor to be continuously improving their craft and individual skills? If you’re a line-level employee, do you want your manager to give you everything they got?

If you’re a child, do you want a parent:

Who strives to be all that they can be
Who takes steps to become a better parent
Who gives you everything they got

The Company You Work For

If you’re not interested in being all that you can be, in growing and developing, and in actually using your God-given talent and developing skills, then it really doesn’t matter who you work for.

But if you’re reading this, there’s a 99% chance you aren’t like that at all. The key here today is to understand what self-actualization is and to surround yourself with people who:

1. Believe in you
2. Support your development
3. Encourage your development
4. Facilitate your development
5. Support your ability to give
6. Encourage your ability to give
7. Facilitate your ability to give

What a(n):

Technician can be

Installer can be

CSR can be

Dispatcher can be

Comfort Advisor can be

Electrician can be

Plumber can be

Manager can be

Owner can be

They must be! YOU must be!

If you are flying onboard the Starship Freedom, and everyone’s invited, then I believe in you! I believe that you have the ability to grow and to be all that you can be. And that you have the heart to give and make a difference in other people’s lives. I believe in your ability to self-actualize and thereby to make a difference in your world!