Below you’ll find a curated list of articles on the Importance of Experimenting of niching. These are supplemental reading suggestions for participants in the Niching Homestudy.
After leading a workshop in Turner Valley, Alberta in the Spring of 2014 I got a ride back into town with a woman who ran an eco landscaping business. She told me about how, when she’d first started, she imagined her ideal employees to be highly educated hippies. But, in reality, they were the worst. They would work with her for one Summer and then move on to other ventures. They didn’t see it as a career. But she noticed the labourer types who weren’t as University educated tended to stick around longer because they valued the job and they saw potential in it. Like most of us, she’d made a good guess about what her target markets were (in this case employees) and been wrong about it. Here are some more stories that might help you feel better about yourself.
One of the earliest struggles that new freelancers face is finding a niche. Most freelancers understand the value of niching (become an expert, make more money, increase productivity), but finding one? It can be a frustrating and time-consuming process.
There’s an old puzzle that philosophers like to ponder: how could you ever be certain that anyone else has a mind at all? The truth is that you can’t. Ultimately, even our closest relatives—people we’ve known for decades, or who gave birth to us, or vice versa—are closed books: you’ll never get direct access to their thoughts or emotions. It’s the sort of terrifying realization that might trigger an existential meltdown in the sanest of us. Yet when it comes to creativity, it’s actually enormously liberating.
Progress is Almost Never Linear – Why understanding this can bring immense clarity and spare you from years of heartache – Kris Ward
A few months ago, a colleague of mine, Tad Hargrave, asked me to review the manuscript of a book he’d been working on entitled The Niching Spiral. Which is genius. It maps out a 7 step common sense approach to identifying one’s best niche – the narrow area of expertise that will be the most fun, profitable and worthwhile to hone in on business-wise.
Are you in that space of wondering what to do with your life, or maybe making a big change looking for something better?
Two and a half months ago, on November 1st 2013, I gave birth to my son, Connor Forest, on the floor of our downstairs guest bathroom after 26 hours of the hardest work of my life. There is so much I could say about this event, which was hands-down the most transformative experience of my life to date. It changed me. It turned me into a Mother. It brought into the world the most exquisite creation of my life. I did it without drugs and encountered reservoirs of my deepest resistance and my greatest strength.
“If you do what you love, success is practically assured,” says Oscar winner Nick Reed, co-producer of the award-winning short documentary The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life. Contrast that with a piece that Slate ran early this year in which Miya Tokumitsu critiques the oft-repeated mantra “Do what you love” (henceforth “DWYL”) as classist. I agree with Reed and could not disagree more with Tokumitsu, but not for the reasons you might think.
Have you got eleven seconds to learn a simple principle? A principle that will radically change the way you do things? You do, don’t you? Ok, tick, tick, tick . . . here’s the principle. It’s called . . . um . . . the 70% Principle. So what’s the 70% Principle? If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing 70% right.
I don’t know what it is, but lately everyone seems to be “confused.” “Do I do this thing or that thing?” “Should I take that trip or not take the trip?” “Should I get into (whatever) job (I hate) or should I pursue my beloved creative endeavours?” “Should I break up with my boyfriend or try to make it work?”
You picked your niche but your creativity has died. And now you’re stuck there for the rest of your days, unable to escape. It’s not a niche you’re wanting, it’s a problem. Bang! Bang! Bang! The hammer comes down again and again, nailing those wooden planks in place. Finally, it’s done: you’re trapped. No windows, and the only door nailed shut.
It is now conventional wisdom that we learn as much – if not more – from failure as from success. Even Prince Andrew said in a newspaper interview published yesterday that failure was good for you. Yet organizations – while espousing the theory – are often reluctant to embrace the concept in practice. The reasons are not too hard to find. Even in the most progressive and understanding of workplaces admitting to failure brings forth feelings of embarrassment, shame and inadequacy. In more extreme organizations it can lead to understandable concerns about loss of status and even salary.