For those of you who have multiple interests & talents as entrepreneurs, how did you choose your ultimate niche?
I'm in the process of honing the focus of my business. I'm a life coach, love coaching groups in particular, have mediated between two parties, and I also write. I can't market all of this at the same time. I'm wondering how others have chosen from multiple, deeply-loved entrepreneurial expressions. How did you choose your primary focus?
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Basically I put out several fishing poles (areas of expertise) and catch the fish that bite. Ultimately the niche chooses you as market forces work. The other areas of expertise can come up in conversations, but we all know mastering a niche is superior to the jack of all trades model. I love being a generalist, and it works in my market. Real profitability comes with the ability to scale, automate etc., this is hard to do with multiple disciplines. Basically follow the money.
I didn't choose my area of expertise, it chose me. While I always loved graphic design and art direction, I was just always a stronger copywriter who always had a way with words.
I have found that the market decides for me. I have gained a lot of creative/strategic skills in 21 years doing what I do, but I tend to get hired for either re-branding a company or for an integrated creative & strategic campaign. Why is this? Well, I enjoy doing those things very much and my clients get great results that they're happy with – I'm quite sure those two are related.
My advice would be to draw up a short list of the most effective things you do (where clients tend to be most delighted) and then draw up a list of the things you most enjoy. You should have some crossover. Voila! Here's your niche :)
My name is Jermaine, I am a Creative director and Graphic designer, both freelance and for a collective company. I started out as a Fashion Merchandiser in hopes of becoming a buyer, and as I progressed through my course work, I became very interested in Graphic design, Footwear/appreal design, Interior design and Photography. I bounced around in each category a bit, Ultimately switching between schools to progress in another.
Eventually I met (who is now) my mentor and he changed my life completely. I was designing a floor plan when he happened to walk by and complimented me on my design. I thanked him and expressed my idea of the design, which included architecture, branding, illustration, and photography. After hearing my passion for each talent he said "Hey you'd make a very accomplished creative director some day, thats what I do". From that day on I have brought all of my talents in to being a creative director.
Often times we have so many passions, so many creative interest, so many business ideas, that we forget that there are so many ways to combine and do them all. Being a life coach is a great field, you get to help so many people with your words of advice, coaching positive energy, and uplifting people to success. If you enjoy writing, maybe you can put together a blog, or a forum, where you can write daily to a following some advice or tips. Don't like blogging? Maybe you can start to draft a book on coaching, many successful life coaches have very good published books on techniques and teachings. You can even be a business advisor, and incorporate your life coaching techniques, which can lead to more promising and loyal clients. You obviously have skills and a desire to help people, take advantage of it on all platforms.
What ever you like to do, DO IT. There isn't anything you can't do and you aren't limited to your "signature craft". Find your passions, put them on a table, and let that table be your office.
Best of luck!
work with passion as much as you can. when the realty restricts you to move with your passion, adjust yourself to find new passion in new environment and than move on.
Whether you choose market or market choose you, adjust yourself to discover your passion so that you are in the best position to react.
Do what you love and are really good at. The money will follow. (They just don't say when). Each of us has a unique gift, something we can give to the world, at any point in our life. Listen to you heart, and what others tell you about yourself. You'll know it when you find it.
I love to write and many people have told me I'm very good at it. I chose B2B copywriting for industries in which I have professional credentials and years of experience. I choose to work with people that I understand and like, because ultimately it's about helping other people succeed.
If you are multi-talented, you do have to CHOOSE, and that's the difficult part. Trying to pursue two different challenging careers at the same time dilutes your energy and credibility in the marketplace. If you try to be everything to everybody, nobody will like it. But if you choose life coaching, you should write about it. Write and publish your own book. It will boost your practice and satisfy your writing impulses for awhile.
I've really enjoyed all of your responses - there is something in each of them that is helpful. Thank you.
Unfortunately (or fortunately) I do love all three of these things. I'm a compulsive, lifelong writer. I cannot not write. However, in writing one's own content, one has to have a certain amount of luck and timeliness for others to buy it. I will always write, whether I get paid for it or not. I have written one book of my own, and I'm considering how it might be a platform for building my coaching business. In other words, when people read my book or I do readings or speaking engagements (for free or for pay), people will know who I am as a person and what I'm capable of - and what they'll know the person they're getting when they hire me. I have a lot of really good sales training, and I can "upsell" at those events to get clients.
I feel as if coaching and mediation are tools - they are a way of interacting with groups and individuals. They can each be a title or a job, or they can be tools in a toolbox I use when interacting with others in whatever work I do. I find both types of interaction to be profound and profoundly powerful and vehicles for change. If I put coaching at the forefront (the horse race analogy is an apt one), I'll still draw heavily on mediation tools for group coaching dynamics. If I mediate conflict, I'll draw on coaching tools. The choice before me is how to label what I do in a way that translates to the consumer and builds business. I will always do all three of these things, but I need to make a choice about how to brand and promote it as a single thing people can see benefiting them. And these answers from all of you are definitely helping me to clarify this process. It's one thing to advertise myself as a certain thing. It doesn't mean I have to set aside any of my other loves, just that they aren't the specific thing that's in the limelight.
I am a hyper happy classic overachiever, I play in many realms. I have to be challenged and always learning. Web Design, Marketing and Branding allow me to run my own business in an area that requires constant learning in order to provide the best possible service I not only have to stay ahead of search engine upcoming algorithmic changes, it also necessitates the learning of client industries. While serving on the Governor of Arizona Archaeological Advisory Council is the physical and adventurous balance.
When it comes to success in business, choosing your niche is based on either a common problem in your target market/ industry or a problem you've experienced yourself in which you are determined to create a solution.
It usually comes from a personal experience in your industry or by really understanding your clients/customers needs.
Many companies fail in this area because they don't have a unique solution to a common problem and therefore aren't passionate enough about their solution to separate themselves from the crowd.
In order to become successful, you have to become laser focused, and I believe this is the point of your life/career in which you're trying to find the right direction to focus your time and energy into.
I speak from my own career path when I say that finding your niche is usually putting everything else off to the side and focusing on the one area where you've experienced a significant challenge in which during the journey, you were not able to find a solution which solved your problem completely.
Through many frustrations and creative thinking, you were able to come up with a unique solution that completely solved or will solve the issue. You are then pasionate about sharing that solution with others and want to change people lives and eliminate that same frustration you've experienced in the past.
So you see how your success path is not only based on passion, but passionately solving a problem that did not have a prior solution which satisfied your specific need. Of course the solution you create has to be something of deep interest to you in order to have longevity and desire to persue your newly found career direction, but it should be based upon your personal experience and not around your desire to make money.
Youll notice that the most successful company founders each have their own interesting story and emotional connection to the problem they're solving.
Hope that helps, I wish you the best and God bless.
My greatest skill is sleeping. I did think about a career as a mattress tester but found there was little demand. In your choice, demand and the potential to earn enough to lead the kind of life you want is important. I have seen people spending their life doing a job they hated. Enjoying what you do is important, sometimes more important than the potential to make a greater income doing something you might not enjoy as well.
Usually it is better to do one thing. Sometimes there is a lot of appeal to picking up some cash doing other things that have some need. This is particularly true if we don't have enough business to keep ourselves working the long hours we all dream of working. It is probably better to spend those extra hours planning and creating ways to bring more business in the one thing we want to focus on. In your case it sounds lie life coaching is your real love. Forget the other things you might be able to do competently. Do what you love, do it well,
How did I chose my primary focus? Well, I was in sales, B to B actually and my darn customers wanted to go home at 5 so there was no way to work 16-18 hours a day so I got into manufacturing and can work until I drop. Love it
You have to think of it like a horse race, get them all started to a reasonable point and then move all of your efforts to the pony that's winning. Kepp them all going to some degree so if there is a sudden change you can shift again, etc.
I totally get your dilemma as I have been in it myself.
There is passion work and then there is eating work.
Over the last 5 years I have found a passion and talent for writing - and dove in deep to writing, publishing and marketing both a book and a screenplay (PASSION)...all the while loving my consulting/coaching work (EATING), all the while doing a radio and online tv show (PASSION). Oh, and I write business articles (FOR MARKETING MYSELF)
The passions will certainly turn into income generating activities, but it will take time. SO, I choose to continue with my consulting/coaching work as I love it, am really good at it and it allows me to eat. It takes me to be really focused and very good at time management; which I have learned to be. I schedule out everything. That is for another post.
I don't believe you have to choose 1 ...but whatever it is HAS TO drive toward your ultimate goal - not immediate, but eventually. And you have to EAT...so get focused.
As Dr John said though - the universe also directs you...listen to it.
Lastly - whatever your project...be sure it is finely targeted - don't try to serve everyone, as you cannot afford to in time, expense and energy.
Sometimes we don't get to choose. They choose us. What's marketable at the given moment takes on a life of its own. :-) - PWD