Niche is being more who you are
When I looked up the definition of ‘niche’ in Merriam-Webster, I was positively surprised – it seems like a marketing person has written the definition:
niche is (1) a job, activity, etc., that is very suitable for someone
(2) the situation in which a business’s products or services can succeed by being sold to a particular kind or group of people
(3) an environment that has all the things that a particular plant or animal needs in order to live.
Today, I would like to talk about the first definition: a job, activity, etc. that is very suitable for someone. In spite of the many similarities that we may have with each other as human beings – gender, age, nationality, education, experience, etc. no two people are exactly the same. We are like the leaves on a tree that are completely unique. Let’s take two accountants who could be twins with the same education and experience, you’d expect them to have the same approach to accounting. Still they have their own way of seeing things and are therefore more apt at working with different clients. The differences are good – they enable everyone find their best accountant/coach/web designer/etc who meets their needs just the right way. Therefore instead of trying to improve on the areas that our competition might be good at, but we do not particularly feel drawn to, we should focus on getting better at being more ourselves. For example, having the experience of restructuring a company and making it profitable, I could focus my coaching on working with companies who need their systems and people reset and new leadership routines established. It would be a profitable niche – the owners need a lot of support in a situation like that. Yet, I focus on small companies who want to grow and find new clients. In addition to having the experience to do that, I also like working with positive visions and lofty goals and support the owners in moving towards their dreams. Because I like what I do, I am more enthusiastic in doing my work, I like updating myself to learn more and in addition to my specific knowledge in this area I have positive attitude when working with my clients. I can remain myself when working with my clients or colleagues – I do not have to try to be someone else to impress anyone or to fit in.
Another benefit of knowing what you are good at and what you like, is that it saves time and emotional energy. I accept who I am and what I like and am not spending time trying to figure out what else should I be. I also know what clients like me and whom I like and I save time and effort in saying no to the ones that do not fit that description.