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.
Those business gurus told you to pick a niche, and so you did. And now you’re stuck there, for the rest of your days. G’bye creativity. G’bye freedom. G’bye.
Does a niche really give your creativity a death sentence?
Well, sure, a -niche- can kill your creativity. But, you might’ve mis-heard. ‘Cause it’s not a niche you’re wanting, it’s a problem.
A niche is a “specialized but profitable corner of the market.” For instance, providing valves for industrial manufacturing is a niche. A niche is also an ecological term: “A position or role taken by a kind of organism within its community.”
The thing about a business niche is that the ecology of the market can change, and your niche can go away. Not to mention feeling stuck just pumping out those valves (so to speak.)
The difference between a niche and a problem.
A niche is aimed at something that exists, a physical manifestation of the market. A problem is something that continues to exist, even when the market changes.
For instance, if you are in the bookkeeping business, you can feel stuck and bored. And, beyond that, if some fancy-dancy computer program comes out that makes it easy to keep one’s books, you suddenly lose business.
However, if you are in the business of solving a problem: “Helping small businesses have a healthy relationship with their cashflow” suddenly, all kinds of creativity comes in. You’ve gone beyond data entry, to working in a creative capacity, and you can start teaching, consulting and doing all kinds of things.
You could even, if you were of the mind, bring in the healing arts, to help support business owners around their emotional issues with money. Plus the bookkeeping.
Now you are no longer in a niche, you are no longer hemmed by a lack of creativity. Suddenly your horizons are much further off.
Pretty cool, eh?
The problem is only a doorway.
Notice how slyly our bookkeeper friend went from data entry, to healing arts? If you do the same thing, you don’t need to limit yourself to any particular issue. Except at the doorway.
The doorway your clients walk through will be the problem you identify. Once they are in the door, who knows what you’ll be working on? If our bookkeeper friend likes to support people with family issues, I’m going to guarantee (after having taught 20+ iterations of our Heart of Money course) that those family issues will be available to be worked on.
Are you getting the difference? Please don’t feel you need to be stuck in just doing one thing for the rest of your natural born days. Your clients, your business, and your heart need your creativity in order to thrive.
You don’t have to have a niche, however you must have a problem to focus on, so that people know how and if they should enter your business.
Who let the dogs out?
Now you’re free. You can let your creativity, impulses, and guidance take you anywhere you’re led. You can learn Reiki, how to play the fiddle, plus managerial AND financial accounting. You can learn whatever you need to learn in order to be of service to your clients.
If your clients need it, you can bring it in, without worrying about breaking your niche. Just don’t abandon that doorway. Because without a clear problem, your business becomes invisible. And then you might as well nail up some boards.
So . . . how can you tell you’ve got a good problem? Let’s take a look at some pointers, eh?
Keys to Freedom from Niche Tyranny.
- A good problem is an area you’re interested in.
I happen to like small business, and small business owners. I stay engaged, interested, curious and learning. It keeps my creativity alive simply because I enjoy it.
Do you enjoy/curious about/impassioned by . . . ?
- chronic illness?
- physical ability?
- love relationships?
Where do you have enough interest that you naturally bring your curiosity and desire to learn?
- Can you name four to six ways to approach the problem?
If there are many different ways to get at the problem, then you know you aren’t marrying a single modality, and aren’t getting stuck in a niche.
For instance, with parenting, I can think of five modalities off the top of my head that can help:
- psychological counseling
- nonviolent communication training
- spiritual healing (Sufi, Reiki, or otherwise)
- Systemic constellation from Bert Hellinger
- The Work of Byron Katie
When you can begin to see many different ways of approaching the issue, then you’re free to extend that list as far as you like, engaging your creativity as much as you care to.
- Don’t be tempted to widen the doorway (too much.)
Heart of Business would get mighty sloppy-looking indeed, if we started marketing ourselves to deal with relationship problems, physical healing, family issues, etc, etc. We don’t stray away from our doorway. When you walk in our doorway, you can be clear what you will find: business help, from the heart.
The creativity and expansion is inside the business, where you stretch out the breadth of what you offer and can work with, without widening the doorway.
The only reason a business exists is to help people solve some problem. Don’t think you have to stay inside the narrow confines of a niche. Let your creativity and heart help you choose a problem to solve, and then let your creativity go hog-wild.
About the Author: Mark Silver is the founder of Heart of Business, and a successful business teacher and healer, who brings an active connection with the Divine to his work. Heart of Business has helped thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners to integrate the nitty gritty of business with the heart-opening truths of spirit in a way that actually helps the business be profitable and make a difference in the world.